Consents have become a prominent part of health care. We sign consents for visits, procedures, medication, privacy, release of information, care of minors … the list goes on and on. We must acknowledge and respect the patient’s autonomy in their care. This is never more apparent or more important than in end of life care. Physicians encourage everyone to have an end of life plan, a living will. It is ...

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I am a geriatric psychiatrist and am an osteopathic physician. The art of touch is a major part of my practice. I am the medical director of an inpatient geriatric facility. The patients that I see on the unit are typically suffering from dementia with behavioral disturbance. They are often agitated and anxious. For me, touch is an integral part of their care and healing. I find that when interviewing these ...

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Every Saturday is my “self-care Saturday.” As a psychiatrist, I believe that self-care is critical to good mental health. However, as I started my long run on an empty University trail where college students typically abound, my motivation for running lessened. I did not feel like I had the energy for a run. It was at that moment that I realized that the coronavirus, while not affecting me physically, was, ...

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Physician burnout is a hot topic right now. Some don't agree with the term and choose to use "moral injury." Regardless of the term you want to use, the problem is real. Christina Maslach describes burnout as "an erosion of the soul caused by a deterioration of one's values, dignity, spirit, and will." I think that sums it up nicely. And while we've identified this as a major issue amongst ...

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With the recent 10-year anniversary of the Mental Health Parity Act being signed into law, comes the reminder that we still have so much work to be done. Unfortunately, blatant discrimination in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance abuse has continued despite this legislation. The Parity Act required that dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than the dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered ...

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Martha (not her real name) was not an overly complex case in my field of geriatric psychology. But the case was complex enough to require multiple approaches and reliable follow up. And in rural Mississippi, follow up can be elusive. Soon it occurred to me that Martha’s case is emblematic of how caring for this vulnerable population often runs up against a huge problem -- the Medicare merry-go-round. A 78-eight-year-old with ...

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