Here it comes — another email about “physician wellness,” advertising mindfulness training, an ice cream social, or a volunteer day. As a psychiatrist, I can attest to the importance of tending to one’s own mental and physical health in order to strive for wellness. However, the trend of implementing physician wellness programs throughout the U.S. is nothing more than putting proverbial lipstick on a pig. Or, stated differently, this may ...

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Interview season is upon us, and with the excitement of those dings from ERAS comes twenty tons of added stresses. Being in the new age of lightning speed communication via phones, tablets, laptops, etc., we no longer have use for invitations via snail mail. For obvious reasons, this makes for a much more effective process. However, giving thousands of high-strung Type A applicants the ability to respond to an invite ...

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Robots read EKGs. Computers interpret chest X-rays. Algorithms decide which treatment a patient gets. I asked myself this question this morning, "What job can I do as a doctor that cannot be done by a computer or a robot?" And one of the first things I said to myself was, "Comfort a human." But I dwelt on this for a moment and found it’s not quite true. Because computers and robots can ...

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Let’s conduct an experiment. Ask a baby boomer, say someone over the age of 60, about the landing on the moon in 1969. You can count on an emphatic response with people recounting the memorable moment when the moment was televised. The reverence, admiration and utmost respect for the NASA’s scientists and astronauts is practically palpable. NASA, considered the pinnacle of scientific innovation at the time, practically glowed with a ...

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More than two years ago, I wrote about some of the obstacles -- as well as the opportunities -- that introverted medical students face during training. Now that I have many rotations under my belt, it’s time for an update about my experiences on rotations, along with some helpful advice to newcomers. The challenges First, the challenges: Medical school rotations are very fast-paced, and our team members (co-workers and superiors) ...

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As a male medical student, I have developed a growing interest in and enthusiasm for recent efforts to raise awareness about workforce gender disparities in medicine. Though women comprise over 45 percent of resident physicians and 50 percent of medical students in the United States, research reveals deficits in key surrogate measures of successful integration. There are pay and promotion gaps, and women are much ...

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Breathing is different when you know what your lungs look like.  I first realized this during a meditation session at Stanford’s Windhover building. The space -- a large, subdivided room -- is a self-described sanctuary in the heart of campus. The walls are mostly glass, broken up by long, clay-colored steel beams. Natural light, filtered through the surrounding trees, streams in to illuminate five larger-than-life paintings -- a series called “The ...

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"Please walk slowly," cautioned Sunita, my interpreter, as I crept down the stony switchback trail towards the rural Nepali village of Dhulikhel. Sunita, in her petite navy ballet flats, hopped down the rocks as easily as the speckled goats grazing nearby. Emboldened by her speed, I stepped along eagerly, only to catch my size-ten neon running sneaker on a root and splat face-first into the dust. Looking up, I saw four ...

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It is early on a Saturday morning when I walk out of the elevator of Doan Hall looking for a nursing desk to call the fourth-year anesthesiology resident I am supposed to be shadowing. Instead, I am met with a set of double doors and a staff-only sign. Before walking through the doors, I decided to read the placard placed on the wall next to them. As I begin to read, ...

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Brain-computer interface (BCI) has been a topic of interest for several decades, and many discoveries have been made. The role of BCI has been monumental and significantly impactful in the field of medicine. It has been gaining much progress in recent decades with inventions such as the encephalophone, in which a person can create music with their thoughts alone, or a patient can move a cursor icon on a monitor ...

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