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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While infertility may be a problem affecting nearly 7.3 million women in the United States between the ages of 15-44, it is a topic that women often don’t discuss. Rather, they suffer from the emotional pain that accompanies hormone injections, multiple procedures, and sometimes miscarriage. How is it best to treat this vulnerable population that rarely gets the attention it deserves? The answer lies in a team approach to medicine. According ...

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Having worked at both community hospitals and major medical centers, the issue of ultrasound in pregnancy has revealed itself to be more complex over the years. As a resident, I worked with an obstetrics office that only scanned their own patients who had private insurance and would send uninsured or Medicaid patients (often with a high risk of inadequate prenatal care) to the hospital late in the day to be ...

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We hear all the time that maternity leave in the U.S. is in shambles. Let’s clarify: There’s no such thing as guaranteed maternity leave. Some companies are obligated to give some leave to some employees — that’s as good as it gets. No companies are obligated to give paid leave. Medical training adds complexity to parental leave. Residents and fellows are expected to be deferential, the lowest on the totem pole ...

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