Going outside in cold weather gives you a cold? Eating turkey makes you sleepy? Gum stays in your stomach for seven years? Separate these myths and more from truths. Jamie Katuna is a medical student.  She can be reached on Facebook.

Imagine training for ten years in an environment that is abusive, isolating, and stressful. Imagine going $250,000 into debt for that training. And imagine that at the end of all this, you have a 50 percent chance of being unsatisfied with your job. This is the path for physicians in this country. But why should it matter to everybody else? First, the short term: Quality of care will decrease. When the person in ...

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I will not argue that drugs are “bad” and holistic care is “good.” I have seen the way medications can transform a person’s life for the better, and I could never invalidate the experience of someone living with mental illness. But I will argue vehemently that holistic, preventive, and integrative health measures should come first, and medication should be used as a secondary option. The current structure of psychiatry -- ...

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If we, as a country, focused on and invested in prevention as the basis for health care, the system in the United States would be transformed. However, the physicians who provide primary care services tend to have the least status and are paid lower than other specialties. They are often mandated to do tasks and paperwork that are burdensome, time-consuming, and unrelated to their skills as a physician or their ...

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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released a proposal last month that will affect physicians in their first year of training after medical school. Currently, there are regulations to prevent these doctors from working more than 16 hours at a time. The new proposal wants to remove these limits, extending the maximum shift to 28 consecutive hours. There is an outpouring of public discourse on the issue with ...

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Guns and gun control are divisive topics. Talking about them often ends in frustration and both parties walk away feeling unheard. A not-so-debatable point, however, is that there are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. About 80,000 people are non-fatally injured. Gun violence in this country is a public health crisis. This public health issue is caught up in political fervor, often being controlled by politicians ...

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In general, I would predict that the audience reading this blog knows about medicine’s suicide epidemic: Roughly 400 physicians and 150 medical students kill themselves each year in the United States. This means that every year, about a million Americans lose their doctors to suicide. This crisis is a public health issue. The puzzling question is: Why isn’t it publicly known? If one million Americans were affected each year by ...

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Medical students are told two things: The first is that we are the future generation of health care. We are the ones who have the potential to make a difference, and we will lead the revolution. The second is that our current spot in the medical hierarchy is definitively at the bottom of the totem pole, where we are too powerless and inexperienced to have any tangible impact. How can both be ...

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The concept of burnout is malicious and dangerous. Terminology like that removes blame from enormous structures that systematically cause harm and put fault onto the victim. It says: "No, the health care system isn't inhumane, you just aren't strong enough to handle it." That word makes physicians doubt themselves and each other, hating themselves for not being "strong" or "tough" enough in a system meant to provide compassion and care. This ...

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Medical student Jamie Katuna brilliantly encapsulates the state of medicine via spoken word. Here's what she says: the state of medicine now does not appeal to me lousy crowded inhumane insane how we treat those in pain they're confused they feel abused used by a system they didn't choose coerced forced to be treated like another digit a statistic, a misfit, what is this? in our quest for efficiency doctors must work relentlessly endlessly till they are spent, and see no satisfaction no chance for compassionate action they can't thrive just ...

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