Earlier this year, I asked a group of nurses what gifts doctors could give that would help them know they are appreciated. There were hundreds of comments that included many I expected: Food (pizza, chocolate, cake, tacos, bourbon, Starbucks, healthy snacks), pens, cash, and/or gift cards for all shifts. There were some interesting “high end” ideas: Massages or a massage chair. Trips. Cars. Stethoscopes. Some still make me shake my head and ...

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Thirty-six years ago, I arrived an hour early for my first medical school patient care rotation at the East Orange, NJ, VA hospital. Over the years, 'I've seen and learned (and unfortunately also forgotten) a lot about medicine and life. I have been writing down wise nuggets since that first year and keep reviewing and adding at times. Here are 36 random reflections in honor of these 36 years that I ...

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Though many are not thrilled about the April 15th deadline, death is an even more inevitable part of life than taxes. Sometimes we try to lessen the impact of death through our words:  bit the dust, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, flat-lined, passed on, checked out, gave up the ghost, met his maker, paid the piper, put out of his misery, laid to rest, six feet under, pushing up daisies, ...

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Doctor: (from Latin docere “teach” Greek phusikḗ epistḗmē “knowledge of nature”) a specially trained and skilled person who holds an advanced medical degree and is licensed to practice the healing arts. My definition of doctor keeps evolving. As a child, I was cared for by FPs who helped set bones, suture skin and fight infections like measles, chicken pox, and strep. Though I didn’t like going, I usually experienced healing on ...

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