Physician wellness and work-life balance are hot topics in today's medical arena. It is on the minds of medical students, residents, and physicians in practice. While the concepts and methods to achieve it are enticing, the question remains how does the individual physician achieve it. Some believe that system-wide changes in medicine will get doctors closer to these goals. Then there are the supporters of strategies that physicians can implement ...

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Over the past few summers, I’ve been noticing that when it came to swimming in the deep end of the pool, I was fearful. Gone was the fearlessness of my youth, when I’d venture out, take risks and somehow just know I’d make it back to the shallow end where I could firmly stand on a solid foundation. Somewhere along the way, I had replaced my fearlessness with what if’s. What if ...

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I meet doctors in different arenas.  I meet them in clinical settings, at conferences, and by referral. I am noticing a trend. We are keenly aware of what we do not want in medicine. We talk about physician burnout and the impact it has on doctors’ lives.  We know first hand the effect the EMR has on the doctor-patient relationship as doctors spend less and less time in direct patient ...

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We often associate our calling with our career.  That’s what I did from the very moment I made that decision to become a doctor.  That’s all I focused on.  I studied for it. I invested time and money into it. Like many doctors, my identity was intimately woven in what it means to be a doctor. It’s who I became to the exclusion of everything else. From the outside looking in, ...

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Hitting a roadblock in your life and career? Don’t get frustrated. Use the resources that are readily available to you. Not sure what they are? Think about it. You have had access to them all the time. The moment you decided to become a doctor, you became unstoppable.  You may have followed the traditional path and went from college into medical school and then residency.  Maybe your path took a few turns before medical ...

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This time of year I like to walk down memory lane.  I remember my first rotation in the neonatal ICU. I was up all night doing heel sticks on preterm neonates, only to have to repeat them when the results came back because the K's (potassium levels) were elevated from squeezing the heel.  The life of an intern and resident on a NICU rotation has changed since I trained.  We no longer ...

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After years of being busy taking care of critically ill and recovering neonates in the neonatal ICU, then coming home to take care of my children, I’m making new decisions. One of them is to learn how to relax and be still. It’s a new experience for me. It’s taken years and many shifts to get to this place. And it’s becoming a self-care practice that I really enjoy. For the ...

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As July draws near, it is moving day in medicine. For physicians, it signifies moving into the next level of professional growth. Let’s think about what moving entails.  When we move from one physical location to the next, like into a new apartment or from one city, state, or country to another one, there is the process of sorting through our belongings.  We make two lists: what stays and moves with ...

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Doctors are life long learners. The feedback to read more is often heard by medical students and residents in their quest to acquire the knowledge to understand health and disease processes and direct patient care. With so many demands on a resident and early career physician’s time, how do you make the most of the directive to read more? During residency training and throughout your medical career, the patient case mix ...

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A doctor’s life is a life of service to others. In today’s medical arena that service goes beyond patient care.  As early as residency training, doctors have to learn how to navigate their workflow and the energy of nurses and other team members involved in the delivery of patient care. Doctors assume administrative roles and have to effectively manage their time between meetings and patient care.  It’s easy to understand ...

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