"My own dream-induced pain started at the same time this child was mowed down. Then and there is when and where my faith in God died because God, the higher power, had allowed this unspeakable nightmare to happen. My hope for the future evaporated, all while helplessness chewed through my guts ...

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"The new American Medical Association policy recognizing racism as a public health threat and providing an anti-racist approach to equitable care will have no effectiveness unless health care organizations get their own houses in order and actively do anti-racism work in their own institutions. Although I’m not a health care provider, as a ...

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To get to my primary care clinic in Richmond, VA, my patients and I must walk past the Confederacy's White House. Our emergency room sits in its shadow. Each day, I walk past the three-story white building surrounded by my hospital on three sides. Renamed the American Civil War Museum, it is now repurposed to sterilize hospital staff masks. The faded letters of a long-removed sign on the front read ...

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The Wall Street Journal’s decision to publish an attack on Dr. Jill Biden’s right to be called “doctor” has appropriately unleashed a firestorm. According to Joseph Epstein, the editorial’s author, Biden should drop the title because she isn’t what people often think of when they hear the word “doctor,” namely a physician. For Epstein, ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to ...

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My first clinical rotation as a third-year medical student was in orthopedics. I remember the excitement of being scrubbed into the OR, with the gloried task of suctioning while the fellows did the real work. About 30 minutes into the surgery, when things were getting underway, a male physician scrubbed in and took the tool away from me — I grabbed it back, letting him know I had the ...

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This week at work, I had a patient in the hospital who had been through a pretty challenging illness, and he was going to have to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to rehab for a few weeks. Sadly, SNFs in my area do not currently allow any visitors due to the pandemic. The patient is very close to his daughter, who lives out of state, and she ...

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I am at a loss.  While trying to explain the events to my children since January 6, I feel profound sadness and fear.  Our country is built on freedom, yet the latest in a parade of crisis’ is being used by those in power to remove our freedoms at an alarming pace and divide our country further. Less than one percent of the people who went to Washington, DC for a ...

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Sometimes structural racism surfaces in a way that even those of us who would like to be “color-blind” cannot help but see. In the spring of 2020, the video-recorded death of George Floyd (who was Black) at the hands of a law enforcement officer (who was white) brought millions of witnesses to the kind of hostility that is all-too-familiar to individuals of color.  Individuals, many non-white, took to our nation’s capital ...

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"I plan to reach out to climate organizations and see what I can do to get involved. Whether that means writing more op-eds like this one or writing to legislators, I now recognize that as part of the medical field, especially in regard to mental health, I have a role to play. ...

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I am a Philadelphian. I was born in a hospital within a few blocks of Independence Hall, where the Constitution was written, and of Thomas Jefferson’s lodging, where the Declaration of Independence was drafted. Whether it was elementary school trips to Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin’s Printing House or, yes, to see the crack in the Liberty Bell, then housed in the Hall itself, the tenets of our country’s revolutionary ...

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Disparities in rural health care have been well established with respect to socioeconomic status, race, and geography. COVID-19 brought these disparities to the surface within most rural communities in the United States, highlighting the limited access to health care specialists and subspecialists.

As an otolaryngologist, I have had the privilege and unique opportunity of serving two different communities: Chicago’s city dwellers and ...

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That hospitals in South Carolina (SC) began COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-December of 2020 is a marvel of human ingenuity, resilience, and courage. Tragically, however, more than 5,000 confirmed South Carolinian lives have now been lost due to COVID-19. Although SC is above the national average for vaccination, many say the pace is too slow. ...

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In recent years, the divide between rural and urban areas of the United States has become more pronounced, with sharply divergent views on both social and economic policies. The results of this latest election show starkly that the divide persists, and indicate that the institutions that shape our nation are not successfully representing all portions of society. One of those institutions appears to be medicine. A sign of this is how the public ...

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"To care for dependents, the carer must be cared for, both for the sake of her charge and for her own sake. Without such basic infrastructure, we have anxiety, confusion, and chaos. Contagion knows no independent individuals.  Its boundaries are not the boundaries of our skin. It relies on the inevitable sociality of human ...

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As communities of color continue to be disproportionately decimated by COVID-19 and the brutal impact of racism and other longstanding systemic inequalities, academic medicine finds itself at a critical inflection point in defining its role in addressing social injustices not only for its patients but also for its academic workforce.  In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, many medical schools and teaching hospitals released statements condemning racial injustice and vowed ...

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The COVID-19 vaccine has failed. I don’t mean that the vaccine itself doesn’t work—far from it. I mean the ineffective way such an important lifesaving, pandemic-ending vaccine is being rolled out. The slovenly effort is putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk. At the vaccine’s current injection rates, or even if they got it to 1 million a day, it’ll still take a year before all Americans are fully ...

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"We have to start understanding these as the real costs of climate change. We are paying these costs now. In my state of Oregon, people are going to start getting sick and dying in the next few days of the wildfire smoke choking the air. When they show up to the hospital ...

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The new American Medical Association policy recognizing racism as a public health threat and providing an anti-racist approach to equitable care will have no effectiveness unless health care organizations get their own houses in order and actively do anti-racism work in their own institutions. Although I’m not a health care provider, as a health care communicator whose role is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, I sit in ...

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"The medical profession now understands that social determinants of health are probably the most important driver of a patient’s overall health, and these determinants are largely the result of political decisions. Clearly, we have a professional responsibility to teach our patients the science underlying their health issues. Don’t we also have a ...

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"Doctors help patients, and they love us for it. We fix bones, replace joints, cure killer infections, and control diabetes with insulin. We use painless scans for diagnosis. Liver, kidney, and heart transplants are now routine. Some patients get cured of lymphomas, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and testicular cancer. Lives are prolonged ...

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