I recently needed to transfer my patient to a larger medical center for some urgent care. As I sat there in my relatively small hospital working out where they would be best served, a famous academic medical center that was not too far away, came to mind. I placed a call to the facility’s bed facilitator, who took the patient’s details from me, and was told to await a callback ...

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The most common response when I introduce myself as a preventive medicine resident is an interjection, “You mean family medicine?” I have come to realize that the majority of the healthcare field has never heard of preventive medicine as a unique medical specialty. It’s a shame, because preventive medicine is truly the best medical specialty you’ve never heard of. Preventive medicine practices at the intersection of public health and clinical medicine ...

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Modern technology needs to do better. This is the message delivered by every CEO after every Silicon Valley scandal in recent memory. This time, they should really do it. Medicine can show them how. Let's have the professionals building our future abide by industry-wide standards, just as doctors do. As both a startup founder and a physician, this idea makes intuitive sense to me. Drawing on my experience treating patients and running ...

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Although my father did not discover penicillin, he helped do the research showing its effectiveness in curing infective endocarditis. As an internist, he then became enamored with the role antibiotics could play in treating infections. Growing up, my siblings and I can attest to his unbridled enthusiasm, as every time we contracted a cold, we would get a shot of the wonder mold in our butts. The fact that colds ...

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It is no secret that President Trump’s former nominee to run the Veterans Administration, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, has withdrawn his nomination amidst allegations related to his behavior: that he drank on the job, was a bully in the office and improperly gave out prescription medication.  He has vehemently denied the allegations and characterized them as false and fabricated.

Dr. Jackson is an Iraq War veteran who ...

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Having a mentor leads to a more successful and satisfying career for doctors. So how does one go about finding a mentor mid-training or after training? Many medical schools and residency programs have mentorship requirements for trainees. But those mentorship needs may change if a student or resident (like myself!) changes their mind about what they want to be when they grow up. I have been enthusiastic ...

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“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” That’s how Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, describes mindfulness. In the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, another thought leader in mindfulness, Shunryu Suzuki, says that, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” In my experience, I’ve found that cultivating a beginner’s mind opens doors and improves clinical diagnosis. Medical training has ...

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“Put me out of my misery!” I’ve pleaded to anyone within earshot in the throes of a grueling day, a rant from one feeling burnt out. There are days I want to pull my hair out, even the ones that aren’t gray. One night I caught myself grunting, “I hate my life,” while heading out the door at 12 a.m., after an already exhausting day in the OR. No sane ...

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He was younger than I was — still in his twenties — but the patient had already had his chest opened twice. Deadly bloodstream infections contracted from sharing needles had destroyed his heart valves on two separate occasions. And now six months out from his most recent operation, he was back with fever and chills: ominous signs of another infection. That was years ago. The opioid epidemic hadn’t yet been declared ...

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Just sign here. How many times a day are we asked to do this? "Just sign here." "Just put down your license number." "We need a stamp with your doctor's info on it." "Give us your NPI." "Initial here, here, and here." If we took the time to read all the things we're signing, we wouldn't have time to do any doctoring. The other day I was asked to hand-write the date on ...

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