“Sorry, I’m running late … sorry, to keep you waiting.” How many times a day do I say that? Sometimes it is every time I walk into a patient’s room as if it is a normal greeting. Sometimes patients respond with: “Oh, you aren’t late” or “I haven’t been waiting long.” I can be so obsessed with not being late that I don’t realize I’m actually running on time! But ...

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Seeing patients in my OB/GYN office this morning, I try to stave off the mild nervousness rumbling inside of me. My good friend Monica is having a C-section this afternoon, and I'm performing it. We met ten years ago when I walked my three-year-old daughter into Monica's preschool classroom for the first time. Monica sat on the floor, a child in her lap and others playing around her. Like them, I ...

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The nurse grabs me. "You have to check my patient now! She is screaming and bearing down." Without letting go of my hand, she leads me into the labor room. I don’t even consider saying no, I know not to question this nurse. She has been a labor and delivery nurse nearly as long as I have been alive -- she knows much more than I about everything. The room is dark, but ...

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Sometimes it is a light breeze across my face, sometimes it is a flutter in my heart, sometimes it is a glimmer of a memory, and momentarily, you are with me dad. The sensation never lasts long, just a flash sometimes as I’m talking to a patient or writing notes in a chart, and as soon as I recognize it, you are ...

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Twenty-one years ago, I saved a life. Yes, I have helped many women over the years, perhaps changed their life in some way, but this one time … this one time, there is no doubt in my mind, I saved this baby’s life. Now, 21 years later, this “baby,” a junior in college interested in marketing sits before me on an exam table, asking me ordinary questions about her birth control ...

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She pushes her cleaning cart into the bright room. “Looks like the usual mess,” she mumbles to herself, pushing a loose piece of hair back into her blue cap. Methodically, she cleans the room beginning with the operating table, stripping off the bloody sheets. Then cleaning the floor of blood-stained shoe prints, amniotic fluid and bits of paper, needle caps and such, that managed to escape hands and land on ...

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Recently, I watched the movie Iron Jawed Angels with my daughter for her high school literature class. It retells the story of the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900s, highlighting what the suffragettes endured to fight for women’s right to vote. Many brave women were taunted and tortured, arrested while peacefully protesting and then brutally beaten in prison, and, for some, ostracized from their community, family, and friends. Incredibly, ...

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It had been a long gloomy Fall day. When I got home, all I wanted to do was climb into bed and sleep and sleep and sleep. Emotionally, I was spent after a long day at work. But my husband and I had planned to go to services at temple that night – there was a guest singer that comes once a year, and I love his music. So, with ...

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“Breathe in slowly, deeply, giving fresh energy to your body. Breathe out, releasing any tension from your day. In … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … Out … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …” I try to follow the yoga instructor, but in my post-call fog, I struggle to let go of the last 24 hours. We begin by sitting poses to stretch our necks. But my neck is so ...

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Giving birth and running a marathon. They are two seemingly different entities but have many similarities. The inevitable pain, the highs, the lows, the feeling that you may falter or can’t survive the pain and, in the midst of it all, that you will never do it again … but then you do. Marathons take months to train for by growing your strength and endurance as you increase your training miles. ...

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