Time is our most valuable resource. It’s nonrenewable — once spent, you can’t get it back. We all understand this logically to varying degrees. But many of us feel the compulsion to manipulate time, to restructure it to fit our lifestyles. “Make the time,” is the common expression, as if we could create something out of nothing. You can’t. You can’t change the laws of nature and “make” time, no ...

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I came across a letter I wrote to a patient while rummaging through some old files on my computer. I flashbacked to what triggered this: a response to a letter she had sent me, one that was, shall we say, extremely unflattering and quite scathing in the way she described me and our last encounter. From the letter’s tone, I sensed she held back on using more profane language to ...

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“Put me out of my misery!” I’ve pleaded to anyone within earshot in the throes of a grueling day, a rant from one feeling burnt out. There are days I want to pull my hair out, even the ones that aren’t gray. One night I caught myself grunting, “I hate my life,” while heading out the door at 12 a.m., after an already exhausting day in the OR. No sane ...

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“Doctors are people too,” I once was told, by a patient no less. Sarcasm colored her choice of words, implying we doctors ought to descend from the heavens above and relate to patients like … well … people. Not a bad idea, one that humanizes the incomprehensible doctor-speak we unwittingly projectile-vomit onto our patients. Hmmm … talk to patients like one normal person to another? Easier said than done. A doctor’s ...

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Let me warn you — I own guns. I love to shoot. And I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. This may seem hypocritical coming from a doctor, but don’t shoot me figuratively speaking, of course — before I make my case. Any mass killing is a horrifying event. Any senseless death is riveting. Obviously, this goes without saying, but as a doctor whose purpose is to save lives, ...

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Editor's note: This story contains a racial slur crucial to the writer's story. Life has a funny tendency of unexpectedly throwing things your way. We, physicians, deal with this regularly. You never know what’s lurking about to put a huge dent in your day. Particularly vexing are ugly circumstances that rock your core. And few strike such a nerve as bigotry. When encountering a confrontational individual, our natural response — via human ...

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