Death. Mortality. End of Life. Something inevitable, yet rarely discussed and a source of intense discomfort for most. When mentioned, it is considered inauspicious and rude in many cultures. Death is an integral part of the workday for a critical care physician like me. But it was never a topic of discussion in medical school or training. Death is inevitably encountered by every physician at some point and by every human. ...

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Art is a way to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time. When troubled, we experience the monkey mind, thinking of worst outcomes, or replaying past events. A creative pursuit helps stall that process by helping us actively practice mindfulness. There is no wrong brush stroke in art; you simply incorporate that into the painting and create something beautiful out of it. A good philosophy for life too, ...

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In health care, we are hardwired to do all we can to minimize error and avoid failure. The journey of training and practicing medicine rests on the premise of perfection. And yet, perfectionism and shame are thought to be the two sides of the same coin. As clinicians, we have the privilege of interacting with people from all sections of society during the most vulnerable times of their lives. It ...

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As health care workers, we spend most days in hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and the like — places that are concrete containers for pain and human suffering. And we are bound to be affected by what we see, even if it isn't apparent. Most people do not witness acute and extreme suffering on a daily basis. Between a comfortable home, car, school, grocery store or office, there is little opportunity to ...

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I am a critical care physician and spend a good amount of time in the emergency room seeing consults. As an internal medicine resident, we were often in the ER, admitting new patients. In my three years of residency, we spent only two to four weeks working in the emergency room. It was the one time I had an insider’s view of life as an ER physician. And, man, was ...

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