An excerpt from 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians: Fulfilling, Meaningful, and Lucrative Alternatives to Direct Patient Care. Our profession, as physicians, is medicine. This holds true regardless of career path or job title. The knowledge earned through medical training is ours to keep. Barring ...

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This time of COVID-19 has brought us to a scenario of scale and scope that most had never planned for. Whether you are at a small practice or a large one, you are likely looking for ways to rapidly evolve your business and patient care processes to survive this global pandemic. Many physician practices are trying to do more with less in terms of how and where they are spending their ...

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The necessity of putting on our own oxygen mask first has never been more clear. Bringing wellness into the mainstream culture of medicine and empowering and healing the healers so they can heal others has been the focus of my leadership work my entire career in medicine. It took a pandemic to bring widespread national focus to this issue.  The cultural shift is finally beginning.  For the sustainability of the practice of ...

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The current economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has led the nation’s unemployment rate to rise to 14.7%, a figure that likely understates the damage. Even more troubling are the unemployment numbers for women and minorities: 16.2% for the former, 16.7% for blacks, and 18.9% for Latinx (compared to 14.2% for white workers). There are plenty of reasons to pursue the goals of diversity and inclusion in hospitals and health systems. But ...

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This concept comes up in Glennon Doyle’s new #1 best-selling book, Untamed. In this memoir, she looks at her unhappy marriage through the eyes of her daughter. She has been staying in the marriage for her children, believing that getting a divorce would be bad for her kids. As she is combing her daughter’s hair, she has an epiphany: I am staying in this marriage for my little girl. But ...

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An excerpt from A Leader's Guide to Giving a Memorable Speech: How to Deliver a Message and Captivate an Audience. "The most powerful words in English are 'tell me a story.'" —Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini "Over the years I have become convinced that we ...

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Imagine you went to a heavy metal concert with me, and whenever we met someone new, I introduced myself in this way: “Hi, my name is Dr. Yoo.” Your immediate reaction would probably be, “That was irrelevant! (or strange, or funny).” And you’d be right. People frequently adopt different personas, images, or versions of themselves to fit a given situation. They may do this by making dramatic changes in their posture, ...

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Modern medical practices are assisted by advances in technology but remain challenged by the costs of doing business.  Physicians and surgeons are meeting the need to deliver care to large caseloads by employing nurse practitioners and physician assistants and using patient portals to report test results, answer questions, and arrange appointments, including telemedicine consultations.  These systems are designed for efficient care-giving that enables the physician to personally address only the ...

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There are those moments of clarity that come from tempestuous thoughts: a eureka moment indifferent to time or space. Thoughts like the zephyr that fill the sails of a sloop on a once quiet lake. Judgment interrogates our experience and knowledge in the same breath. What use is the theory of movements or ordained trajectories in flight with indifference to wind or a gathering storm? Judgment requires a spate of intuition ...

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Prior to 2000, a practicing physician was almost guaranteed a prosperous economic livelihood. The guaranteed future meant that a physician could take on financial risks such as using student loans to finance their education, purchase a house during residency, and start building a family. After becoming an attending, affording the million-dollar house, saving for retirement, financing their kids’ education, a physician could then use the remainder to afford the luxuries of life. ...

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As someone trained in Brené Brown's curriculum for helping professionals, vulnerability is my jam. As a physician? Not so much. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown already burned-out healthcare providers into the arena with more than just a shortage of equipment. We are now expected to risk our own lives caring for others, which was not part of the original job description. Medical providers are not Marines, nor do we work for the ...

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Radical statement. I know it may sound crazy. We’ve been at the COVID-19 battle for what seems like forever. The fight is not going away for a long time; it’s going to morph into keeping the virus contained while we get the economy back in full gear. Get people back to work and play, kids back to school and reconnect with our family and friends. So, for many, this becomes yet another ...

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In a previous article, I have described the physician burnout epidemic as a raging river whose features included safety nets designed to catch people before “going over the falls,” the need to teach individual survival skills (e.g., resilience), evaluating your raft and river guide for safety (employers and their leadership), and so on:

The "rapid" pace of change in the health care industry is so volatile, so ...

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We are living in unprecedented times that will be pivotal for our beloved profession.  In the Dickens novel,  A Tale of Two Cities, the period of time in which the story was set was pivotal in the evolution of society and politics. Our current times may provide the setting that allows physicians to regain independence from the medical-industrial complex that is the current state of the delivery of health care ...

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It was only day one, and I was covered in blood halfway to my elbows from doing chest compressions in the operating room. The room was filled with doctors, nurses, and other OR staff. Empty bags that once contained life-saving blood, plasma, and platelets lay scattered across the floor. She was young, not the kind of patient you would ever suspect you'd be sweating over as you frantically recall what ...

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We are living in unprecedented times. Times filled with emotion and very little hard science. We are faced with the rapid spread of a new disease that has devastating consequences. The rapid spread is overwhelming our system that is designed for a steady state. Periodically, we are faced with events that overwhelm our system; mass shootings are a prime example. The duration of those events is measured in hours. We ...

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We write personal statements when we apply to medical school and residency. They serve as a sort of window to our soul, our reflections and aspirations, our physician vision and mission. I was doing some soul-searching, and I found my medical school personal statement. The following is a snippet from it:

I believe that the purpose of medicine, of the restoration of health, is to remind people of their own mortality ...

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At a time when health care professionals across the globe are working around the clock against COVID-19, it may seem tone-deaf at best to think about joy in work. We all agree that the top priority for health care leaders now is to focus on expanding testing and ensuring enough proper equipment and other resources for staff. In the health care world's current hierarchy of needs, these are undoubtedly at the ...

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New York University residents are seeking compensation for the increased risk they face as they are called to the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but leadership has declined their request for hazard pay and now stands accused on social media of gaslighting residents. Residents created a petition, addressed to NYU Langone Medical Center leadership, outlining the increased risk they face as the demand placed on the hospital system ...

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The pandemic has revised the triple aim framework of health care. The simultaneous triple pursuit of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care is currently not possible. With widespread forced lockdowns, we are unable to provide the optimal patient care experience, the health of the population is declining (limited access, postponed procedures, delayed vaccinations, etc.). And while ...

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