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Grace and the Lack Thereof

The words used to describe the difference in what we humans deserve and what the universe grants us are foundational in the major world religions – translations and applications of “grace”, “mercy” or “blessing” are abundant in every culture. As physicians, we have been taught to anticipate and analyze the observed versus expected outcomes. The…

On the Backs of Residents

I am privileged to work with residents who are smarter than I am.  I have seen the step scores, the in-training exam results; my learners would have crushed my class rank back in the day.  So as an educator, I strive to be that shoulder to stand on, by sharpening their diagnostic skills, taking the rough edges…

Attend to Yourself

If you can do one thing today, give permission to attend yourself.  For even just a moment – give yourself the same care you give to your patients. Give yourself permission to feel hands on your back.  Feel and accept the support of your community.  Don’t shrug it off, don’t send it to someone who “needs it more”.…

Why I wear the badge holder

I don’t wear my hospital insignia on my badge holder, that ubiquitous piece of plastic that medical folks use to display their allegiance – sports teams, hospitals, folk art IV bottle tops.  I wear her hospital’s.   The one where I learned what it meant to be on the other side of the bed.  I spotted…

The Longest Shortest Time

One of the most complex emotions to embrace as a parent is the simultaneous push and pull of realizing your child doesn’t need your help in some facet of their life.  My son and daughter charging fearlessly out into the world, getting rid of training wheels or that last goodbye hug at school drop off  shows me they’re…

If Michelle herself wasn’t good enough…

We scrambled. Yes, it’s called something different now.  But it’s still a scramble. For those just tuning in, US medical residencies attempt to fill their open spots through an arcane voodoo ritual called “The Match” that links hopeful applicants with their new homes.  Unfortunately, in a high stakes game of University programs versus Community, urban…

“I’m allergic to Clinic”

Young Dr. Z would proclaim that outpatient medicine “gave me hives” “The slow pace!  Waiting to get roomed, for prior authorizations, for follow up from your referrals – it drives me insane!” I ran for inpatient-only practice straight out of graduation and reluctantly turned back when I found my dream teaching position.  My first day of clinic…

The best (and worst) phone call…

I dialed the number while sitting in my garage, because it was 5 PM, and that’s the time of day when my house “kinda sounds like someone is being murdered over there.” (in the words of one hilariously honest resident) But the background chaos didn’t matter. Nobody answered.  I let it ring for an eternity,…

3rd time is the Charm!

Hokay, another inadvertent hiatus.  But I’ve been blogging since Geocities (oh, the glory of 90’s internet), and I’m not about to let anything as simple as having a second child, moving our entire family cross-country after going through a hurricane, Nick going through Firefighter Rookie School again, holding down temp jobs and moving twice before settling…

“I want to be like her When I Grow Up” (Part 1 of 2)

The first rule of the residents lounge: Everyone Bitches about their Attendings.  It’s the Goldilocks of patient management – this one is too Mean, this one has No Cojones, and that one never answers their phone so I guess I’ll figure it out on my own. Dr. D was the only person who was above…

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