The other day while having my lunch in the doctor's lounge, I ran into one of the older physicians who works at the hospital. He had a weary look on his face, and so I inquired if he had a tough call night. “Actually, I haven't slept well in a few months,” he quietly responded. It turns out he was being sued by a family who had only seen him once ...

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A few months ago I went to visit my brother in San Francisco. My sister-in-law picked me up from the airport with my four-year-old nephew in the backseat. Shortly into our car ride from the airport, my nephew says out loud, "My leg hurts.” I replied, “I'll check it when I get home.” To which he retorted, “No, I want a doctor to check it.” “I am a doctor,” I shouted out. He ...

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Every weekday during lunch time, I scurry out of my clinic and head towards the doctor’s lounge because the food is free. (Even though most of the time I am not sure what it is!) But more appealing than the costless lunch are the conversations that I have in that lounge with other physicians from the hospital. Being a pediatrician, I am more inclined to pay closer attention to stories ...

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A while ago, I asked an 8-year-old patient of mine what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied, “I’m not sure because right now I want to be a doctor, a firefighter, and a teacher … so maybe I’ll do all three … I’m not quite sure.” Uncertain about how to respond, I mumbled something like, “I don’t think you’ll have much free time.” Adulthood tends to make ...

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I have a confession to make: I sometimes look forward to my trips to the bathroom at work. Being a busy pediatrician, it can be the only alone time I get to myself; and on occasion you just need a quiet place where babies aren’t crying, and phones aren’t ringing. The other day as I was leaving the bathroom and returning to the bustling clinic, I did something strange. I ...

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shutterstock_239583778 A few months ago, the father of one of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer. He had to have surgery to remove the tumor. His father, being someone I’d known since childhood was like an uncle to me. After the surgery, I sat across from him in an otherwise empty hospital room on a sunny day in beautiful San Diego. It ...

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shutterstock_120079906 While examining a newborn baby for the first time, a mother happened to ask me, “Doc, what was your name?” “Dr. Bailony,” I replied. “Wow, that was the name of my pediatrician as a kid,” she said with a surprised tone in her voice. It turned out that her pediatrician as a young girl was my father, and by random chance ...

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One night while on call, I was sitting in a loud downtown restaurant when I received a phone call from the hospital. I didn’t think I would be able to hear the call, and so I scurried around to find a place to speak. The bathroom appeared straight ahead, so I rushed into the first empty stall, locked the door and took the phone call. After wrapping up with the ...

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“I want to hurt myself.”

That was the only thing written on an otherwise blank page. The other day, the mother of a bright second grader, showed me that alarming note.  Apparently the boy wrote it at his school. She went on to tearfully explain that her child has constantly been bullied ever since joining the institution. Sadly, it is not uncommon to encounter such stories when your profession is ...

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One of the cornerstones of the practice of medicine is finding imperfection in things. When the doctor encounters the patient, the latter expects the former to find out what is “wrong.” In fact, I often see a patient and find nothing wrong, and when I voice this out loud the parents often ask, “Are you sure?” I completed medical school over 7 and a half years ago. During that time I’ve ...

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