Opioid users are treated like AIDS patients were in the 80s

Stigma towards health conditions interferes with access to compassionate care. Both social stigma from friends and family and medical stigma from professionals are issues. Perhaps the worst recent example of medical stigma is how people with HIV/AIDS were treated in the 1980s. They were isolated physically and spiritually. While in medical school a professor related …

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First stab: the first time I saw a patient death

I spent the summer between the first and second years of medical school in the emergency department at Cincinnati’s major trauma hospital. More specifically, I spent summer nights there, studying the effects of interpersonal violence. Cincinnati is both a friendly city and a violent city. People say “Hello” when you pass in a corridor. At …

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Being mindful for the zebras

  In the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki, says “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” After an experience with a rare neurological illness, I  found that cultivating a beginner’s mind opens doors and improves clinical diagnosis. Medical training has phases, and clinicians in different …

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