Dear science, Today my sons, Oliver and Victor, are 15 years old. It is not a miracle; it is thanks to you. Unable to get pregnant I needed infertility therapy. If you had not isolated the hormones, developed tests, and then designed medications for ovarian stimulation and to trigger ovulation I would never have become pregnant. If ultrasound had not been developed I would not have known I was pregnant with triplets and then ...

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Fear can show up at inappropriate times uninvited and unexpected, like a knock on the door in the middle of the night. We have all felt it. Sometimes, it can stop us from an adventure or getting into trouble. Sometimes, it can prevent us from living up to our potential or considering a new path. Sometimes, it can stop us from taking care of our health. A few years ago, in ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman is evaluated for severe cramps associated with her menstrual periods. The cramps have worsened over the past year, and the discomfort is severe enough that she has periodically missed work. She reports no abnormal vaginal discharge. Menses are unchanged from her baseline pattern. She has tried ...

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A patient came to see me with lower abdominal pain.  Was she interested in my medical opinion?  Not really.  She was advised to see me by her gynecologist who had advised that the patient undergo a hysterectomy.  Was this physician seeking my medical advice?  Not really.   Was this patient coming to see me as her day was boring and she was bored and needed an activity?  Not really. After the ...

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Several years ago, a colleague of mine did a procedure on my daughter. What was supposed to be routine has become a nightmare for her.  When he saw her post-op, he told her she was fine.  Because of this obfuscation, years went by before she really understood how damaged she was. By then, the statute of limitations had lapsed and she had no recourse. Still seeking closure on this disaster, my daughter ...

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I was a second-year resident, doing a 24-hour shift on maternity care. I'd spent some arduous nights on call with my attending physician, Dr. Campbell. Now, we sat at the nursing station, joking about what this one might bring. "You must be a black cloud," she teased, accusing me of being one of those unfortunate residents who seem to attract medical emergencies. I laughingly protested, but in fact, these quiet nights ...

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“Sorry, I’m running late … sorry, to keep you waiting.” How many times a day do I say that? Sometimes it is every time I walk into a patient’s room as if it is a normal greeting. Sometimes patients respond with: “Oh, you aren’t late” or “I haven’t been waiting long.” I can be so obsessed with not being late that I don’t realize I’m actually running on time! But ...

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One of my colleagues sat on a wheeled clinic stool at the end of the examination table and told the patient, which was in this case an actor, “Everything looks great.” After, he swiveled around to face the instructor and the small group of onlooking medical students behind him. Our instructor also turned to us and said, “Very good job. But can anyone tell me what he did wrong?” He ...

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The vast majority of births and deliveries are joyful ones. Families celebrate the wonder of the new addition to their families, and clinicians go home at the end of the day with a sense of pride, deriving meaning from their professional lives. This is one of the reasons that many of us chose obstetrics in the first place. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. As an obstetrician, I know firsthand ...

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Seeing patients in my OB/GYN office this morning, I try to stave off the mild nervousness rumbling inside of me. My good friend Monica is having a C-section this afternoon, and I'm performing it. We met ten years ago when I walked my three-year-old daughter into Monica's preschool classroom for the first time. Monica sat on the floor, a child in her lap and others playing around her. Like them, I ...

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