Practicing the art of medicine is my passion.  Whether I am translating poignant patient cases into prose for public education, providing informative commentary on current mental health news to the media, or speaking to students in a lecture hall, the art of medicine takes many forms. Recently, I was invited to present a TEDx Talk.  TEDx is an independently run event celebrating Technology, Entertainment and Design.  I chose to use ...

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Today, I celebrated mental health care.  And this was after a morning of battling with insurance companies, patching together community care plans, trying to create an inpatient bed for a suicidal patient where none exist, and arguing with agencies for better patient support. I work on a busy inpatient psychiatric unit that provides a daily reminder of the beauty, heartache, and pain that define living with mental illness.  The diverse stories of ...

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Giving and receiving feedback is really hard.  When I left training and joined the faculty at a major medical school last year I found many things about my new position daunting.  Fitting into a well established practice; learning a new system; being a teacher; juggling different services and roles; billing appropriately; and last but not least, giving feedback. Psychological and logistical hurdles make it challenging to deliver feedback.  Constructively criticizing the ...

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It’s that time of year when third year medical students are grappling with anxiety as they prepare their residency applications.  Those uncertain feelings of ambivalence can only be assuaged by a successful “match.”  Critical to recruitment committees, but often overlooked by students, are the influential personal statements. Everybody coming out of medical school has a long list of accomplishments and abilities.  The competition is steep.  A powerful narrative has the potential to ...

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