It’s my first day at a new facility — and I’m prepped with food, snacks and a closed-lid container for my morning coffee and to refill it in the afternoon with water. You never really know how stringent the policies will be for water containers at your new workstation or whether food or snacks are allowed. You might even be lucky enough to get a surprise Joint Commission inspection, or ...

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Doctors spend their early adulthood preparing for medicine. In college, we take classes to satisfy prerequisites and prepare for the MCAT exam.  Medical school has a life of its own. The volume of material to master is extensive, and the pressure mounts to be your best.  Next is the interview process for residency training and the anticipation of Match Day. Then life will begin. Maybe? Now you are in your late 20s ...

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I introduced myself to the family sitting anxiously in the private room away from the chaotic symphony of beeping monitors in the main ER. When I opened the door, four pairs of bewildered eyes landed squarely and intensely on me. I wanted to look away so as not to betray my own emotions but instead stepped in and introduced myself again -- one by one making eye contact. After a ...

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The other day I felt like a used car salesman. I was carefully phrasing my words, picking out just the right ones -- the kind that really pack a punch -- and delivering them at the right moment, with the perfect momentum. I was trying to make a sale. Now, my cadence happened to be spot on, as I approached the finish line: the part where I get to package it all up. ...

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My country rotation as a medical student was overshadowed by a heated argument between the general practitioner and his wife. She was sacrificing her life in this “hole of a place” and angrily stormed out to visit her children in boarding school in the city. Decades later, I now understand the frustration and challenges of rural general practice for a doctor, who is also a mother: Being ignored in the street ...

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I have a confession. I didn’t enter my profession to help people. I know. It’s shocking. Don’t get me wrong. I take my professional responsibility extremely seriously. I’m only admitting that the primary reason for choosing my profession was not altruistic. I made a practical decision to go down this path because of a junior high career day event. Otherwise, I had no real connection to any health care profession other than ...

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About two years ago, I made a big career move — I took a leap of faith. I left full-time clinical practice as a neonatologist to become a national medical director for a neonatal resource team. The job was appealing because it was a new challenge for me. I had the opportunity to use my skill set as a neonatologist while learning the business aspect of medicine. The job also provided ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are both advanced-practice providers with considerable autonomy, but they’re not interchangeable. Each brings something slightly different to the table, and if your practice is considering hiring an advanced-level practitioner, it’s important to understand the differences so you can hire appropriately for your need. Because medical facilities are ...

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This past week was one of those weeks looming ahead of me that I was already dreading as I entered into it. I was to be working through another holiday and following a string of nights, and I would have a quick turnaround into a mid-shift. As a nocturnist by choice, I rarely work mornings or mid-shifts. I find the nights busy but also less intrusive — i.e., less administrative ...

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“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” –Robert Gary Lee One of the recurring expressions I heard throughout training, from preceptors and attendings to doctors ignoring a lowly medical student/resident eating lunch in the doctor’s lounge, was: “I’m living the dream.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a code meaning anything but. In the last few weeks, I’ve discussed what steps I’m taking towards
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