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Burn Bright II: Reflections on Solutions to Burnout (Part Two of a Two-Part Series)

  There have been many published studies describing the current epidemic of burnout among physicians, but there are far fewer with solutions to the problem. Different approaches have been tried, but few have shown a significant impact on burnout or improved wellness among physicians. Nevertheless, the few published studies of solutions present some promising strategies […]

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Assessment and Treatment of Physician Speechlessness

What does a doctor say when words don’t come? Such was my dilemma several years ago on an inpatient psychiatric service when I responded to an emergency alarm activated by staff in a patient’s room. A young female patient—call her Lisa—had just knotted some latex gloves around her neck, and her face was still plethoric […]

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Burn Bright I: Reflections on the Burnout Epidemic (Part One of a Two-Part Series)

I’m not alone in having experienced burnout and its consequences. One of the hardest working and most successful in my medical school class, I experienced early predictors of later struggles: I would get anxious whenever I had to go on away rotations, partly because of being far from my family, friends, and community support network […]

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Asking How Our Patients Understand Addiction

When the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis declares “addiction [a] chronic relapsing disease of the brain”1 and calls for expanded access to care, within those statements is recognition of the influx of patients with addiction into general medicine settings for chronic disease management. The initial conversations that can shape a patient’s […]

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Public Awareness and Perceptions of Palliative and Comfort Care

In April 2018, Barbara Bush, champion for universal literacy and former First Lady of the United States, died at the age of 92 after a prolonged illness. Two days prior, a family spokesperson announced that she had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and [would] instead focus on comfort care.” We analyzed Google Trends […]

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The Computerized ECG: Friend and Foe

Computerized interpretation of the electrocardiogram (ECG) began in the 1950s when conversion of its analog signal to digital form became available. Since then, automatic computer interpretations of the ECG have become routine, even at the point of care, by the addition of interpretive algorithms to portable ECG carts. Now, more than 100 million computerized ECG […]

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