I Missed It: Coping With Medical Error

Thursday Night It was 9 o’clock at night when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer it anyway. It was my doctor. “Chase, I got your labs back and you have a critically low level. I spoke with someone at the hospital, I think I know what is happening, but … Read more

‘Overlapping’ Job Stressors May Flag Risk for Physician Suicide

The interplay between an individual’s work as a physician and problems associated with physical and mental health, substance use, relationships, legal matters, and finances all contribute to risk for suicide among physicians, new research shows. “This has meaningful implications for designing and implementing future suicide prevention interventions for healthcare workers; that is, targeting such overlapping … Read more

Why Empathy Is More Helpful Than Sympathy for My Patients

Growing up, I never felt comforted when someone expressed their sympathy to me when I was in a difficult situation. And I have never been good at expressing sympathy for others. When we feel sympathy for someone, we feel pity or sorrow for their situation. But we don’t understand what it is like to be … Read more

Hypervigilance and Helplessness in Facing Death of a Patient

It’s an early Friday morning during the pandemic. I arrive at my clinic to find my 8 o’clock slot booked with a same-day patient. As a clinical psychologist embedded within a primary care team, I meet with patients at varying frequency. I had just met with this patient on Monday — twice in one week … Read more

Substance Use the Main Cause of Physician License Actions: Study

Actions taken against a physician’s license for substance use are more common than those for psychological impairment or actions related to physical health, according to a recent report. Despite a sharp uptick in 2011, substance use–specific license actions taken against physicians dropped in frequency between 2004 and 2020. More than three fourths (76.3%) of license … Read more

The Amazing Journey of Kwadwo Sarpong

This is the story of how a remarkable young immigrant from Ghana started his life in the US as a janitor and, along the way, founded two nonprofit organizations, garnered invitations to the White House, and ultimately achieved his dream of pursuing a career in neurosurgery . Dr Kwadwo Sarpong at his medical school graduation. … Read more

When Words Are Not Enough

Almost 1 year into the pandemic, the day finally came when I could welcome patients back to meet in person. For a little over a decade, I have cared for the mental health of healthcare professionals. After nearly a year of telehealth, one by one I welcomed nurses, physicians, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social … Read more

Is Leaving Your Current Job the Answer?

We have been dealing with the COVID pandemic since 2020. And due to that, there is a lot of discussion about related physician burnout. I had my own share of challenges with the pandemic, and for the most part I can relate to a majority of the people I interact with. I shared a similar … Read more

Burnout ‘Highly Prevalent’ in Psychiatrists Across the Globe

Burnout in psychiatrists is “highly prevalent” across the globe, new research shows. In a review and meta-analysis of 36 studies and more than 5000 psychiatrists in European countries, as well as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey, and Thailand, results showed that 25% of respondents met criteria for burnout, as measured by the … Read more

The ‘Privilege’ of Unpaid Work in Academia: Friend or Foe

A job posting about an unpaid assistant adjunct professor position in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles caused a recent upheaval in the academic community. The position required applicants to have a PhD in chemistry or biochemistry, previous teaching experience at a university level, as well as three … Read more