It’s a peculiar kind of civil war we are waging in America. 30,000 of us die each year from gun violence, exceeding the number killed annually on all sides in the Syrian civil war. On October 1, we saw more than 58 people slaughtered and hundreds injured in a carefully planned attack. At a concert. In Las Vegas. For no apparent reason. My professional interest in this problem began during my ...

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One way to fight physician burnout is to share our stories and remove the stigma. A KevinMD keynote video excerpt.  I'm currently considering opportunities for 2018: Please visit my physician keynote speaking page to find out more.

As physicians, we are conditioned to put ourselves last. This long-standing tendency likely began way before we hit medical school. But certainly, our training reinforces it. Think about it: the personality type that goes into medicine is typically a caretaker. And while medical school reinforces this personality pitfall, It doesn’t end there. Residency brings a whole other dimension of self-neglect. We think, “If I can just get out of residency ...

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I bleed blue and gold. No, I am not talking about Michigan, West Virginia or Notre Dame. I am definitely not talking about UCLA Bruins (by the way, UCLA fans, a bruin is a brown bear). That’s right — I am a die-hard Cal Bears fan. Thanks to Cal football, and particularly to legendary Marshawn Lynch, my college days were filled with excitement. (I am counting on you, Coach Wilcox.) Marshawn, ...

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Our powerful subconscious minds are processing information that we don’t even realize we are taking in, so to achieve gender equity we must actively uncover things that are unintentionally promoting stereotypes. For example, we know that if we want to promote a gender equitable environment that putting portraits of men on the walls of the classrooms would not be ideal. Even if there were one or two women in the mix, ...

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Medicine is a calling. And almost all of us went into this profession for altruistic reasons. Unfortunately, it's no secret that the health care landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades, and practicing medicine is undoubtedly getting more difficult for most doctors. Fortunately, I've found myself in a better place than most. But after hearing feedback from physicians at various stages of their career, there are a number ...

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“There was porn in the call room the first night I slept there.” The call room is the room where doctors sleep -- if they have minutes to catch some sleep -- when they are on call. When you’re the first female doctor to ever be on the service, apparently you might find porn in that room. “I told the partners they could keep the porn if they’d let me paint the ...

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While driving home from a weekend trip, my children were watching The Lorax in the backseat, and I couldn’t help but think how acutely applicable its theme is to the current state of medicine in America. Just as seemingly small changes in the name of “progress” slowly altered the environment in The Lorax, a handful of mostly well-intended modifications have transformed the landscape of medicine into something unrecognizable and unsustainable. We ...

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On TV shows, therapists decorate their rooms with leather lounge chairs, throw pillows and organza curtains that let in the light. But Dr. Hassan's office is in the clinic basement. The fluorescent lighting is sterile. She has a gray metal desk — I think every doctor I've shadowed as a medical student has had that same desk. But I'm not here as a student. I've been anticipating this appointment for a month. In ...

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It seems that everyone has advice about sleep these days, and we have become immune to it. “Avoid naps, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Get exercise. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Turn off the TV and any electronic devices hours before bedtime. Enjoy a relaxing ritual. Keep to a routine.” Please do all of these, because they actually work! Shifting your bedtime later to achieve sleep consolidation ...

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STAT_LogoDear Shonda Rhimes, the brilliant mind behind my favorite television show, We need to talk about “Grey’s Anatomy.” I’m a fan. A really, really big fan. The kind of fan who -- in the last 48 hours -- rewatched all of last season’s episodes to prepare for the season premiere, and who has blocked off every Thursday night this ...

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“Do not get caught” seems to be the real rule of the law in South Florida, where I live. I was trained to limit the use of controlled substances, narcotics, hypnotics and sedatives. Their use can affect consciousness, ability to drive a car and work.  More severe consequences include respiratory depression and overdose from too high of a dosage or mixing too many medications and over the counter items. The Joint Commission, ...

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I remember the exact moment I realized the amazing power of women; that together, women can accomplish anything they put their minds to. I grew up in a household of women. I had no brothers to compete with, and my parents always encouraged us to learn and develop leadership skills. However, even growing up in an encouraging environment, I still developed an unconscious bias. In school and in college, I often ...

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A father and a son are in a car accident.  The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital.  The doctor comes in and exclaims, “I can’t operate on this boy!” “Why not?” the nurse asks. “Because he is my son,” the doctor responds. How is this possible? *** I first saw this riddle in a Washington Post article in October 2016. I was four years out of residency, and for the ...

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Will Durrant, historian For better or worse, all of my high school English teachers were memorable. Each held a precise but non-overlapping image of the perfectly crafted essay; therefore, every September I found myself adopting a brand new writing style. A paper that would have garnered an “A” at the end of one school year routinely received ...

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On the porch. It's that time of year again, when we escape from the heat of New York City summers, and head to New Hampshire, to the Central Lakes District, where my wife's family has had a house perched out over the clear waters of Newfound Lake for over 120 years. It's a small wooden house, with barely enough room for all of us squeezed in, painted bright yellow and orange, with ...

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“You folks have it easy.” As a resident, it is not uncommon to hear these words on the wards from older physicians. After all, this new generation is spoiled, one could say. At the time when I trained, we had hour limitations and “caps” on the number of cases we could handle as interns on our shifts. Now, that seems to have reversed. Second year was tougher in ...

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Recently, I was asked an intriguing question by an interviewer: “If you had a magic wand and could have one wish for improving the well-being of clinicians and addressing burnout, what would it be?” My response? Respect. Respect for the humanity of everyone who touches the health care system -- patients, family members, administrative staff, organizational leaders, clinical staff, clinicians, cleaning staff, parking valets, pharmacists, lab technicians, front desk staff, and ...

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Las Vegas: 59 dead, 500+ injured. I worry about our medical colleagues who will suffer tremendously while treating the injured; they will be wracked with guilt for the patients they could not help and false back to the horror of that night and the ensuing days and weeks caring for the living. We must find ways to support each other help them cope as well as looking for sensible solutions. My ...

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Eighty percent of diagnoses can be made based on the history and physical.  Take the subjective and objective; throw in some medical history, family history, social history and you can figure out your assessment and plan. Doctors are the detectives of the body and the more facts, the easier it is to solve the mystery. This is the fictional note that I wrote in my head concerning a fellow physician friend ...

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