Just Ask

Amber Cadick, PhD, HSPP

Amber Cadick, PhD, HSPP

A 24-year-old male presents to your office with complaints of fatigue and pain. When you go to listen to his heart you notice some red marks on his chest. When inquiring about this he breaks down crying and unbuttons his shirt to reveal claw marks across his torso. He quietly confesses through sobs that his girlfriend has been physically abusing him for some time, and he doesn’t know how to exit the relationship.

During didactics you notice that one of your star residents is sleeping. She has moved her typical seat with her peers to alone on the side of the room. The next 3 weeks you notice her dozing often during the lectures. What should you attribute this to—laziness, fatigue, apathy? Other faculty have noticed, and some are thinking about talking to her concerning professionalism. Thinking back, you realize that she has been lingering by your office but not saying much. One day she comes into your office, closes the door, and begins to cry. She shares that she hasn’t been able to sleep at night due to a fear for her safety. She thought this change in her partner’s behavior would be temporary, but now she doesn’t know how to stop it. She feels trapped, isolated, and lonely. She notes it is hard to perform her job as a resident with this stress at home.

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Three Patients Who Helped Me Realize How Special Family Medicine Is


Ashley Boerrigter, Medical Student

Come, be a shadow with me – I’ll show you three patients who helped me realize just how special family medicine is.
A woman in her late 50s is seated in the chair across from us. Her husband, who was not present, had been diagnosed a few months prior with terminal cancer, and his treatment was palliative, not curative. She breaks into heaving sobs when the doctor asks how she is doing with such a burden. He listens to her, hearing her out and giving her space to be completely honest about what she is feeling, and then speaks encouraging words. He hugs her and she holds on for a long time. This interaction taught me about the value of providing safe space for emotional release.

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Democratizing the Conversation for Greater Good: Social Media Usage at Academic Conferences

By Chris Morley, PhD, Ben Miller, PsyD,  and Mark Ryan, MD

Recently, there has been some discussion about whether the sharing of information presented during academic conferences via social media is appropriate, taking form in both peer-reviewed literature1–4 and in online blogs5 and social media, with a particular focus on Twitter.

Predictably, there are arguments presented against the sharing of material via social media that frequently center on the protection of copyrights, patents, intellectual property, or simply ideas-in-formation. Other arguments tend to fret over whether the sharing of a table, figure, or text, presented in a conference, may somehow represent prior publication that might interfere with the ability to later incorporate the same text into a formal journal publication. The crux of either argument tends to be that the presenter has shared information in one form, but that any sharing of that information beyond that context without the presenter’s express permission infringes upon intellectual property rights and/or future publication possibilities.

This antiquated view of information sharing is in need of disruption. Academia, of all, should learn a thing or two about the need to stay relevant in a day and age where people learn of their news from Twitter. It really puts things in perspective when one considers that most academicians wait 8–12 months (or longer!) for a peer-review process to be complete to allow them to share their findings. Conferences have long been one of the best ways to allow for academicians to share their findings with a broader audience while waiting on the laborious and lengthy peer-review process to complete.

However, should we take it as far as to tell people to not tweet what they hear or see at a conference?

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