Category Archive: Psychiatry

Reach out to your colleagues: This can have more impact than you can imagine

I just heard. A colleague, a man of integrity and warmth, a hard-working physician with ideals, ethics and many valued contributions, has taken his own life. His perspectives may have differed from mine at times, but every interaction was infused with respect. He was a good man. Much has been written about the rate of […]

Burnout doesn’t start in medical school

Burnout affects as many as 50 percent of physicians. Interventions have been proposed at virtually every stage of a physician’s life, from medical school to residency training to professional practice. While the rigors of medical training certainly contribute to the high levels of burnout in the profession, there are indications that the trouble begins at […]

A resident physician’s story of depression

It was 4:30 a.m. on a freezing cold winter morning when I dragged myself to my car and started down the street to the hospital. I was working in the ICU for the month, and sleep had become a commodity I no longer enjoyed. I tried to shake my brain out of the dense fog […]

Domestic abuse can affect anyone, even physicians

A good friend of mine, B., once told me a few years ago that before her divorce, her husband was verbally and occasionally even physically abusive toward her. Somewhat shocked by this news, I expressed how glad I was that she had gotten out of that situation. I did not think that B. would be […]

How do you see psychosis?

If you’re not a mental health professional, your exposure to psychosis may come through a variety of channels. You may know someone with a psychotic disorder; you may have a psychotic disorder yourself. You may have taken an introductory class on psychology in high school or college, and you may be aware of psychotic episodes […]

Why “happy” doctors commit suicide

He was the go-to sports guy in Washington, DC. A masterful surgeon with countless academic publications, he trained orthopaedic surgeons across the world and was the top physician for professional sports teams and Olympians. Dr. Benjamin Shaffer had it all. Yet Ben was more than a stellar surgeon. He was a kind, sweet, brilliant, and […]

How and why to treat sleep disturbance from depression

One of the aspects of depression that’s particularly difficult is the sleep disturbance which accompanies it and often continues after the traditional symptoms of depression have finally gotten better. When studied in the laboratory, the sleep of depressed person is short, shallow (with less deep slow-wave sleep), and frequently interrupted by awakenings. Additionally, there are […]

What the news left out about K2

Recently, more than 70 people overdosed on K2 in the New Haven Green, a public park near Yale — in one day. In the chaos, multiple municipal staff and emergency services personnel ran frantically to help countless individuals who may or may not have wanted help. The day after, I biked by and saw two […]

10 ways to make residency less stressful

The upgraded responsibility and authority given to starting residents is both a blessing and a curse. Suddenly, the need for co-signatures vanishes. There is greater autonomy in clinical practice. Residents get paid. However, residency can also be a time of significant stress. Residents are forced to navigate the demands of preceptors, other residents, medical students, […]

Let’s talk about the psychiatric boarding crisis

Imagine spending days or even weeks in an emergency room without treatment for a broken leg or painful kidney stone. Patients in psychological crisis across the country are living this exact scenario. Long waits in an ER, hospital room or prison for an inpatient psychiatric bed, otherwise known as psychiatric boarding, are their unfortunate reality. […]

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