About a year ago, before the pandemic hit, I was at the local fitness center, having just completed a group exercise class, when my former residency program director entered the room. I hadn’t seen him in 20 years. He looked exactly the same, give or take a few grey hairs. We smiled and heartily greeted each other. We’d known each other since I was a medical student. When I did ...

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It’s a Friday in January 1997. Another two-week block of nights behind me, 75 hours a week with a weekend off in between. However, working 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. means waking at 4 p.m. to dress, grab 15 hours-worth of food, drive 20 minutes to the parking deck, and run 10 minutes to the reading room by 5 p.m. As a second-year resident, working alone covering all radiology services for ...

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Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, has recently been re-released with a new cover and subtitle: 10th Anniversary edition, Including New Tools to Make the Work Your Own.  I’ve had my original paperback copy for 8 years. It’s dog-eared, highlighted in three different colors, with lots of hot pink Post-It notes sticking out of all sides. Brené has published five other books, yet The Gifts of Imperfection continues to ...

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What are you doing to take care of your mental health on World Mental Health Day? Tell me, is something eluding you, sunshine? Today, I’m listening to Pink Floyd for 2 reasons: 1. This morning, I did a 10-minute yoga flow with Denis Morton, who played Pink Floyd’s Us & Them. It set my whole mood on this cool, rainy day, comforting me and making me feel ridiculously alive. 2. ...

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September, National Suicide Prevention Month, is coming to a close.  National Physician Suicide Awareness Day was September 17. What happens now that September's over? All month, I've wanted to write this post. I've been hesitant because I've been grieving the loss of a dear friend who took his own life on August 30. He wasn't even 50 years old. If you'd met him, you'd have never suspected in a billion years ...

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I know you don't know me, but I feel like I know you from your transparency and radical honesty in all of your public communications. I know that you speak truth to bullsh*t while remaining civil. I know that you are more than aware of the lack of adequate mental health services across the nation. I know you see the catastrophic toll medicine takes on the mental health needs of ...

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Many radiologists choose the specialty because they don’t like interacting with sick people. As a highly sensitive person, I went into radiology to distance myself from patient suffering, as a means of self-protection. Radiology has allowed me to compartmentalize, sort of. It allowed me to have three healthy babies: one in residency, one at the end of fellowship, and one two years into private practice. I went back to work after ...

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This concept comes up in Glennon Doyle’s new #1 best-selling book, Untamed. In this memoir, she looks at her unhappy marriage through the eyes of her daughter. She has been staying in the marriage for her children, believing that getting a divorce would be bad for her kids. As she is combing her daughter’s hair, she has an epiphany: I am staying in this marriage for my little girl. But ...

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As someone trained in Brené Brown's curriculum for helping professionals, vulnerability is my jam. As a physician? Not so much. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown already burned-out health care providers into the arena with more than just a shortage of equipment. We are now expected to risk our own lives caring for others, which was not part of the original job description. Medical providers are not Marines, nor do we work for ...

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