My identity crisis attempted its first appearance five years ago. I had decided to leave my job as a psychiatrist in an outpatient, community-based practice. My professional role had become incongruent with the doctor I had envisioned becoming. In my misalignment, I had lost clarity in my identity as a physician. I was frustrated and felt ineffective and disconnected from my work. I suspected that some of my colleagues were struggling ...

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I am a child psychiatrist who is also a patient, a mother of patients and the wife of a patient. I have lived all sides of health care and appreciate the complexity that is our American health care system. After a recent move to a different part of town, we decided to find a new pediatrician for our daughters. I knew that we had several good options near our home. When ...

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I am not an employee. Maybe I should have said this four years ago when I was an employee. When I opened my private practice in 2014, I was running away from something as much as I was running to something new. I’ve been out of training for over a decade. Early in my career, I envisioned myself as an employee of either a non-profit organization working with underserved communities ...

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Over the past couple of months, I have had the privilege of meeting with several colleagues in my community. When I contacted them, I offered to bring them lunch if they would give me a few minutes to share an idea about a project that I am really excited about. However, what I really wanted was a chance to engage with physicians who I knew little more than their name ...

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Early in my career, I learned that keeping my focus on patients would help me define the physician I wanted to be. One of my first offices was in a cell of a repurposed juvenile detention unit with cinder block walls painted pasty white. Occasionally, I had to apologize to my patients as I explained that the smell was sewage from the toilets backing up. In that cold, harsh room, ...

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I answer every phone call from every patient myself. I have no staff to respond to issues that come up during the day. There are no colleagues that take my calls after hours. This was my choice in response to what everyone knows: Health care is broken.  I needed a radical change from the bureaucratic system that I experienced daily as a physician however I had no idea how to ...

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