I often speak on stages at conferences. I am often the only woman and sit on what some have called “manels.” I love to teach large groups, and I enjoy medical and leadership conferences. I used to take pride being “the only woman” on stage. Not anymore. For years I would be on panels, and I would be the only woman. Many times I was given the “case presentation.” The more serious panel ...

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This month my institution lost a vibrant, talented member of our team to suicide. Most likely, if you are in health care, you probably are thinking of a coworker you know who also took his or her own life. Sadly, it is not uncommon. I can’t stop thinking of his wife. His parents. All of the patients who will miss his excellent care and expertise. Suicide is prevalent in health care workers, and physician ...

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Dear Boys, I am so blessed to be your mom. You each have amazing personalities, unique talents, and special characteristics. I know someday you will grow up and be strong men. Kind men. Respectful men. Successful men. Men like your grandfathers. Men like your father. Someday when you go out into the world, you will find yourself working with all different kinds of women. You will work for women, beside women, and ...

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Recently I had the privilege of an attending a leadership course at a very prestigious institution. I spent a week immersed in self-evaluation and heard great lectures on team building, leadership strategy, economics, conflict resolution, and communication. I met 60+ health care leaders from all over the world. It was a great week, and I came home inspired and full of ideas. The class was full of physicians, health care executives, ...

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When doing scientific research, we expect to fail. In fact, we write the likelihood of negative findings into our protocols and plans. We expect things to not always work as we think they might, and we accept that we may not prove what we set out to prove. In the scientific community, we depend on complete transparency when we fail. We depend on it to advance science, to help people, and ...

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Being 100 percent, authentically you is extremely freeing. It is awesome, brave, and takes courage and strength. It is also completely exhausting at times. Like, I-think-I-have-Influenza tired. The more I age, the more I advance. The more I advance, the more I realize how living my life in the constraints of other’s opinions or wants or desires for me is not an option. This leads me to be lonely at times, and on ...

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The practice of medicine is a lot like the practice of parenting. It is full of highs and lows, moments of pure joy and those of devastating heartache. When I talk to my friends who are parents, they agree with me. Some of the most difficult times as a parent is watching your kids fail. When your child is hurting, it hurts far worse than if you had experienced it first ...

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As a cardiac anesthesiologist, there are times I care for patients who are faced with a tough decision: to take their chance on a very high-risk surgery, or let nature take its course.  It is in these times I feel most humble and most human, as I may be the last one to hear the last words they speak. Recently I was at a social event and introducing myself to some ...

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I am going to discuss something that is really important for women. It’s going to get a lot of criticism, and it’s OK. I can take it. Your clothing. That’s right. I am here to tell you that what you wear, and how you dress, matters. Why? Because how you feel in your clothes affects the way you walk, talk, smile, interact, and well, lead. Don’t mistake what I am saying. I am not going ...

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One of the most important things my mother taught me was to choose my friends intelligently. From a very young age, I remember my mother quoting Proverbs to me and telling me this, “Choose your counsel wisely.” The older I get, the more I believe who I allow to influence me plays an enormous part in the place I find myself in today. Research has shown you become like the five ...

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