Episodes

Inside the race to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic

"That year, 2020, Uğur told the crowd, would be the year BioNTech proved the doubters wrong. There was no time to lose. Soon after he’d finished his talk, Uğur hopped on a plane to Seattle, where he met with a team at the Bill & Melinda Gates...

Support desperate health care workers now, before your life counts on them

"America’s health care workers are on the brink of collapse. If we want them to hold on and be there for us when we are too sick to walk, stand or breathe, we must act now. Cast aside political opinions. Follow CDC guidelines. Wear masks when you...

How to close gaps in social determinants of health

"As a doctor, it is pretty humbling to reflect on the fairly minimal impact our health care system has on individuals’ overall health. One study I find particularly intriguing shows that socioeconomic factors (e.g., education and income), and...

A physician's new rules of time management

"Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, woman, mother, wife, friend, mentor. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to “work smarter, not harder” to get it all done and feel good about myself, only to begin climbing the mountain with a...

Health care and the Latinx experience

"Knowing that an important number of Latinx are not yet fully vaccinated and understanding the health care gaps and social disparities that affect this group, it is reasonable to assume that the Latinx community will be disproportionately affected by...

Patients need palliative care to manage the pain of sickle cell disease

"Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects about 100,000 Americans as an inherited genetic disorder with intermittent exacerbations requiring hospitalization. SCD is also a painful and complicated disease with no single physician specialist that can provide...

We're failing people with opioid use disorder

"We know regulators can move quickly to confront a health crisis because we have seen it in action. During COVID, the nation eased regulatory burdens at all levels of government to help health systems and doctors leverage technology and change the way...

A body part that fills me with a roller coaster of emotion

"Their absence makes me feel sad, I look around at my peers, envious and curious, Obsessing over when they will show up. When they do, they never seem to live up to expectations, Too small, too uneven, but what’s sure is it’s a sign I’m no...

To my patient who is going to lose her hair from chemotherapy

"I understand that the biggest fear you have about going through chemotherapy is losing your hair. I just want to tell you. You will be fine. Trust me. I know it’s barbaric. Why don’t we have medicines to treat cancer that will not make you lose...

Changing how we think about "difficult" patients

"Our patients go through some very predictable fears and responses to illness and injury. In turn, medical students and residents also think and respond with some thought distortions and misunderstandings about their patients and themselves. Armed...

Family medicine and the fight for the soul of health care

"Overall, the health system in the United States is still not tilting its axes in favor of either primary care or family doctor. What is worse, family doctors as a collective are more balkanized and less cohesive than ever. There is a sense among...

Kids are not OK: Health care is failing them

"Our children are not OK. Our pediatricians are not OK. Please, let us not further ignore and jeopardize the future health of our society. Pediatrics needs a transformational change to direct primary care and other models that transition from...

Managing expectations during COVID-19

"I had sent an email to some key people in my organization about managing patients’ expectations and how that needed to be addressed differently on an organizational level. The truth of the matter is that I am powerless to change the way the system...

How a code profoundly affected this physician

"There is a small amount of literature about secondary trauma. This means that the people who respond to trauma (firefighters, police, doctors, EMTs, etc.) experience PTSD from experiences they were not the primary victims of. I haven’t read the...

Unrequited: love in the time of COVID-19

"If you knew we are like the 'Two Fridas,' that our hearts are connected, would you change your mind? Would you stop as you are about to cut the artery feeding your heart and mine? If you knew that when you cry because of your loneliness, because of...

Why do physicians stay in toxic work environments?

"For the most highly educated and specialized professional on the health care totem pole, physicians put up with a ridiculous amount of nonsense in the workplace. You are pressured to see high volumes of patients in a rapid-fire fashion (15 minutes...

Are hospitals evil? A physician contract lawyer explains.

"Unfortunately, when negotiating with hospitals I am frequently forced to deal with individuals who need to 'explain' the importance of maintaining flexibility in their workforce (a wonderful business school phrase that appropriately dehumanizes the...

COVID and obstetrics: a physician shares her story

"I thought of her with each miscarriage I saw in COVID+ mothers, and during each delivery of premature rupture of membranes due to infection. I thought of her every time I gave steroids, increased the oxygen flow for someone struggling to breathe, or...

Requesting disability accommodations in medical school

"I failed my Step 1 medical school board exam by 1 point. This was very hard for me to process, and I consistently wondered if I would have passed if I had just waited an additional week. This new challenge led me to reach out to a new resource: the...

What doctors and soldiers have in common

"What makes soldiers and doctors good at their jobs are also the very things that make it hard to leave work at work. My former husband was, and is, very good at his job, especially when it comes to compassion and care for his patients. At work, he...

Cancer treatment and tumor-informed residual disease testing

"Life can feel full of uncertainty when battling cancer, with few guarantees. 'Is there still cancer in my body?' and 'Will it come back?' are common questions that have long been difficult to answer confidently until recently. Advances in...

Coming back from the brink of burnout

"I understand what it feels like to be in the depths of depression and hopelessness. I have had a lifelong battle with stuttering, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, depression, and suicide. I continually fight these battles and have learned to heal and...

Eating disorders thrive in secrecy, so let’s talk about it

"I was diagnosed over 20 years ago, and looking back, I feel privileged that I did meet the stereotype for anorexia and be forced into treatment. However, along the way, I have gained insight that people of all bodies share my struggles. And the use...

Tax planning tips for physicians

Often, physicians only give minimal attention to their financial futures, but potential federal changes could make tax planning even more important. The proposed infrastructure bill would increase taxes, affecting those with an annual income higher...