How many times have you heard resident physicians say that they do not have time to exercise and get in shape? When looking at the numbers, it's hard to blame them. An 80-hour work week is enough to make anyone realize that time is a precious commodity. Take away six-to-eight hours for sleep each day, plus a couple of hours for eating, showering and studying, and you are left with approximately ...

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We all know what, in 1888, Rudyard Kipling pronounced to be the world’s oldest profession. But what’s the world’s second oldest? Hunter-gatherer? Nah, everybody did that. Primitive politician? That’s a tautology. Neolithic attorney? Nope. Too similar to the oldest. I strongly suspect that the second oldest profession was healer/magician. Fire up Mr. Peabody’s Wayback time machine, and you’d probably find that the first healers were regarded as magicians, and the first ...

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Rates of physician burnout are rising, and many physicians cite their electronic health record (EHR) as the primary culprit. That’s no surprise, since doctors spend twice as much time on electronic health record (EHR) systems and deskwork as they do directly interacting with patients. Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine if an airline pilot spent six hours documenting every detail of a ...

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Something very interesting happened to my patient visits when I changed my office attire. My clean long cotton lab coats, hanging on the back of my office door, suddenly all seemed dingy when I set out to change lab coat about a week ago. I decided to pretend it was Saturday. On Saturdays, I usually wear a pocketed button-down shirt instead of one of my usual Jermyn Street ones. I skip the ...

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According to Wikipedia, "Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production. A productivity measure is expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in a production process, i.e., output per unit of input. Productivity is a crucial factor in production performance of firms and nations." Please tell me how this relates to being a physician or a patient.  We do not produce anything.  Rather we work with individuals to ...

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The invitation was unexpected. Although I would attend the conference as a relatively new member of the community, I knew I was making inroads, so I accepted without hesitation. The prospect of meeting well-established players in the field at dinner with the planning committee was exciting. And, I was equally looking forward to spending more time with a fellow newbie who had already been tapped as a rising star the ...

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No one needs to know the value of multitasking more than a physician. At any point in time, we have to juggle a myriad of tasks and obligations. As a younger physician, I was able to recall multiple requests and obligations without writing them down. As I have grown older and the memory is starting to fade, I find it necessary to ...

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We humans can’t help but shove as much as possible into one minute, one hour, one day. We’re rewarded for doing it, too. Society says that the more you check off your list, the more productive you are. And by default, then, the more productive you are, the more successful you are. So, we rush. We search for ways to skip steps and still get the same result. We fill ...

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Most parents have been deeply distressed by the rising violence and streams of hate as a keynote in our national discourse. For a constructive response, I encourage parents to write to their school administrators and partner with the adults in their children’s community to stem the tide of vitriol that has engulfed our views on race, religion, and the study of history in our everyday lives. Here is an edited ...

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That first paycheck as a new attending means so much more than what is direct-deposited into the bank account. The emotions of finishing medical school and training to finally seeing the fruits of your labor positively affect the bank account is something to be proud of. As a medical student (like myself) and resident, it is the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why should ...

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