When we hear or chant, "Black Lives Matter," what all does this refer to? Is it the gruesome police brutality in the death of George Floyd? Or the murder of Ahmaud Arbery? Absolutely. But what else should it refer to? We know that black lives aren't equal in the face of COVID-19. As physicians, have we considered all the ways that black lives may matter less in health care despite ...

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Let me start by saying that I am a diplomate (i.e., "board-certified") by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. I was completely in agreement that to display competence in my specialty after four years of residency, I should pass the oral and written exams required by the ABPN, further to prove I have maintained my skills, I have always found it ...

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The other night, while I was getting out of my car, my oldest son, standing on the porch, excitedly yelled out, "Mom, look at this lego structure I made!" I couldn't see it, but I could tell how happy he was to show it to me. "It looks neat from here. Let me get closer." My husband appeared, knowing how tired I was, "Mom worked a long day. Why don't you let ...

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Today was like no other day. It was our first day together. Me and my "virtual" scribe — an actual person who seems to "virtually" to exist inside of a Jabra speaker on my desk and so subtlety that I forgot to mute a few times when not seeing patients. The "man" in the Jabra speaker now knows just how long of an appointment I need for my hair, and that ...

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Our profession is in crisis, but "human rights violations" and "moral injury" are inaccurate terms to use. It may be surprising to some that I am writing this piece as I am viewed as a staunch physician advocate. In 2017, I was stunned after a beloved classmate from medical school took his life. I felt I had let him down by missing signs of distress — dismissing them because he was ...

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Language matters. The use of the word "provider" may seem innocuous, but it is significant both for patients and physicians. For patients, it has been perhaps the most pronounced step — if not leap — away from transparency. (Who is who? Nurse, doctor, chiropractor, podiatrist, psychologist? Doesn't matter — everyone is a "provider.") For physicians, the ramifications have been two-fold. One on hand, the use of the word is a demotion by ...

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A swimming pool. Most of a Tesla. Not nearly enough to have your kid swapped out during their sham SAT test. Nor would an ICU bill for a stay that resulted in survival — $48,744 is the cost of that. What costs an alarming amount more is the bill the US Government pays annually on erectile dysfunction medications for servicemen — a whopping $8.7 million according to a 2016 Rand ...

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A male physician -- one who sits on multiple committees at a large hospital in Dallas -- was recently quoted in the Dallas Medical Journal, that female physicians earn less, and they “choose to or they simply don’t want to be rushed.” Adding, “most of the time, their priority is something else … family, social, whatever.” I should be astounded that a colleague, in 2018, who appears to be about my ...

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I've thought a great deal about what to say, if anything, about the two suicides recently of two people who were not merely celebrities in the TMZ sense, but people who represented creativity -- perhaps in a way that seemed tangible to the rest of us -- and seem to have become celebrities almost by happenstance. Suicide is not an unfamiliar or difficult topic for me. After all, I am someone ...

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Recently, a form showed up on my desk to sign, approval for something or other. Not uncommon, given my role at the time as a chief psychiatrist, I signed dozens of such letters, memos, or forms, drafted by an administrative assistant.  I signed so many; I never looked at the last line -- at how my name had been typed out.  Just once my eyes wandered to the end and ...

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I hear many comments and genuine inquiries about being a physician in a prison.  They're all well-meaning yet hint at how little is known about this world on the "inside" and those who inhabit it. I take my time answering questions about the complexities of practicing behind bars, yet also highlight that despite the challenges, it's difficult to see myself working anywhere else. The "why" is tough to answer. I'm not a ...

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