On September 5th, 2017, the Trump administration denounced the further implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and called for its revocation in 6 months. Opponents quickly voiced their concerns towards the unjust decree. Now, the deadline is near and a heightened urgency to act is imperative. To encourage advocacy and help legislators understand the vitality of DACA-recipients, the following displays the power of the undocumented. Days after news of ...

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When my children each finished Montessori school, my wife and I researched a bit before choosing the local public option.  My area has extraordinary private schools.  Although high cost, many of these alternatives provide unique and worthwhile twists on traditional education.  We talked extensively with the kids, and after much research, we came to the budgetary friendly decision.  The public school, with somewhat fewer bells and whistles, provided an education on ...

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Early this month, Joanna Gaines, co-host of HGTV’s popular Fixer Upper, shared her pregnancy news with the world via a baby bump photo and an ultrasound, both posted to Instagram. The congratulations began pouring in from excited fans. But the conversation took a dark turn when a physician commented that the ultrasound appeared to ...

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study from the National Bureau of Economic Research reports on the results of a large randomized controlled trial of a large employer with over 12,000 employees. Program eligibility and financial incentives were randomized at the individual level. Over 56 percent of eligible treatment group employees participated. The study found that in the first year, the employees who signed up were healthier and had lower medical costs, but, and ...

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Doctors are intelligent people, but are we good thinkers? And how should we think? There are two basic kinds of thinking: analytic and intuitive. (And maybe good and bad, so that’s four.) Within medicine, analytic thinking can perhaps be best exemplified in the evidence-based movement, which began in the early 1990’s. It was a gilded age, full of promise, and bolstered by the reality that computers would give physicians instant access to the ...

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They came from all corners of the globe to bid him farewell. He looked cachetic, his frail form interrupted by swelling in his abdomen and legs, a result of end-stage pancreatic cancer. It was Dr. Yeat’s last week in the hospital before being transferred to a nearby hospice.  He was now on morphine, and despite severe fatigue and difficulty breathing, he always managed a smile. Some of his visitors were former ...

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I’ve been single for nearly a decade. A career-driven professional, juggling parenting, PTA, and post-graduate studies, my time is precious. But there’s something about this season -- the heart-shaped Valentines and assorted chocolates -- that has a way of evoking a longing for love. So this year, bowing to the goading of friends and against my better judgment, I decided to do something I never -- never -- thought I’d try. I ...

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We all know that life is unpredictable. In fact, the only thing that’s certain is that things will be uncertain. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, I think the majority of people are risk-averse. We’re concerned about future and its potential for unfortunate circumstances. If we weren’t, there would be no such thing as insurance–and there’s insurance for just about everything. While it’s important to think optimistically, knowing you have ...

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The way doctors and hospitals are paid is undergoing a quick and quiet revolution in an attempt to control costs and improve health outcomes. Federal payers are driving this change from fee-for-service payments to reimbursements based on quality outcomes and measurements of clinical processes. This focus on clinical outcomes does not account for the deep inequities that drive poor health outcomes in the United States. Without measuring and paying for ...

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I work as a pediatrician in a bustling metropolis, in an outpatient setting of a world-renowned academic center. One of those non-profit hospitals you see in television ads. For the last three years, our outpatient encounters have plummeted, and the mothership has put all efforts into recuperating financial losses. Meanwhile, our office phones are ringing off the hook, and we cannot seem to hire enough nursing staff to deal with ...

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As a physician, I am totally disgusted by what President Donald Trump eats -- and you should be too. His standing order on Trump Force One is reminiscent of a fast-food bacchanalia, comprised of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted” according to the recently released book by his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and top aide David Bossie. But it doesn’t stop there: ...

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The public’s apparently insatiable appetite for medical drama continues unabated as yet another prime-time TV show set in a hospital has hit our screens. FOX’s The Resident has generated discussion like no other. This may simply be due to the fact it’s the first major launch in the era of widespread social media, but it seems to have enraged a vast swathe of our ranks. Has The Resident crossed a ...

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2017 has been open season on the psyche of the 45th president of the United States. Psychiatrists and psychologists have gone public to express their concerns about his perceived state of mind despite the established Goldwater rule that it is unethical for them to diagnose mental illness in a living public figure they haven’t examined and whose consent they have not obtained. The consensus seems to be the Donald J. ...

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What happens when you place an entire nation’s health care in the hands of an overly-controlling, ineffective government bureaucracy and huge corporations whose mission it is to squeeze as much money from the system, no matter the cost, including people's lives? You get the carnage that is the American health care system. You get my week as a family doctor in the worst health care system in the world. This week a diabetic patient who ...

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The telephone rang. Why would he be calling? Must be a misdial, I figured. I  hadn’t worked with him in several years, and we were never known to make social calls back when we did work together. That call was no mistake. What he had to say made me simultaneously queasy, fearful, and angry. It felt like the first couple loops on a rollercoaster ride I didn’t sign up for. I ...

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My shift had finally ended.  As a second-year resident, I was driving home after 30 hours awake straight.  The busy call included delivering several babies, two Cesarean sections, circumcisions, rounding, triaging new patients, and teaching medical students.  Never during that 30 hours was a 5-minute nap possible; clinical load would not permit this. I couldn’t wait to get home at the end of the shift as I was completely exhausted.  So, ...

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It was Saturday. My first day off in the last 14, which included three 26-hour calls. My wife was left home alone for these stretches to care for our 2-week-old son. I’m sitting on the couch, reading a book to my little man, enjoying a much-needed breather, and making up for lost time in seeing him grow into a person. And the phone rings. Concurrent emergent cardiac surgeries: the only way that ...

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Patients and their family members are impressed when doctors show up for memorial services. They tell me about it. “The doctor liked my mother so much that he came to her wake,” a patient recently confided in me as I examined her. She had been a sole caregiver for her aging parents for years, and her mother had passed a few months earlier. The physician’s presence at her mother’s service ...

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We can control most of the variables that will affect our financial futures. We can control our income by choosing to work more hours or in a less desirable location. We can control our spending by buying a smaller house or a less nice car. However, one thing that we cannot fully control is our investment returns. And the problem is that our investment returns can ...

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In 2011, my first novel was published. It is a medical novel, and, unsurprisingly, since I practiced as a nephrologist for many years, it takes place in a dialysis unit. I learned a lot from writing this book, seeing it published and living with the consequences. Since its publication, many professionals have confided to me that they harbor a secret desire to write a book. I want to share my ...

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