Many years ago, on a busy day in my obstetrics and gynecology office, one of my partner's patients came in for "bleeding, early pregnancy." Since my partner wasn't in that day, I saw the woman, whose name was Sarah. After we'd talked a bit, I examined her and did an ultrasound. As I'd expected, she was having a miscarriage. Feeling sorry that Sarah had to hear it from me, rather ...

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The statistics are staggering. The high maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has been a matter of great interest and debate, spurring a reflective look into our health care system to determine why our country is on the wrong end of this statistic. The reasons and numbers vary across the country and notably in the state of Maryland, which has had a higher than average maternal mortality rate, the number of ...

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For days on end, she looked out of the bedroom window, rocking her baby back and forth on her glider. The maple tree waved at her daily as the breeze came through its branches. Gradually, the leaves made their annual change from green to red and orange and yellow. She watched as the leaves transformed, jealous of their seamless change as she struggled to make her own transition to motherhood. Eventually, ...

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Dear medical student, I’m sorry. You had just finished two years of didactic learning and couldn’t wait to feel like a “real” doctor. You finally were starting your clerkships, that is, ultimately working with patients and getting deep in the trenches. You were bright-eyed as you pulled on your pristine short white coat. You got to the hospital at 5:15 a.m., 15-minutes early for the first day of your very first third-year ...

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Hey ladies! And you gents too! Everyone is affected by breast cancer, either personally or by a family member or friend. Fortunately, we live in a time where breast cancer can be detected earlier and when detected, can be treated and cured. The key is early detection. There seems to be copious amount of information on the Internet: some good, some not so good. Let’s go through a few of these ...

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Recently, another research study (in the prestigious British Medical Journal) linked antidepressant use during pregnancy to an increased risk of psychiatric disorders in the exposed children. Much controversy surrounds this topic — and a great deal of misinformation. Two issues, in particular, seem to be “missed” in the public discourse. The first misconception is the notion that depression during pregnancy should not be treated because treatment may ...

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More than one million women experience pregnancy or infant loss every year in the U.S., yet many stay silent about their experiences. What if we were brave enough to break the silence? Empowered to declare, “My baby existed and mattered?” In 2011, I was a newly-minted pediatrician and finally living the life I dreamed of after so many years of hard work. My husband and I announced my ...

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With the attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it is a good time to educate our leaders on an opportunity to significantly reduce the incidence of the most expensive and common preventable, pre-existing condition: What your mother did or didn’t eat when she was pregnant with you. Yes, it is a pre-existing condition that determines how you die. Confused? Let me give you a little scientific context. Recently I was ...

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I love breast cancer awareness month. As a breast medical oncologist, it gives me an opportunity to spread the message of how important early detection is for improving the success of breast cancer treatment. I am surprised regularly at the number of women who either are not doing mammography at all or who do it every couple of years when they remember. We know that women who are participating in ...

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I have been working on this essay for some time now. It has been difficult for me to convey in words this complex issue of physician-patient relationships that, to me, is the crux of the art of medicine. The first time I met Rachel was when she showed up at my office with Mary, her closest friend for her first prenatal exam. When a year later, I walked into my office ...

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