Tag Archives: medicine

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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“Dear Esteemed Author:” Spotting a Predatory Publisher in 10 Easy Steps

morleycp

Christopher Morley, PhD

If you read the title and had some idea what it meant, you have probably received a letter from a dubious-looking publisher, asking you to submit your work. Often, it comes with an appeal to your ego and probably left you with a sense of wondering if this was a real solicitation.

In short, that solicitation was probably not “real.” What does that mean? To use current parlance, it means that such an invitation probably came from a “predatory publisher.” Predatory publishers1-3 are called as much because they:

  • Charge the author to publish in their usually online-only journal.
  • Connect that charge to the publication decision (this is key).
  • Do only a cursory review, if any at all (and many can be easily “pranked” into accepting garbage)
  • Appear to be “legitimate” superficially but will often not pass muster with promotion and tenure committees, agencies or accrediting bodies, or other interested parties.

It should be noted that not all “author-pays” models are illegitimate or predatory, and I will comment on that point further down. However, those that are will leave your paper “published” in a non-reputable journal that will not get you or your department/program the credit it needs. It also cuts off other publishing options and may leave you with a very expensive bill that may or may not have been fully disclosed at the outset. At the end, predatory journals are generally viewed as “vanity presses,” with the added problem that they take efforts to look legitimate from an academic standpoint, and authors do not realize they have submitted their work to a vanity press until it is too late.

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A Dynamic Equilibrium

Sarina Schrager, MD, MS

Sarina Schrager, MD, MS

The debate about work-life balance seemingly has a life of its own. Every few months there is a new book or blog with the answers. I have two issues with the concept of work-life balance and its meaning in my life. First, most discussion of work-life balance implies that the life part is good, and the work part is bad. We all work too much, so don’t have enough time for “life.” Our conversation revolves around how to do more in less time, how to hire out chores that we don’t enjoy, how to not feel guilty about being away from home. My issue is that this black and white, good and bad, is just not reality. I spent a lot of time training to be a physician. It is a big part of who I am. There are lots of parts of my job that I love to do. It is not inherently bad. In fact, when I am happy at work, I am happier at home and in my life.

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