She could have been my charming tiny kindergarten teacher, sitting there nonchalantly in her wheelchair with neatly folded arms in her lap. The delicate, airy cloud of silvery blonde hair on her head resembled Queen Elizabeth’s style. I named her Ms. Elizabeth. A few moments ago, though, she looked like a young child who could not comprehend the meaning of her condition. Whenever she was spoken to, her mind seemed ...

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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 private practice specialist in an affluent metropolitan area, I am often inundated with requests for consultation by local residents and primary physicians. That’s fine — it’s what I do, and it’s what I enjoy doing. Hey, it pays the bills, and I won’t complain about that. Concierge medicine has taken a foothold locally, and this means more referrals directly from doctors who insist we take care of their patients ...

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It is December 2017. I have been on the road for the last five months, completing my five months of elective rotations. I am a fourth-year medical student aspiring to specialize in family medicine. I also want to learn procedures, so I did two months of surgery, three months of family practice electives. At the beginning of this process, I had wanted to be a general surgeon, but I ended ...

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Even though we have probably 20 years of work remaining as physicians, like a lot of you, I like to think about how we will spend our retirement years. After all, in twenty years we will still only be in our early fifties, hopefully with no dependents and a lot of financial security. Of course, my wife and I are interested in traveling, spending time ...

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Let’s talk about the cycle of abuse. No, I am not referring to the very serious issue of domestic violence. Instead, I am talking about the graduate medical education system. No one is a resident forever: the duration of each residency is predetermined with a wide range of three to nine years. The self-limited nature of this experience decreases the incentive for participants to advocate for changes. And the attitude ...

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I am an Olympian. I am a retired All-American student-athlete.  I am a resident.  I am burned out. Let me be clear: I love medicine and the opportunity to have privileged relationships with patients and their families.  I thrive on the fast-paced environment, growing to-do lists, and the chance to work in a field with endless learning.  I love working in team environments to provide optimal care for patients and their ...

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This year has brought about change — the theme of 2017. As it comes to a close and I reflect back, it is so hard to believe what is going on in the world today, let alone just the United States. In 2017, I graduated from my internal medicine residency training program, passed my board exam and celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary. I helped my family cope with my grandmother’s progressive ...

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In an article published by the Atlantic earlier this year, Ryan Park writes that neither truck drivers nor bankers work the kind of gruelingly long hours that doctors -- particularly young doctors in their residency programs -- do. It is no secret that residency life is demanding and exhausting. Over the last decade, it has also become controversial. Almost a test in itself, as if gauging doctors’ ...

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I’m passionate about patient safety. In no small part because I was raised to be. My mom has a lot of letters behind her name (RN, BSN, MSN), and she’s dedicated her career to the field. Before I was accepted into medical school, I knew about "six sigma," the "Swiss cheese model" and root-cause analysis. I’d been taught about creating a culture of safety and the example of the airline industry. ...

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