An excerpt from My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful. Managing chronic illness can leave a person susceptible to emotional and mental health issues that can further exacerbate their physical symptoms.  Post-traumatic stress disorder can often accompany managing a physical illness, and often is the illness that ...

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An excerpt from What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying. People who are diagnosed with a fatal disease sometimes do more than cope. They grow. They repair or strengthen relationships. They find a deeper spirituality or meaning in the life that remains ...

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An excerpt from the Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child. If you look it up in the dictionary, you might see the term resilience explained as having the ability to bounce or spring back into shape after being compressed, stretched or bent. Trees are resilient to wind and ...

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After finishing the pitch for my book at a recent Harvard Writers’ Conference in Boston, I felt relieved and encouraged by the judges’ comments. As I waited for my turn at the podium, I glanced above my notes over the faces of 300 of my fellow attendees who had accomplished so much in their respective fields of medicine, nursing, and counseling. The pitches made by these would-be authors revealed an amazing ...

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As I age, the probability of acquiring yet another health condition seems to, unfortunately, increase. There's always one test or another that is on my to-do list, be it bloodwork, X-ray, MRI, or maybe a CT scan thrown in for good measure. I comply usually with a sense that it is for the benefit of my health, i.e., to enable my doctors to determine the best mode of treatment for ...

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I am a mid-40s female rheumatologist. Fortunately, I consider myself to be fairly healthy; my diet and weight are OK, I run 30 to 35 miles per week, and my only medication is a low-estrogen oral contraceptive that I have been self-prescribing for years. Work and life are busy, and my health maintenance could be better. I have been getting regular mammograms since age 40 (some self-prescribed), maybe I see ...

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I recently graduated from residency and fellowship. The last week in-house was a second adolescence. My moods have been up and down. I’d giddily return a parking pass, then surrender IT access in tears. No one could feel this — my — moment as deeply, specifically, or correctly as I could. What word is there for that? There’s song. Influenced by the new film Yesterday, I melodramatically equated my break-up with ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old woman undergoes follow-up evaluation in the office. She was evaluated in the emergency department 3 nights ago with fever and flank pain following 2 days of dysuria. A urine culture and two sets of blood cultures were collected. She was given intravenous ceftriaxone and discharged with a 7-day ...

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To fill an assignment in an undergraduate medical sociology class, my friend and I made an appointment with the assistant administrator in a local hospital. After the interview, we proceeded towards the exit by cutting through the obstetrical wards. We passed an exhausted young doctor with a stethoscope draped over his neck and hunched over a stack of charts. He glanced up as we passed, and we introduced ourselves as ...

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A lot has been written about board recertification requirements. Physicians have grumbled and moaned for years. The objections have caused changes. Some specialty boards have abandoned the tests. And yet — for most specialties, we still find ourselves turning over our credit card numbers, blocking off a day of our incredibly busy lives and heading for a professional testing center. On the surface, the process is absurd. Oh, I get that we ...

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I am one of those lucky souls who actually likes their job. Since I completed my pediatrics residency two years ago, I have been working in urgent care settings. What’s not to like? I get to see a wide variety of patients, I’m always learning something new, and I get to finish my encounters with a high-five from an overeager toddler. If you’re a general pediatrician like me, that’s the ...

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Every morning, after rounding on Mr. Gregory, I felt like an imposter. As I reported on the worsening crackles in his lungs, his decreasing urine output, the mottling of his hands, we continued to simply give him Dilaudid for pain and continued to ensure that he was “comfortable.” In this case, I was at a loss for what this “comfort” meant. Mr. Gregory was the first hospice patient I had. And ...

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On several occasions, most recently during a press conference in March 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has advocated changing the voting age to 16. Pelosi told reporters that lowering the voting age would increase engagement in politics among younger Americans and would help drive a higher level of voter awareness and turnout. Speaker Pelosi is not the only prominent lawmaker to advocate for a lowered voting age. Also in ...

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I am a small-town family physician, and I am blessed enough to be living my dream. You see, I have always wanted to be a doctor. I cannot think of one other occupation choice that has ever entered my brain. I have wanted this since I was four-years-old, and I can remember in vivid detail telling the world this was what I was destined to be. So what happens when your dream ...

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Recently, thousands of new residency and fellowship graduates have earned their wings and will be, mostly metaphorically, hanging out their shingles. Sadly, though, as the excitement of finally finishing training after decades of schooling wears off, even great work can become routine. There is a parable about three men laying bricks. When asked what they were doing, the first man said, “Laying bricks.” The second man said, “Building a church.” And ...

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Cognitive decline in older adults has been accepted as a normal part of aging. Recall, episodic memories, processing speed, and divided attention are all expected to decrease with time, but the implications of this decay are rarely discussed. Elderly scholars, or individuals who have sought to learn about the world or facets of the world through books, articles or newspapers, often are devastated by this cognitive decay. But, what if ...

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After years of being busy taking care of critically ill and recovering neonates in the neonatal ICU, then coming home to take care of my children, I’m making new decisions. One of them is to learn how to relax and be still. It’s a new experience for me. It’s taken years and many shifts to get to this place. And it’s becoming a self-care practice that I really enjoy. For the ...

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The way I learned the Golden Rule was: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Basically, it's from the New Testament, but the concept goes way back to pre-Christian ancient civilizations in Babylonia, Egypt, India, and China. So here I am, just trying to do my best as a spousal caregiver, and I started to realize that if I were to take the Golden Rule literally — ...

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At the moment, I should be studying for my first round of boards, but there is something I can’t get off my mind: sacrifice. If you ask a medical student what they have had to sacrifice to study medicine, the list could go on for days. It could be small things like watching their favorite teams play or being caught up on current events. But more than likely we will list ...

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I think we can all agree that women have a lot more hoops to jump through when it comes to contraception. If a woman wants to go on the pill, she has to go through the bureaucratic process of seeing a doctor and getting a prescription. This is why I am so happy to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz agreeing to support a bill ...

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