The tube in their mouth fills their lungs with air. Their chest rises and falls. The catheters extend from their neck and emerge from under their clavicle, multiple drips running in, yet no response. The monitor beeps, still, no motion to hearing their name, no reaction to touch, not even a flicker in the eye to a flash of light. No sedation needed. They remain cold, hardened, absent, a shell of who was. Yet, a hand holds theirs and a voice pleads “can’t we do something else?”
Recently I lost my best friend and the love of my life, Lola “Bear” Works. She was a 58-poundhappy, spontaneous Golden Labrador-Retriever Mix. She was diagnosed on June 16th, 2020,with Histiocyctic Sarcoma and underwent chemotherapy treatment at the Oncology Departmentof Blue Pearl in Atlanta, GA. Histiocytic Sarcoma is an extremely rare, aggressive cancer thatmostly affects middle-aged dogs. Lola was an atypical patient because she was only 4.
Throughout my medical training: from medical school, residency, and even into fellowship, I was a people-pleaser. I will admit when interacting with my teaching attendings I aimed to please. I jumped through the hoops and played the game. I did all that I could to get the glowing letters of recommendation. Going above and beyond like most of us did. However, in hindsight (which is always 20/20) I can see clearly that I learned a behavior that would prove harmful to me in my career. People Pleasing is dangerous.
The DSM-5 definition of trauma requires “actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence”. Stressful events not involving an immediate threat to life or physical injury such as psychosocial stressors (e.g., divorce or job loss) are not considered trauma in this definition. For those of us living in this virtual landscape our definitions of trauma are being reconstructed.
It has been less than one month since our children returned to virtual/ in-class instruction/hybrid / “we have no clue” “we will figure this out as we go” school. We, as adults, have truly failed the very people who look up to us due to our poor planning.
This year of our Lord COVID19 (next year is 2020 as far as I’m concerned) has been a total wash in so many ways. I know we’re all over it – from masking up, to quarantining, to the deaths and continued oppression and demonization of Black people, to protests – I’m all the way over it. For those of you who listened to our Vision Board episode over on our MDFeme podcast you know we feel you on this 2020 Vision Board thing. When it comes to goals and plans for THIS year - WTF are those??? But does the whole year have to be a total write off?
One thing the pandemics of COVID-19 and racial inequities within the medical system have taught us is that the general public must make their health a priority. Taking an active role in one’s health not only empowers an individual but also communities and generations. As a physician I have realized that by just taking a few key steps before and during an encounter with a healthcare provider, patients can take a pivotal role in managing their care.
When asked that question, I was made painfully aware of my flood of emotions due the fact that I wear different hats in my life. The hat for myself felt “fine” because this is not new and as a black woman living in America, I have developed a defense mechanism where I make events like these don’t affect me. In other words, my heart has been hardened and numb.
Its kindling for the fire! This piece of cork poster board with far-fetched images and ideals is driving me mad. 2020 is not at all what I thought it would be. I thought this year would be my “phoenix.” A rising from the ashes and coming into a new season. Ha! Nonsense. Each month I’m more in shock of what surprises the universe pulls from Pandora’s purse. And I am not the only one.
As I lay here attempting to sleep, I can't seem to stop thinking about an experience, a significant experience. It deeply affected me, both personally and professionally. I became an attending physician at the hospital where I trained. It also happened to be the hospital where I did my third and fourth year clerkships for medical school. I appreciated my experience so much that it was my first choice for residency.
I had two match day experiences. For anyone who knows what the Match is, you know that’s not a good thing. My first experience, I was at home waiting to log in to see my fate. I logged on to see: “We are sorry, you did not match to any position.” That sentence hit me like a brick. I literally could not move! I sat in my room for at least an hour wondering what happened.
Colleagues and friends gathered in one room. Some glued to their computers and phones waiting for the notification. Palms sweaty, hearts racing, finally a decision. Where will I be for the next three to five years or more? Will my family have to move? Will my marriage or relationship become long-distance? So many questions.... only one answer, this is MATCH WEEK!!!
Lots of parents are at a loss of what to do for their little ones when they have a viral cold. It is not the same as a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. So, some parents seem to get a little frustrated when they are told to just give it time, rest and fluids.
Equality, it's the topic of the week, the month, the year, the decade, and the century. Women are vocal and present. We are standing up, stepping out, making noise and taking up space! Showing up to protest and lobby, not just for Equal Pay but Equal Opportunities. The "Female Tax" will one day be a thing of the past... or will it?
We all have them. Not “the ones that gotaway” but the ones you got away from!The times when the Spirit tells you to move and you just cut and run. Mosttimes you make it out unscathed, unhaunted by the souls you leave behind –thankfully.
It was midway through my third year of residency, and I was rotating on the admitting service. My role was to evaluate patients recommended for admission by the ED and determine which level of care would be suitable.
I could start this article by telling you about the disparity between female and male physicians’ salaries. I could tell you that while some female doctors end up in marriages with other physicians, some will end up with a partner who makes significantly less income.
The common cold is the most frequent acute illness in the United States. Most URIs are viral infections of the air passages leading to the lungs. Viral URIs usually run their course and go away on their own between 7-10 days. Most viral URIs do not require antibiotics or medical attention.