I am both relieved and nervous because they say that the first year is the worst, but now I have the overarching cloud of doom following me around during second year: Step 1. Now that I’m home, I constantly am wondering how I made it this far — in disbelief that I passed all my courses pretty well. I constantly ask myself if exams were too easy and if I’m just ...

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With the recent 10-year anniversary of the Mental Health Parity Act being signed into law, comes the reminder that we still have so much work to be done. Unfortunately, blatant discrimination in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance abuse has continued despite this legislation. The Parity Act required that dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than the dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered ...

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The absence of burnout does not equal wellness. While the focus on physician burnout as an epidemic is finally gaining more attention, we may be missing a larger issue. Most physicians are not burned out. We are able to function. We get through our days, make it to some of our kids' activities and even manage to go out to dinner on the weekends. We survive the work week as ...

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“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” –Robert Gary Lee One of the recurring expressions I heard throughout training, from preceptors and attendings to doctors ignoring a lowly medical student/resident eating lunch in the doctor’s lounge, was: “I’m living the dream.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a code meaning anything but. In the last few weeks, I’ve discussed what steps I’m taking towards
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The children of survivors are important to the Holocaust story.  The children are the future of the past.  For a time, it seemed that no one would be left to create a future.  That history has been so carefully, lovingly chronicled.  It must be preserved.  If it is preserved and told, the possibility exists that there will be no more war.  That is always the hope of the survivors. This is ...

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Last Friday, as I sat finishing up notes on the last of my almost 30 physicals (this number is never any surprise for us pediatricians this time of the year, it’s back to school week, so every Thomason, Dickinson, and Harrison is lining up for sports physicals and regular physicals and all sorts of clearance and medication forms that need to be filled out and turned in “yesterday.”) I took ...

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I've had a lot of ups and downs throughout my schooling and career — not just related to my profession but personally as well. In the past, it has crossed my mind that I should probably seek professional help, but then some way or another, I would get past my issues and life would normalize. Then I would move on and forget about it. However, after last summer, things were different. ...

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There exists a large, mostly-underground, growing community consisting of those iatrogenically harmed by benzodiazepines. Guilty only of following doctors orders, these patients are marginalized and misunderstood. This has been enabled, at least in part, by poor terminology. Recently on Twitter, Michael P. Hengartner and Marnie Wedlake both posted critical questions in response to a benzodiazepine news story:
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I just heard. A colleague, a man of integrity and warmth, a hard-working physician with ideals, ethics and many valued contributions, has taken his own life. His perspectives may have differed from mine at times, but every interaction was infused with respect. He was a good man. Much has been written about the rate of suicide of physicians. One million Americans lose their doctors to suicide each year. Normally I ...

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Burnout affects as many as 50 percent of physicians. Interventions have been proposed at virtually every stage of a physician’s life, from medical school to residency training to professional practice. While the rigors of medical training certainly contribute to the high levels of burnout in the profession, there are indications that the trouble begins at the undergraduate level. I recently graduated from an undergraduate program geared ...

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