I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  Sorry to say, breast cancer touches everyone.  If there is no one that you love that hasn't been affected by breast cancer, just wait.  It's coming. I have had personal experience with friends and family with breast cancer.  There's Tina, who was my roommate in medical school.  There's my mother, now a survivor for 20+ years.  I have already flirted with abnormalities ...

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shutterstock_149069183 Recently I've been asked to write about rural surgery, what it's like, what's good about it.  Everything has its ups and downs. First of all let me say that whatever your job is, the money you get paid to do that job is for the crappy part, and every job has a crappy part.  The trick is to find a job that ...

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shutterstock_101193772 I have this life. It's not a cubicle life -- there's a lot of everything in it, and I never really know what the next hour will hold.  Whenever I talk to people about what I do, it's surprising to me that almost no one has any real clue what my life is really about. Here are the impressions that they tell ...

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shutterstock_239583778 There was once a woman whom I met for the first time when she came to the ER, on death's door, metaphorically. I told her and her family just how seriously ill she was, and how slim the chances of survival. We all agreed on that day to take a shot at it -- at survival, that is -- despite lousy ...

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shutterstock_260680658 I wasn't the first simple country surgeon, you know. When I was a resident, our training program broke us into two teams -- one that served general surgery, pediatric surgery, and trauma; the other, general surgery, transplant, and oncology.  Every day was an intricate dance to see all the patients (generally between 20 and 40) for the assigned team, operate all day, ...

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We spend a lot of time in medicine in education. Pursuing medicine as a career requires embracing learning for a lifetime, because there is always something new, always something different, new approaches, new medications, new discoveries -- we want what's best for our patients, and you can't deliver on that promise unless you know what's out there. As a consequence, we spend time trying to organize information, categorize it, study it, ...

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Bleeding is upsetting. At least, that's what I've been told. I mean, I have noticed that many people have visceral reactions to the sight of bleeding, or even just blood. People who pursue a career in surgery generally do not have this kind of reaction, and I find it interesting that it can distress some individuals while others are not at all bothered by it. This might lead you to assume ...

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shutterstock_3101394 Do you know the difference between a surgeon and God? God doesn't think he's a surgeon. Everyone who goes into the study of surgery has ideas about what they're going to be. I would imagine that each individual has different expectations of what the future holds, though few find their future at all resembles those expectations. I recall when I started my surgery ...

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I often get referrals from the town's free clinic.  As you would imagine, the patients often have a unique set of problems, coming as they do from the underserved segment of society. One such patient, Julia, was a fiftyish-year-old woman who had recently moved to town from California. She went to the free clinic (not really sure what the original complaint was) and ended up getting a physical exam that revealed ...

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