“Black life remains unexpected.” I have been mulling over these words written by Ibram X. Kendi, in The Atlantic. This followed his piece exploring the “anniversary” of slavery in 2019. He experiences this 400-year marker both with hope and concern given the persistence of a split America: “Black death matters to racist America. Black life matters to African America.” He writes, “there may be no more consequential white ...

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Do you ever see other people in their careers and think to yourself, "Maybe I could do that?" I am a board-certified pediatric physician with over 25 years of experience in private practice, and I recently decided to try my hand at acting. Much to my surprise, I was awful.  It was almost as if there were basic premises of the craft that I did not understand at all. But I suppose that ...

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An excerpt from Technology and the Doctor-Patient Relationship. As disturbing as the structure of malpractice insurance is in America, a more significant problem is the defensive style of medical practice it induces. In a large-scale survey done by Jackson Healthcare in 2010, between 73-92% of physicians self-reported ordering unnecessary ...

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There are times in our journey as doctors when life gets in the way.  Well, life got in the way, and I had to go back to the basics and deepen my understanding and connection to my self and my source to easily navigate the curves and the bumps in the road. I had to figure out a way to move through the tears that came with the diagnosis and poor ...

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Between 2011 and 2015 there were over 21,000 children killed by guns. This recent study in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, further analyzes the question; it compares pediatric firearm fatality rates among the various states and then tests for correlation between children killed and the degree of strictness or not of the state’s gun laws. There are extensive data on whole populations showing that stricter ...

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It’s Monday, I recall as I step into work; “Preparing for battle,” I say with a smirk. Surviving all weekend with a sick kid in tow, the parents’ relief as they waited to show you their child with fever, diarrhea and sneezing, the one who is too hot, too cold or is freezing, the one who forgot that a helmet is needed, the one who is eating too much, they conceded. The one who still haunts you when ...

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We can learn a lot about ourselves by looking at, and thinking about, perceptual illusions and our biases. Look at the image above. The classic, Muller-Lyer illusion. We know that the two lines are the same size. But no matter how much we intuitively "know" this to be true, we see the top line as bigger. We can't unsee it — even if we ...

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Doctors need to be true to themselves, but at the same time, they must be chameleons. A doctor fills certain roles in the lives and stories of patients. It is a two-way relationship that looks different to each person we serve throughout every workday and even in the most casual interactions we have. Some patients need us to take charge for a while because they’re exhausted; others need us to listen quietly ...

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Start at the origin. Over two, up four. Down three, right six. Left five, up one. Keep connecting the dots. Everything will take shape. I liked graphs. Plotting coordinates — whether it be for a parabola or ellipse — was always calming for me: numbers told you exactly where you needed to be. But my numbers scared me. My 8-year-old feet would hesitantly step on the scale at the doctor’s office. I ...

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The family doctor used to be almost the only source of medical information patients had access to. Now, few people need us to bring them the latest news. It’s there for everyone to see. There’s even too much of it. Today, our role is to help make sense of it all. In order to do that, we must possess and project authority, but we have no reason to put ourselves on ...

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