Today my clinic patient lost his wallet, including his cash, government ID, and his credit cards. He drove more than 130 miles to the clinic.  Still, somehow, he sat in front of me in the exam chair as patient as ever through all my history questions. When I asked about his day as I was washing my hands just prior to the exam, he told me his wallet story. I ...

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Navy SEALs are America's elite fighting force.

They are America's most qualified soldiers who elect to undertake the most difficult selection process and training in existence. They are preselected by a number of traits, including intelligence, physical strength, incredible perseverance, and prior military service. Those who attain the title come from a variety of backgrounds, but without fail, they are exceptional. These most remarkable individuals are then ...

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When I meet patients in the office, our conversations do not focus exclusively on the medical issue at hand. Of course, if you come to see me with a stomach ache, at some point, I will direct the dialogue toward your abdomen. Often, our conversations are far removed from livers and pancreases, and deal with more personal vignettes and anecdotes. Why does this happen? First, I enjoy it; and secondly, ...

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At the end of a long table covered with hors d’oeuvres and a birthday cake, I struck up a conversation with three primary care physicians.

I was hungry for their opinions. Inside the crowded apartment, we spoke for some 20 minutes about the systemic and cultural causes of burnout in primary care—a conversation that informed the first article in this series. As I was about to leave, I ...

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asco-logo When I was in medical school, I loved pathology. The visual learning and deep understanding of disease were attractive enough that after second year, I took an extra year before clinical rotations to work as a post-sophomore fellow, working as a resident cutting specimens and performing autopsies. I missed patient contact but it served as a great foundation for clinical medicine ...

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This is a tough post to write. I struggle with this issue daily. Is it OK for a physician to retire early? The obvious answer is: yes. Each individual should live their life as they see fit. But with a continued shortage of physicians (granted this is more in rural areas and not big metropolitan cities), and the time, money and resources required for training physicians, is it selfish to ...

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Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse and how to safely view the eclipse without losing vision from solar retinopathy. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon casts its shadow, known as the umbra, on Earth. Partial or total eclipses occur somewhere on Earth about every 18 months as ...

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My sister calls my name three times before I hear her. I am so distracted by the palm trees and the ocean view that I don’t feel her put the car in park. I look up at the “Physician Parking Only” sign straight ahead. “Hurry up and get out. We’re running late, and I don’t want to have to stay after my shift ends,” she says. “Don’t you always stay like two ...

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Margaret Edson’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Wit, tells the story of the final hours of Vivian Bearing, PhD, an English professor dying of cancer.  Early in the course of her disease, one of her doctors sees the value of her case from a research point of view and asks her to enroll in a clinical trial of an investigational therapy.  In the film version of the play, which stars ...

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Recently, I had the privilege of presenting the Clinical Specialty Award for General Surgery at the 2017 Graduate Awards Celebration at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP-NW). It was amazing to hear all the accomplishments and meet so many wonderful new doctors in this year’s class. I also got the opportunity to meet a few proud parents and professors. The list of accomplishments of ...

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By now I’m sure you’ve heard about British woman who reportedly showed up for cataract surgery only to have her doctors discover that 27 contact lenses were unknowingly stuck IN her eye:
After this news story broke, many friends and family reached out to me asking how this could be possible! Here I will explain how this is (and isn't) possible by clarifying some ...

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Xiaoyin “Sara” Jiang, MD, FCAP often calls herself a cellular detective, solving the mystery of disease under the microscope. Surgeons send their patients’ tissue samples to her for a diagnosis, and she knows that getting the answers right is high stakes – life and death. Created by the College of American Pathologists.

We are all panicked over student loan debt. The size of the loan can be worrisome — sometimes overwhelming. The average medical student debt is over $160,000, and it’s not unusual to owe $300,000 to $450,000! The compounded interest is growing every day and adding to your anxiety. Most early career physicians state the stress related to paying off these loans is their greatest emotional burden. Think about that — ...

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I remember one sunny day in Chicago, in June 2011, when my husband and I packed up our two young children, aged 2 and 5 months.  Professional movers had collected our belongings and had driven off a day prior.  We were headed out of state, to my first job at an academic hospital.  It had been a rather hectic few months for me, having just had a baby 5 months ...

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Kalisha A. Hill, MD, FCAP is a mother, a runner and a pathologist. She believes that a healthy lifestyle can prevent many of the diseases she diagnoses every day. You’ll meet her, learn about her expertise and see why her clinical partners rely on her diagnoses to guide their treatment decisions. Healing begins with her and that’s what patients count on for their care. Created by the
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Afterword from a story entitled “Litigation Lane,” excerpted from Beyond Bedlam’s Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom (Thunder Lake Press).  Forensic psychiatry involves the interface of psychiatry and the law. Over the years, I was asked to psychiatrically evaluate people in the context of civil ...

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There would be few of us who have not received an email praising our contributions to our chosen medical specialty and with an invitation to either submit a manuscript or to join the editorial board for a new open access on line journal. If you are an academic, expect to receive several of these emails on a daily basis.  This is the world of predatory publishing. For those in academic practice ...

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As a severe myopic, it is no wonder I have always had a certain interest in ophthalmology. And just the other day I had reason to ponder the peculiar Dutch dominance in the history of optics and ophthalmology. When I was a nearsighted young school boy in Sweden, my mother brought me on the bus into town every fall to see the eye doctor. He must have been in his eighties, ...

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Author.  President.  Teacher.  Doctor.  These are all gender-neutral words which happen to relate to a person’s profession.  However, I find it particularly interesting that while “doctor” is a gender-neutral word, the field of medicine is riddled with institutional sexism. Let me begin by explaining that I am a military physician currently training to become a gastroenterologist.  If being the only woman in any room bothered me, my journey would imply that ...

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“I only have 10 percent of my eyesight remaining, but that’s not the problem. I am looking for mercy.” My eyes drifted back and forth between Abu-Adnan’s face squinting into the distance, and the shuffling prayer beads swaddled in his right hand. I fizzled with frustration as my cochlea’s raced to transcribe his traumatic story into an appropriate emotional response. This 65-year-old Syrian refugee from the Golan Heights pleaded me for a ...

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