"Children are being encouraged to take on the superhero persona and help protect others.  They do this in true average-person-as-the-superhero style by wearing a facemask alone, without any superhero powers or words.  Just as wearing a facemask in public has been the norm for years in many Asian countries, it may become the norm worldwide.  For this to happen, we need ...

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"We are health care workers. We are doctors, advanced care practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and so much more. We are on the frontlines. We are our parents’ children, and we are parents to our young children. For the first time, we are at an extremely high risk of being quarantined by the same beast we are trying to conquer. We ...

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"It’s maddening to see the differences in health outcomes between the rich and the poor. Even more unsettling is reflecting upon the psychological pain accumulated when living in a fad-obsessed materialistic comparison-creating society, the postponed dreams, and the day to day compromise that those with less have to endure – thoughts that may be far removed from the ruminations of the ...

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"Since the coronavirus outbreak, reports of anxiety have increased, especially among physicians. Physicians face numerous stressors, including fears of contracting the coronavirus, concerns about potentially infecting loved ones, PPE shortages, testing delays, and frequently making quick decisions with limited information. Common symptoms of anxiety are increased worrying about one’s self and/or loved ones, difficulty sleeping, difficulty eating, poor concentration, increased heart rate, ...

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"As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds day by day at an exponential rate, we as doctors have been called to duty in unprecedented ways. Speak with any physician in the last few weeks, and you will be hard-pressed to find one who didn’t feel an intrinsic obligation- indeed, wish- to rise to the occasion with an all-hands-on-deck attitude, despite the taxing and ...

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"Based on the evidence of the effects of trauma, we can predict that our health care teams, patients and families will exhibit signs of this assault through a variety of symptoms–sleeplessness, apathy, depression, and anxiety. The warning signs are already here. We read the desperate accounts and pleas of frontline workers describing the indescribable, holding the hands of patients dying alone, ...

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"Someday, I suspect I will recount this time of fear with mixed emotions.  Sadly, there are people who have died and more to come, and this time will also lead us to reassess our way of life and make changes for the better.  I work from home, juggling the management of patients by telemedicine with homeschooling my daughters, still working to ...

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"All of our patients, but especially our most vulnerable Spanish-speaking patients, need to hear concrete, meaningful, and practical instructions on how to care for each other when they live in large multi-generational families, and positive stories from people who have successfully managed infection with COVID-19. They need to hear that, as their physicians, we are here for them. I want them ...

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"Trainees like myself travel great distances from home in pursuit of higher edification. Yet the coronavirus makes us worry about the aged family we leave behind – parents and grandparents. A WhatsApp message ensuring they’ve stocked up on acetaminophen, toilet paper and canned soup (low sodium, of course) the only assuage to our anguish. The rigors of medicine often demand sacrifice, sometimes ...

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"We do not have to continue to blame external forces for the stresses upon us now. By organizing, mobilizing, and finding solutions to the problems facing us and our adopted community today, we can meet the current challenge to be of help, however we can. Perhaps, in this way, we can stop making pandemics a future generation’s problem to solve, and ...

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"It is OK to be scared, but it is not OK to let our own anxieties harm our patients. As we tackle the numerous crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s acknowledge our fear and draw on the logic and clinical reasoning that we have spent years cultivating. We can be scared and scientific, anxious, but courageous. Let’s not create two ...

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"Although I personally hope to continue to be at or near the frontlines, I understand those that are in a compromised position, and they shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting to protect themselves or their family. There is no portion of the Hippocratic Oath that implicitly or explicitly states that physicians have a duty to patients above their own safety. Even though ...

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"I typed up a brief response to the no show memo, hit reply, and then deleted the original message. It’s not that I am a fan of wasting time and resources, but for now, I have a general personal policy to never dismiss pregnant patients. I’d have to try to address her barriers to care.  Again.  Our clinic tended to be ...

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"It seems as though the looming reality for many of us is that we will have patients who need ventilators, and none will be available. It seems like we might benefit from remembering that we can still succeed in practicing medicine by being present with those suffering before us, even when we know we cannot cure them of disease. In a more ...

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"If you have an employment agreement with a provision on intellectual property, have it reviewed by an attorney before you begin applying for patents. A good attorney should be able to give you some clarity. Suppose, however, that your employment agreement has muddied the waters a bit. In that case, you have a few different options, and all of them will ...

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"I find that managing chronic pain can be a bit of a dance between myself and the patient. Sometimes a little bit of a compromise. I always tell my patients that pain is subjective but many things can contribute to pain — certainly stress, lack of sleep, any emotional issues can make pain worse. Your pain is different than my pain. ...

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"I struggle for words to describe life in the season of COVID-19. Depending on the day, I need at least a few adjectives: 'peculiar,' 'fine, all things considered,' 'terrifying.' 'Joyous' and 'anxious' certainly make odd bedfellows in my brain. As a mother and physician living this new reality, I’ve been extra thankful for Irene, who taught me the power of “and.” Irene ...

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"In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am both hopeful and inspired as well as disappointed. I see those angry that their ideas or opinions conflict with science. Instead of the steady path and hard work of building bridges, they create division. I see many capitalizing on fear and uncertainty, weaving a compelling story and drawing in the desperate ones ...

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"Billroth spent long hours dissecting cadavers and planning on surgical interventions. He was able to pioneer abdominal surgery with careful preparation and strict adherence to meticulous antiseptic technique. Animal experimentation and cadaveric-rehearsed surgery emboldened the Viennese professor; perhaps the abdomen could be entered. Nothing short of a 'godlike creative spirit,' as Mukherjee calls it, would suffice when it came to intestinal ...

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"As COVID-19 devastates America and the world, I hope that fundamental change to our health care system results from its horrific exposé. Without COVID-19, the pressures placed on physicians are already immense. In the age of COVID-19, these pressures are proving to be insurmountable. Being a physician is difficult, but it does not have to be deadly. Physicians deserve proper stigma- ...

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