On July 8, 2019, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine wrote a letter to the American Medical Association, asking the organization to create a public campaign to support physician-led care. Noting concerns over the recent media crusade to promote nurse practitioner care to patients, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners "We Choose NPs" campaign, the letter asks the American Medical Association to combat the ...

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"The Big Sick" is an intimidating name for a movie. I never know what to think when "sick" is used as a noun. Does it mean vomit? Are we referring to ailing people? Just as the name doesn't give you much insight, neither does the beginning of the film. It has nothing to do with illness. It's about a Pakistani standup comedian/Uber driver who starts dating a white girl, but ...

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"What's the most common missed fracture?" my supervising PA asked during my clinical rotation in the emergency department. "The second one," I answered confidently. It was the right answer, and I surprised him by knowing it. He had previously given a lecture to my class and had emphasized this clinical pearl in such a way that I knew it was one of his favorite trick questions. Unfortunately, I didn't always know ...

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Many consider the novel the House of God, written by Samuel Shem (pen name for Stephen Bergman), to be a must-read for any physician or soon-to-be physician. A fictionalized account of his internship year, the book details how the accumulated stress, fatigue, and powerlessness of being a first-year doctor inexorably accumulates during that year — with sometimes hilarious, and but also disastrous, results. The survival strategies of the interns in ...

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In May 2019, headlines of a study out of University of Michigan hit the lay media: “New Doctors’ DNA Ages 6 Times Faster Than Normal in First Year.”  Using DNA samples submitted by medical residents across the country, the Intern Health Study measured telomere length before and after residents completed their intern years. Loss of telomere length has been associated with morbidity, mortality, and even depression. A ...

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It took me decades of studying, training, hard work, and sleepless nights to become a doctor. In approximately five years, I became a successful writer, editor, columnist, and a whole array of other titles assigned to that type of work. In under 3 seconds, I became a chronic pain patient for the rest of my life. Around this time last year, I was taking my two dogs outdoors when they spotted ...

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In business literature, I have seen the phrase “getting paid for who you are instead of what you do.” This implies that some people bring value because of the depth of their knowledge and their appreciation of all the nuances in their field, the authority with which they render their opinion or because of their ability to influence others. This is the antithesis of commoditization. Many industries have become less commoditized ...

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An excerpt from Med Mal. The attorney for the plaintiff leaned forward, rocking precariously at the edge of his chair while I studied him. Comfortable in my leather armchair on the other side of the table I kept up my observation, somewhat amused although mostly unimpressed, as he betrayed ...

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As a community of physicians, I'm sure we have heard the phrase, "I just want to get well, doc," from our patients. Have you ever wondered what does "get well" really mean to them? As a third-year internal medicine resident, I had an unforgettable experience during my intensive care unit rotation. He was an elderly patient with HIV, stage 4 colon cancer with metastasis throughout the abdomen, who was being treated ...

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I found you standing on a platform. It was a foggy, damp morning, and your vision was obscured. People came and went, some with urgency, others not so much. Some people you knew, others were strangers. Your husband was usually nearby, often holding your hand, other times out of sight. At times you could hear his voice, but couldn’t find him with your reach. There were noises that would startle you, ...

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