A few months ago, I signed up for a virtual conference for women in medicine. Its a group of women, over 10,000 of us, who have watched me and supported me through the past two years of my career. Two years of struggle. Two years of personal and professional pain. Two years of opportunity for growth, and two years of numerous setbacks that were only overcome with all of their ...

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I’m my breaking point! Frustrated, exhausted, caffeine-deprived, and surrounded by people who don’t listen to me, I’m not trained for this, and I am ready to tag out.  OK, granted, it is only day two of distance learning for my third grader and kindergartener.  However, this could also describe my first two days as a castaway on Survivor island. It’s been about nine years since I was chosen to appear on ...

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It seems impossible that 2020 could have brought another existential challenge to life as a lung and ICU doctor. As COVID-19 broke out earlier this year, I found myself on phone calls with physicians practicing in far-flung areas, helping host regular calls and webinar to keep doctors in my state updated on the rapidly changing science, working on triage protocols for decisions nobody should ever have to make, ...

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"My experience with recent knee surgery that left me significantly disabled for over a month brought this to my attention yet again. I was completely dependent on others for basic self-care since I was unable to get in and out of the tub/shower without help. I was only able to walk with significant pain on crutches and was completely incapable of navigating stairs. ...

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I was recently asked to see an 89-year-old woman who was gravely ill in the intensive care unit. She was admitted with cholangitis due to bile duct stones causing complete obstruction leading to septic shock. It is a life-threatening situation, especially in elderly patients. She needed an emergency endoscopic procedure: ERCP. By the way, one minor detail that makes this case more interesting and the intensivist called it a "wrench" ...

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I was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation and stabilization just after my third year of medical school. Leading up to my episode, I thought I was fine - stressed, sure, overworked, definitely, but I thought that was normal for someone just finishing a year of clinical rotations. I deteriorated rapidly, and by the time I was admitted, I felt dazed, disoriented, and completely exhausted. I didn’t know what ...

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As COVID-19 continues to surge across the country, with an anticipated death toll reaching 300,000 by the end of the year, the NFL season has just kicked off. Multiple professional and college sports programs have also returned to play. To prevent outbreaks among the athletes, they are tested frequently, sometimes daily, and with quicker results than our patients, health care providers, schools, and seniors, the population with the highest death ...

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In 2009, I started a family medicine residency. This dream had been brewing since age five when I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. I followed that dream like a mouse follows cheese. Despite some obstacles in the way, I kept my eyes on the prize. I couldn't wait to be a doctor—a PCP. I couldn't believe that someone would call me "their" doctor. The thought thrilled me. ...

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Just this week, the administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling allowing women to receive telemedicine abortion services and pills delivered by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Trump wins, millions of women across the U.S. risk losing this essential health care.

I met one such woman in my clinic a few months ago. She was a teenager, and she was tearfully anxious. She ...

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"With COVID-19, all of those memories have come flooding back. It is as if I am back in the NICU staring at that tiny infant and worried that she would get sick. Only now I have to pull myself out of that horrific daydream and stare at my teenager and pray that she will get through this. I am not alone ...

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It is hard to imagine an age in which assisted reproductive technology (ART) did not exist. The CDC reported that 1.7 percent of U.S. births in 2017 were attributable to ART, with approximately 285,000 ART cycles reported that year. In reality, the process is not as straightforward as it may seem on paper.

As a radiologist, I was involved peripherally with patients struggling ...

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Thinking, Fast and Slow is a well-known masterpiece of psychology by the formidable Daniel Kahneman. He diligently illuminates two different pathways of thought, which he arbitrarily titles System 1 and System 2. System 1 describes our quick thinking, our snap judgments, our gut feelings. System 2 encapsulates our deeper thoughts, the way we systematically review information, the analysis that requires time and mental effort. The work thoroughly lays out many ...

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Very few people sit down and think about their mindset. And even fewer doctors or health care workers contemplate mindset. But if there were ever a time in human history to think about our minds and how we use them to process what is happening around us, it is now. As an unexpected gift from the pandemic, I was given months to take an inward look at my mindset and ...

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It has been eight years since I registered patients to vote in the Bronx. I remember the clinic, nestled in a busy commercial neighborhood with its modest windowfront facade. Inside, the flyer was posted everywhere. Among quilts of signs and reminders, it vied for attention with its large block letter logo, “I VOTE, I COUNT.” In the waiting room, our team approached patients to ask, “Are you registered to vote?”. I ...

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A recent edition of Pediatrics has some disturbing research: “Trends in Capability of Hospitals to Provide Definitive Acute Care for Children: 2008 to 2016.” What the paper really does is document what many of us who work in referral hospitals have noted for some time: More and more community hospitals are transferring children who appear in their emergency departments to other, larger facilities instead of admitting them to ...

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"As a runner, my pulse rests around fifty, but the ICU team had worried when it dipped to thirty-five, and my blood pressure hovered around ninety over fifty. Understandably, bags of saline were hung, and steroids were added. My headache improved, but my ankles disappeared, and I was often short of breath. Upon discharge, I went into full diuresis mode and ...

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If the Democrats capture the White House, keep the House, and take over the Senate, the Biden health care outline stands a good chance of being enacted. The Biden health care proposal directly takes on the big things that haven't worked in Obamacare. Here are the things that are most broken in Obamacare:

  • The individual health insurance premiums and deductibles are, and have from the beginning of the program, Read more...

The stresses of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are taking a significant toll on not only physical health but also mental health and wellbeing. A recent study published on JAMA Network Open found that symptoms of depression were three times more prevalent among the U.S. adults surveyed during the pandemic than before it. Those with lower income, less money in savings, and exposure to more sources of ...

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It is probably a very good friend right now. COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway in an unprecedented fashion.  But lately, questions about the integrity of Operation Warp Speed have started to linger.  A vaccine availability deadline prior to phase 3 data has not helped, and many think that immunity, while feasible, is still distant. While awaiting proof of vaccine reliance, 
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The current socio-political environment in the U.S. and worldwide has brought much-needed attention and heightened awareness to the plights of minoritized groups, especially Black and African-American communities. Police brutality, structural violence, overt racism, and discrimination are only a few examples prompting new activism. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, they have amplified health inequities and disparities that have pervasively been threatening communities of color. As a response, academic medicine leaders, equity scholars, and ...

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