Opinions

Syed Samin Shehab, MD Syed Samin Shehab, MD (3 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Boston Medical Center


I am a medicine resident who is interested in health policy and health administration. Primarily looking at diversity and inclusion and leveraging them to create a medical workforce that can provide higher quality and better access to care for uninsured and underinsured populations. I want to work on pipeline programs and on recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented minorities in medicine and also on creating medical school and residency curriculum that frames medical education in a social justice contest and addresses the intersection of race, sex and gender and medical sciences.




How Physicians Can Fight Mass Incarceration: Focusing On The Youth

A quiet, frail, emaciated gentleman in his 60s who was dying of cancer. What made him different was that he was shackled to the bed, one arm and one leg bound to the bed of a barren room, lit only by the pale blue light from the window that cast the silhouette of bars on the floor. This was the prison unit.

We’re Ignoring a Key Factor in the Opioid Epidemic

In order for the country to make meaningful progress in tackling the opioid epidemic, we need a cultural shift in the way patients and providers think about pain.

Pharmaceutical companies and physicians are being demonized for their manufacturing and dispensing of opioid analgesics. Money-hungry executives from Big Pharma caused the crisis by brainwashing doctors to prescribe these medications left and right. Greedy doctors want patients dependent upon them for years, ensuring a steady stream of paying patients in their waiting room. Drugs drive the market. Drugs lead to big profits for everyone involved. The more drugs, the better.

A Modest Proposal: There is No Substitute for Time in Medicine

Physician burnout has emerged as an increasingly concerning phenomenon in medicine. As high as 51% of physicians in a Medscape survey report symptoms of burnout. Doctors face higher demands with less time and support. Academic medical centers, which historically have been insulated from outside forces, are now seeing larger patient censuses, leaving less time for physicians to work through each patient’s case carefully.

Gunshot Victims Rushed to the Emergency Room: What It’s Like to Be Their Doctor

It seems that each week we learn of a new mass shooting. Gunfire from a legally-purchased AR-15 assault rifle hits innocent high school students, nightclub patrons, and mall-goers. A politician reassures the nation that our brave first responders are bringing the victims to a nearby hospital. The media’s report to the public generally ends, but when I hear “trauma team to ED STAT,” my work only just begins.

Top 5 Reasons You Might Want to Work Locum Tenens After Residency

Every job is different, but my experiences so far have drawn a very stark contrast to life as a resident. Now imagine, if you can: you stroll into work at whatever time you want. You round on your patients, write notes and leave. The rest of the day you give verbal orders over the phone while you hang out at the beach.

Clifford Sheckter, MD Clifford Sheckter, MD (2 Posts)

Fellow Physician Contributing Writer

Stanford University


Cliff was born and raised in California’s Eastern Sierra. His passions included motocross and ski racing in his hometown of Mammoth Lakes. He attended college at UCLA where he majored in anthropology and excavated pre-contact Guaymi burials on remote Panamanian shores. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA, he went to USC for medical school on an academic scholarship. His research focused on surgical education in designing perfused cadaver models, and cost-effective means of delivering burn care. He graduated AOA and valedictorian, and matched into Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford. Cliff completed a postdoc fellowship at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center learning value-based care, studying health policy, and getting a foundation in health services research. His current investigations include cost-effective delivery systems for burn patients, understanding the effects of reimbursement variation on surgeon decision making, and improving resident physician performance through targeting variation. Cliff aspires to be a burn surgeon with the goal of improving outcomes following reconstructive surgery. He also aims to improve shared-decision making when undergoing reconstructive burn surgery. More than anything, Cliff loves spending time with his wife Cassandra, who is a patent litigator in Palo Alto. They are raising twin boys, Jake and Charlie, who have quickly become their raison-d'etre. The family of four loves traveling.