This past year has been one of overwhelming extremes: global pandemic, a national reckoning on racism, devastating wildfires and storms, and political disarray. To some it was perhaps just a difficult year. But to those who can identify the common thread of injustice, it is clear that this was the product of decades of systemic inequities. It is also clear that if these inequities are not addressed, what we have ...

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A patient once told me, “I sit on the side of the road asking for change. People look right through me like I’m invisible. Food stamps aren’t enough. I can’t afford to exist and I want to die.” A man is dying of poverty -- this is an emergency, but not one I have been trained to fix. I am an emergency medicine physician; I care for people on the ...

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Just as providers have reimagined their clinical and business models in light of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to reimagine their relationship with health plans. Particularly in the context of evolving value-based contracts, there are a variety of “asks” that are likely to find receptive health plans. Three issues that are particularly important to health plans are administrative efficiency, quality measures, and overall cost of care. Each one creates ...

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“To become successful, you need to be excellent and likable,” said a local Black physician giving advice to young underrepresented students facing the usual challenges of medical school. “Black excellence is the only way forward. The system and the institutions are racist, but we just need to work extra hard. If we do, we will get what we deserve,” said another prominent African-American doctor trying to inspire graduating Black physicians. Both of ...

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There is ample evidence that patients with severe mental illness are at high risk for significant medical comorbidities. A complex combination of factors contributes to this excess risk and consequential poor outcomes. Socioeconomic factors, side effects from psychiatric medications, poor access to health care as well as smoking, alcohol, and substance use, prevalent in this population, are some of the factors that contribute to patients with ...

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Health workers in Canada experience endemic levels of burnout directly related to understaffing and work overload. Leaves of absence from work for mental health and stress-related issues are 1.5 times higher among health workers than the rest of the population. Increasingly, health workers are significantly reducing their hours worked, just to cope, or leaving their jobs altogether.

That was before the pandemic.  With COVID-19, we are witnessing levels ...

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In the recent impeachment trial, many Americans, alongside U.S. Representatives and Senators, are reliving the Capitol riot's chaos and confusion. For us, that infamous day showcased a unifying emotion: anger. We can see the anger in the aggression and tumult of the rioters, in the fleeing representatives, in the senators’ testimonies, and most recently, in the trial's highly debated decision. Interestingly, this anger's strained undertones seem intimately connected with another pervasive ...

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All across the United States, elementary and secondary school teachers are refusing to go back to school. Before you join the growing lynch mob that’s going after these teachers, you may want to consider why they’re staying home.

For starters, many school boards make their decisions based not on what is best for students, teachers, or the community they’re supposed to serve, but on the vested interests of the ...

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According to a newly released study, by the end of 2020, the United States experienced its sharpest rise in poverty rates in 50 years, leaving eight million more people nationwide in a state of poverty.  As we usher in a new Congressional session, perhaps America needs an anti-poverty czar who can serve as a key resource for addressing the growing poverty rates in ...

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As a pediatric emergency physician in Chicago, I am no stranger to the effects of gun violence in our patient population and society.  But what do we do when gun violence is turned on our own community as physicians? Recently a beloved pediatrician in Austin, Texas, Dr. Lindley Dodson, was held hostage and killed in a murder-suicide carried out by another pediatrician with whom she had no relationship. This senseless tragedy has ...

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