Physicians actually make good pilots. But, in 1966 they received a bad rap due to a report published by the FAA’s Chief of Aviation Medicine, Dr. Stanley Mohler. Mohler had a point. Physicians were crashing planes at a higher rate as opposed to the general aviation population. His report would be a cautionary tale for all of us. It would be three decades before we even began to understand why ...

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There are aspects of practicing medicine that will always be challenging and stressful, even in a perfect system. Avoiding dangerous drug-drug interactions. Keeping up with the overwhelming amount of new data on diagnostic and treatment modalities. Telling a patient that they are dying. The uncertainties of call night. In addition, medicine tends to attract some pretty type-A, intense, perfectionist people that are all-too-willing to sacrifice their personal needs for the needs ...

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Five days into my emergency medicine clerkship, I had experienced a lot of firsts: My first participation in a code, my first CPR compressions, and my first patient death. This was specifically a code blue for a patient with pulseless cardiac arrest. An elderly woman was brought in by her family after not feeling well for several days and quickly became unresponsive. As the room flooded with staff, my upper-level resident ...

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"Are you the doctor?" was the most frequently asked question I received from patients in my new practice. The second most common question was: "Are you old enough to be a doctor?" followed by the rather blunt question "How old are you?" I graduated from family practice (FP) residency in 2002 when I was 26-years-old — younger than most newly minted FP doctors. This warrants some explanation. I didn't skip several years ...

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I have been a medical doctor for 19 years, a pediatrician for 16 years and a mom for 11 years. Being a mom is — hands down — the hardest but also enhances my work as a physician (though I would not admit this before I had my own children). My work at work and my work at home intersect daily. Since I work in a hospital, I don’t field as ...

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When I was a kid, one of my favorite hobbies was adding to my rock collection. In the summer, I went on road trips with my family to explore the national parks, and at every gift shop, I always gravitated towards the bin of tumbled stones. To me, this was a treasure trove. I looked at all of the stones and was mesmerized by their vibrant colors — from emerald ...

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A wag once said: “There is no such thing as a healthy person, just one who has not had enough tests.” As we make every minor deviation from the average into a disease, that jest is becoming uncomfortably close to the way our current medical system behaves. Part of the problem is that many diseases represent an arbitrary cut-off of a number. Thus, hypertension is defined as a blood pressure above a ...

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I have to work tonight. It’s Saturday. And I don’t want to go in. It’s springtime, the skies are blue, birds chirping, and the flowers show off their magnificent colors. But it’s Saturday. And along comes being a nurse. We have mandatory weekends, mandatory holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and Independence Day and Memorial Day. Mandatory. And even on my day off when I get a real nights sleep, I think ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 28-year-old woman is evaluated for decreased exercise tolerance and ice cravings for the past several weeks. Medical history is notable for Crohn colitis diagnosed 6 years ago. Her symptoms flared 3 months ago with increased abdominal pain and diarrhea, and she began therapy with azathioprine and infliximab. Her ...

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I'm excited to introduce my Facebook group for physicians, Physician voice by KevinMD. I went into social media so our voices can be heard. During my 15-year (and counting!) journey, it's been so rewarding to see that our voices aren't just being heard. They're making a difference. Topics will include any issue that impacts physicians: practice management, social media ...

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The following is something I wrote for our annual memorial service for children who have died at our Children’s Hospital. But these same thoughts are with me every day. It’s an honor to be here with you to celebrate the lives of our patients. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your children’s lives with all of us. Speaking for the staff of the children’s hospital, thank you for ...

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1. I am not omnipotent.  As health care providers our ability to treat is sometimes affected by factors beyond our control--- limitations in technology, variations in our work environment, and human nature.  While we always commit to performing our very best, our best may vary from day to day; if my best is not the best for you, then I will offer you all possible alternatives.  Furthermore, not all disease can be cured, nor every malady ...

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As a graduating medical student with around $200,000 in student loans, I’m planning to enroll in Public Service Loan Forgiveness. When I shared this proclamation with my classmates they had mixed reactions and several questions. Just in case you’re wondering the same thing, I’ve answered them all below: 1. What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness? Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a government-sponsored student loan forgiveness program. If you work in public ...

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During a recent walk at Crystal Cove, a splendid California State Park with miles of pristine coastline, I encountered two young women sitting on a bench with a magnificent view of the ocean.  Yet their only view of interest was their cell phone screens.  One of them lifted her head long enough to say, “Your dog is cute,” then returned to the rapture of her device.  I thanked her and ...

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The creative platform Lyrical Mezzanine (@LyricalMezz) aims to nurture resilience or resiliency in clinicians, caregivers, patients, chaplains, family members, friends, scientists, teachers, and others — and to combat burnout simultaneously. I created the platform out of a need to profoundly process responses to experiences in medicine and science and to share the essence of those complex thought processes with others. A mezzanine is usually considered a ...

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How is it possible that endemic bullying persists in medicine despite myriad initiatives to improve awareness, mutual respect and medical culture? In some cases, we can blame health systems issues, such as medical workforce shortages, lack of funding and unsafe hours. But in other cases, we must take collective responsibility for failing to hold individual doctors to account for their damaging behaviors. Most doctors readily change after being counseled about poor social ...

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My experience trying to obtain the drug prescribed by my rheumatologist is a cautionary tale. This is not about whether the doctor ordered it, or how the specialty pharmacy (CVS) must wait for approval from the insurer before filling the prescription, but the fact the patient who resides and waits at the end of the line, me, is treated not as a person in need, but an expense. In my ...

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The April 18, 2019 CNN headline was a prime example of clickbait: "Feds charge doctors in 8 states in opioid bust, including ‘Rock Doc’ accused of trading pills for sex." The only problem with this headline? Of the 60 individuals charged, half were not physicians. More importantly, Jeffrey Young, the so-called “Rock Doc” who prescribed nearly 1.5 million pills of opioids and benzos often in exchange for ...

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The biggest change in medical practice that has occurred during my 25 years as a physician is the open acceptance of physician employment. Compared to this change, the ACA, EMRs, "Gorillacillins," and the latest sepsis protocol, combined, aren't even worth mentioning. Physician employment was, and is, obviously an intrinsically flawed structure that was considered absolutely unacceptable for obvious reasons for the entire history of medical practice! Now, suddenly physician employment is ...

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Pseudoscience hate groups of all kinds are targeting physicians who openly advocate for public health issues. This is a favorite intimidation tactic used by anti-vaccine activists: When pediatrician colleague Jen Trachtenberg posted a video for National Immunization Awareness Month 2018, she was blasted with thousands of horrible comments and fake online reviews. I wrote a blog post in her defense, and immediately, I was similarly ...

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