Guidelines for clinical practice: non-psychiatric chronic conditions


Many patients experience ongoing symptoms, including, but not limited to, those often associated with the female reproductive cycle or with digestive function. In these cases, providers often avoid offering recommendations of the sort offered more commonly with health conditions central to medical practice. While providers may not intend to convey anything of the sort, anecdotal evidence suggests – and I plan to discuss the nature and value of such evidence in future posts – that at least one of the following two attitudes is attributed to providers by patients in these contexts. One experience patients have is of being condescended to or dismissed, while the other experience is of being treated like a customer. But most patients who have sought the expertise of a healthcare professional do not think of their interaction as similar to the purchase of a plane ticket, a used car, an antique piano, or a house. Patients also do not, on the whole, think of the services they seek from medical professionals in the same way they might think of hiring a personal assistant or a lawyer.

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A checklist for the online you

Just as people are different in their personal and private lives, so too are they different when it comes to how they present themselves professionally. So, this post is not intended to coach applicants on how to present themselves, but rather to suggest that awareness and control can be just as important, if not more so, than looking respectable or conforming to social norms. It may be part of one’s cultivated professional image (or not at odds with it) to be seen as especially sociable, lighthearted, fun loving, or silly. It may also be part of one’s professional identity (or not at odds with it) to be politically outspoken, to participate in debates about divisive social issues online, or to be religious, spiritual, or in support or a particular lifestyle. That is very different from forgetting to take down a photo one would genuinely prefer members of the profession not to have seen or to go online on the day of one’s Skype interview to be faced with a Skype name that was invented in a less professionally oriented moment.


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Apples and oranges…and the occasional platypus

Choosing which jobs to apply for and narrowing down one’s list can be an overwhelming task. As the title of this post is intended to suggest, the choices can seem immune to any principle or any sensible approach. It can make applicants feel as though they are at the mercy of fate and a chaotic or deeply unfair job market. Although choosing not to apply for a job may seem like a cheap way to establish some agency over the process, it can help reinforce the attitude that you are the (gender-neutral) master of your own fate. Here are some considerations for deciding whether or not to apply for certain jobs.

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