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

How Can Teleworkers Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy?

MADRID — The COVID pandemic has had countless consequences. One of the most significant can be seen in any number of companies: the introduction of the telework model into work routines. There has been such a clear push toward this way of working that it’s quite likely that employees will regularly carry out their tasks … 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

High Rates of Med Student Burnout During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the academic and psychological stability of medical students, leading to high rates of burnout. Researchers surveyed 613 medical students representing all years of a medical program during the last week of the Spring semester of 2021. Based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI- SS), more than half (54%) of … Read more

The Sixth Sense in Science

Who? What? When? Why? Where? How? The five W’s. I vividly remember being taught to ask these five questions and seeing word-art posted around the classroom when I was a child. As children, we are taught to be curious and ask questions until we understand. We try new food, have new experiences, and explore uncharted … Read more

APA Targets Structural Racism, Offers Solutions

The negative consequences of structural racism on mental health, and opportunities for change, are the focus of a special theme issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP), released to coincide with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting. The hope is this special issue will “motivate clinicians, educators, and researchers to take actions that … Read more

A Psychiatric Patient Confesses to Murder: Now What?

NEW ORLEANS – The patient, a 60-year-old woman who’d just tried to kill herself by overdosing on gabapentin, felt the need to make a confession. As she told a resident psychiatrist late one night at a Philadelphia crisis response center, she’d just murdered two people and buried them in her backyard. More details kept coming, … 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

US Docs at Double the Risk of Postpartum Depression

One in four new mothers who are physicians report experiencing postpartum depression, a rate twice that of the general population, according to new survey findings presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 2022 Annual Meeting. The survey results weren’t all grim. More than three fourths (78%) of new mothers reported meeting their … Read more