"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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"Doctor, I can't wear a face mask, can you write me a medical excuse?" My first reaction was a resounding No. COVID-19 cases are surging in many parts of the country; we've only just emerged from our own deadly surge in Boston. It's essential that we employ every measure we can to prevent spreading this deadly virus—and that includes universal masking. But then this patient described how she had ...

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Working within the nation’s poorest large city, our pediatric emergency department (ED) serves as a safety net for the most vulnerable. We are witnesses to parents stretched beyond their limits - juggling raising a family amidst the stress of work, financial strain, community violence, social injustice, and the many other heavy weights they quietly bear when they bring their children to the hospital. These social needs powerfully influence ...

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One of the last things my dad said to me before he passed was, "remember to always look at the big picture." He said this many times throughout my childhood and teenage years, but it never quite resonated until I was thinking about it in retrospect. As I near the end of my intern year, my dad's words hold true. As an emergency medicine resident, I am often running on adrenaline. ...

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First and foremost, a mental health crisis is a medical emergency well within the sector of public health. Therefore, the question of who should respond to mental health emergencies is one in which physicians and all medical providers should have a say. Medical providers should not only be aware of the systems in place to respond to mental health crisis but must advocate for patient safety as a measurable outcome ...

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"I had been trained to be this way. No panic, just a calm journeyman’s approach to any affliction, like a mathematician working an equation. Years of preparation, acquiring a skill set, building up my vault, had readied me to stand in the lounge like a zebra. And so, I stared at my hands to see if I was actually here, to see ...

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This June has entered without the typical parades, rainbow flags, and jubilee. As the coronavirus lingers and the optimistic case for controlling the spread of COVID-19 casts a long, somber shadow over sections of the country, Pride seems like an afterthought. As a gay emergency physician, and someone who never found particular importance in the Pride events I’ve attended in the past, I wanted to share why Pride matters ...

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With COVID-19 continuing to spread, some might assume that the one place to avoid is a hospital emergency room. After all, the space is filled with health care providers who work in close contact with sick people. This assumption could be harmful to a person in need of emergent medical care, and now, thanks to a study we recently conducted, we also know it’s likely incorrect. Our study found that health care ...

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I am a pediatric trained emergency physician working in a level 1 trauma center.  Our region is not an epicenter for COVID-19.  Like many pediatric departments, our volumes are returning but were less than half of normal for months.  Social distancing has not only flattened the curve for COVID-19, but it has also made our usual summer viruses all but disappear.  Where are all the enteroviruses? In pre-COVID times, after a ...

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I work as a resident in Australia's busiest emergency department. Well, it was the busiest at a recent count anyway. The department is housed in the city of Gold Coast. The city sprawls across a beautiful stretch of beach. When I wake up, I turn my head to see the sun hanging out over the Pacific ocean. I can't think of a better way to start my days. Whether it's on ...

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It was a beautiful Spring day. My wife and I were returning from UNC-Chapel Hill after visiting our oldest son. Driving on Highway 54, I suddenly saw a young woman on the left side of the road frantically waving her arms and screaming. Behind her, a pickup truck had crashed into a tree. I immediately stopped the car. That's when I saw him. Lying, unmoving, on his back was a ...

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"Over a period of about two years, our city experienced a very large influx of seniors. One nearby town grew by over five thousand people. This, in turn, created a surge of patients coming to the hospital. As most were older, they often had multiple medical conditions. They would almost always require more complex care. The whole system became overloaded because, ...

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They are physicians, mentors, partners, mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues - but most evidently, at the moment, they are heroes. I (virtually) sat down with five women physicians, at all points in their medical careers, who are working in several of the largest emergency departments in Texas, to talk about their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the themes that I heard from each of these physicians was that the inevitable ...

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While recently on board an international flight, an in-flight medical emergency was called approximately one hour into a ten-hour journey. The overhead page most travelers may have heard while on a plane, “Is there a doctor onboard the aircraft?” The air hostess quickly led me to the front of the aircraft where an elderly passenger had vomited a substantial amount of blood in the bathroom and near her seat. I requested ...

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I wake to a WhatsApp call. It is my aunt, who lives in India. “We are all worried about you,” she says. “All of us here are praying for you. Make sure that you stay safe.” Coincidentally, she is a nun, so I’ll take her prayers whenever I can get them. I promise her that I will stay safe, and then I get ready to enter the ER. I don ...

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When I found out that health systems across the country contract with prisons for hospital laundry and other services, the same systems that train medical students like myself, someone dear to me was in prison. Each time I walk into a patient’s room and see fresh linens, when I wear fresh scrubs, I am still flooded with my friend’s calls and letters. Imagery of being surrounded by only concrete. Without ...

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On December 30, 2019, Li Wenliang sent a message to a group of fellow doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, where he worked. Meant to be a preemptive confidential message, he encouraged his colleagues to protect themselves against possible infection. When the local authorities became aware of his report, they summoned Dr. Li to ...

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It has been a week since terrorists broke into the maternity ward in Dashte Barchi, Afghanistan and killed 24, including women, newborns, and a midwife, and injured 16. One woman who had tried for seven years to get pregnant watched as her newborn was shot and killed.

The maternity ward is located in a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian medical non-profit known for ...

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June 2020 will mark 15 years of my departure from flying the friendly skies. I have had the privilege of working as a flight attendant for JetBlue Airways from 2001 to 2005. Today, I am proudly grounded as a physician specializing in pediatric emergency medicine. Gratitude is a positive mindset where you see your life and experiences as a gift. Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to reduce stress and build ...

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April 2020 was to be a month of personal milestones. I would be traveling to Mexico with sixty closest friends and family to marry the woman of my dreams. Twelve days later, I would celebrate my thirtieth birthday. Suffice it to say, I was looking forward to April with the excited anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve. But that was before COVID. Before all eyes were focused on the novel ...

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