Tag Archives: advice

Can Your Idea of Happily Ever After Interfere With IPV Patient Care?

Jennifer Ayres, PhD

Jennifer Ayres, PhD

As a trauma psychologist, I find that my greatest challenge in working with survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is contending with my automatic bias that the “happily ever after” includes my patient leaving his or her perpetrator. When my bias arises, I reflect on three truths I learned from my undergraduate employment at a battered women’s shelter.

  • Most people go back.
  • If he or she goes back, and you made it clear that you thought it wasn’t a good decision, the patient can’t return to you the next time.
  • It will happen again.

And there are a couple truths I’ve learned since I worked at the shelter.

  • Basic decisions become complicated when you consider all the repercussions.
  • Leaving might not be the best decision.
  • If he or she does leave, the resources often aren’t available, and there is no referral for “make someone feel safe and free.”

These last three are challenging because I am much more comfortable with the patient who decides to flee the abusive situation or engage in the legal fight.

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Advice for Thriving During Remediation

Jhonatan Munoz  Espinoza, MD

Jhonatan Munoz
Espinoza, MD

During remediation it’s easy to think what you are doing is insignificant and that your efforts are not taking you anywhere—you are not part of a residency track, not part of the interviews tours, and not able to moonlight—but you’re wrong.

If your program put you in remediation it doesn’t mean that they are discounting you. Your program is recognizing that you need time to address whatever is going on in your life that put you in remediation—relationship stresses, mental health issues, or poor academic performance—to be the best person you can be.

Remember: you are valuable, your work still matters, and most importantly, your patients are waiting for you to be the best version of yourself!

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The First Job

Virginia Van  Duyne, MD

Virginia Van
Duyne, MD

I have always been sure of my desire to become a family doctor but within my first year out of residency, the assuredness in my course was turned on its head. Maybe some of you have been in the same position. Maybe, like me, your early assurance carried you through many long hours in the library and wards of medical school and the early mornings and late nights of residency. Then before you knew it, you were in the last year of residency about to launch into your first real job as a doctor. For me, the importance of this decision was weighty; it was the pinnacle of all those years of training, finally my chance to go out and do what I had set out to do.

Graduation came and went and soon my husband, our two young children, and I were packing up our home to trek across country where we would set up a new life and establish a career in a rural, underserved community. I jumped headfirst into the practice and community.  At first, my pediatric patients would hide behind their mom’s legs and eye my blonde hair and tallness suspiciously. Many times I laughed with my patients as I made yet another mistake in Spanish, but they delighted in helping me to perfect my Mexican accent. They brought me cantaloupes and I delivered their babies. The staff embraced me as their own families’ doctor and I learned the ecstasy of fresh, hand-made tortillas.

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