"I am a medical doctor—a hospitalist working in an environment with many talented professionals. We share our knowledge and our approach to medicine with one another in ways that profoundly affect our patients and other personnel in the hospital. At our best, we are a community whose foundation is a willingness and ...

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It seemed unthinkable, but I decided to think about it anyhow. Would it be possible to have a hospital birth without maternity coverage? I had time and I had options, so I decided to figure it out. I have to start by being transparent. As the title implies, I am a physician, specifically an OB/GYN. I know many people will think that affords me a significant advantage over the general ...

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2020 is the year that brought many of us to our knees. The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the entire world, leading to death, job loss, isolation, fear, and stress. Children were all of a sudden learning from home. Women were leaving the workplace. Stay at home orders were in place. Preventative health care was prevented. Everything shut down. Here I was a mother of three, a physician, a wife, and CEO of a 
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I had very difficult experiences breastfeeding both of my children.  I had constant pain, recurrent plugged ducts, and a lot of latch problems.  There were many times when I considered quitting, but I persevered because it meant a lot to me, and I would have felt like I was failing had I stopped.  Does this sound familiar? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  There has been a huge pushback ...

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“Wrong! The most important part of your job is to make money.” I will never forget those words from an attending in residency – though I did not know it at the time, it was a pivotal moment in my decision to pursue a nontraditional route in medicine. I loved my patients; I loved the critical thinking required for taking care of them, I loved the scientific knowledge underlying the ...

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An excerpt from Breaking the Silence: Why Opening Up About Your Sex Life Is the Best Medicine for Your Health, Relationships, and Overall Happiness. I have been practicing medicine for forty-five years, and it has become clear to me that many of the mental and physical problems ...

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Even during the pandemic, labor and delivery are the most frequent reasons for hospitalization in Canada, with over 350,000 births per year.  That’s happy news.  But of these births, nearly one third are by Caesarian section (C-sections).  That rate is far too high – and rising.

C-section is the surgical procedure to deliver a baby that involves an incision in the mother's ...

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In 2018, then-Senator Kamala Harris introduced the Maternal CARE (Care Access and Reducing Emergencies) Act and added the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020.  Collectively, both pieces of legislation would create a task force to study sobering disparities in medical care based on race, combat racial implicit biases in the medical field, and close gaps in access to quality medical care for pregnant African American mothers.  The impetus ...

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"I do want you all to know that shame is a very familiar brain track (like an 8-track tape, if you know what that is), but not one I am stuck in. The above experience of failing a class turned out to be amazing. I am now appreciative of how far I ...

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I was a fellow physician in neonatology, and my contract was recently not renewed for my three-year fellowship at the end of the first year. My experience highlights the examples that, at times, physicians are treated in a disposable manner. COVID-19 is certainly taking a toll on health care workers. So, too, are oppressive practices and unfair treatment of trainees. The reasons provided to me for why my contract was not ...

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I am a nurse who has worked at a rural hospital. My husband is a board-certified family medicine doctor. In the fall of 2020, I was raped by my massage therapist. I know that everyone has an opinion of what they would do in that situation, and I was probably one of those people. However, to my complete shock (quite literally), I didn't behave in any manner that ...

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"What has kept me comprised during this entire time has been the realization that this whole situation is not normal. It’s not normal for me; it’s not normal for millions of other people. This is not how pregnancy is supposed to go. This is a pandemic and an uncertain time for ...

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I am a medical doctor—a hospitalist working in an environment with many talented professionals.  We share our knowledge and our approach to medicine with one another in ways that profoundly affect our patients and other personnel in the hospital. At our best, we are a community whose foundation is a willingness and openness to discuss hard facts and make difficult decisions. So why is it that when I was first diagnosed with ...

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I smiled as I waddled to the recovery room for the sixth time that day.  Before maternity leave, my final case was completed; I left with my patients in trustworthy hands, and the loose ends tied up.  As I walked to my car, I never imagined the circumstances I would return to 12 weeks later and now six months ago. I have never subscribed to clichés, but as I sat in ...

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"While our bodies have been a bastion of the heart and soul of medicine, a group of our peers thought it was acceptable to diminish the capabilities of our bodies to pictures on social media. They thought our ability to be exceptional physicians was inversely proportional to the number of pictures that showed us holding a drink or wearing a bikini. Our ...

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I found out I was pregnant the night before a chemistry exam. I had taken a break from stoichiometry to take a very different kind of test, one I bought from the nearest Walmart to avoid any indiscretion on the family Amazon account. After the second pink line appeared, clear as day, I got up off the bathroom floor and joined a friend to finish the last of our review. ...

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In medicine, we define shared-decision making between the patient and physician as our gold standard ideal. Leveraging separate ideals is our standard of behavior. So what must it feel like to a patient of faith when his/her physician tells him/her "believe the science?" Scientific evidence and religious texts can both be manipulated to support a group's point of view. Based on their own agendas, groups have used science to argue ...

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"Setting: An impersonal, windowless conference room within a hospital Characters: A nurse in charge (NIC), a department chair (DC) and me (ME) NIC: Thank you for joining us to discuss the report you made of unprofessional behavior in the operating room. We’d like to start by letting you know that in this institution, we have a culture of informality. When I first got here, ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how vulnerable access to abortion care is in the U.S. health care system. Abortion is one of the most time-sensitive, potentially life-altering procedures an individual can undergo, however, lawmakers since March have explained it away as an elective and non-essential procedure. Bans and restrictions were instituted in 12 states in March and April, with most overturned thereafter or removed once elective procedures were allowed to ...

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On October 12th, 2020, I underwent a LEEP procedure to remove the distal portion of my cervix. In the wake of COVID-19, with PPE and willing staff in short supply to complete Pap smears in clinic, a colleague and I were trialing self-swab HPV testing - a technique pioneered in countries like Australia that is likely to become the eventual standard of care for cervical cancer screening. Since my last ...

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