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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