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Starla Fitch, M.D.
Starla Fitch is an ophthalmologist and creator of, an online destination for medical professionals looking to reconnect with the reasons why they entered the field. Her new book, Remedy for Burnout: 7 Prescriptions Doctors Use to Find Meaning in Medicine, will be available this summer. Dr. Fitch is available for speaking engagements and coaching.

Entries by Starla Fitch, M.D.

The Danger of Physician Burnout on the Health Care Highway

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 4:05 PM


As with the beginning of each new year, the word "improved" gets bandied about: improved patient care, improved patient satisfaction, improved efficiency. Physicians are constantly being told to push past their burnout and embrace multitasking for the sake of improved health care delivery....

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The Top 10 Lies Doctors Tell

(17) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 10:04 AM


I've been a doctor for more than 20 years, and I hate to break it to you, but it's time I came clean: We lie. Doctors lie. Not always. Not necessarily on purpose. But we do.

Sometimes the lies are to our...

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Are You Too Nice?

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 11:31 AM


It came out of nowhere. One of those life lessons that I didn't know I needed to learn. Until I did. There I was, at a weekend business retreat, hobnobbing with a group of women executives. Feeling only slightly out of my element....

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Does Medicine Need a New Language?

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 12:05 PM


Physician burnout -- and burnout in general -- is at an all-time high. From this Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Sandeep Jauher to a recent TEDx talk by Dr. Romila Mushtaq, the angst is palpable.

Sadly, as noted...

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The Secret Lives of Patients

(3) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 8:20 AM


A while ago, I wrote about "The Secret Lives of Doctors." The post must have struck a nerve because it went viral, maybe because it helped patients to realize that doctors are human.

We doctors can't really know how human...

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What a Dying Patient Taught a Burned-Out Doctor

(13) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 11:42 AM


Every doctor has patients we will remember forever for the experiences they bring: the first baby we deliver, the first heart murmur we detect, the first surgery we perform on our own.

Every doctor also has patients we will remember forever for the...

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Patient Checklist: 10 Ways To Make The Most Of Every Visit

(14) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 8:30 AM

Have you ever been a patient? Yeah, me too. Nearly 10 million newly insured Americans will visit doctors' offices this year. The average time you -- or anyone -- has with a primary-care doc is 15 minutes. What's a sick person to...

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Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Doctors

(12) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 8:13 AM


Do you know what happened to the last blog I posted? It went viral. In case you missed it, you can check it out here.

It was a wild ride for a few days. And most of the comments were...

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So denken Ärzte wirklich über Patienten

(3) Comments | Posted July 4, 2014 | 7:28 PM

Als ich kürzlich mit meinen Eltern gesprochen habe, ist mir eines klar geworden: Ich bin jetzt seit über 20 Jahren Ärztin, und sie haben immer noch keine Ahnung, wie mein Alltag aussieht. Wenn meine Eltern schon keine Vorstellung davon haben, wird das wohl bei meinen Patienten genauso sein.


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The Secret Lives of Doctors

(48) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:37 PM

Recently, when my parents came for a visit, our conversations led me to realize something important: I have been a doctor for more than 20 years, and yet my parents have no idea what my daily life is like. It then occurred to me that if they have no idea,...

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My No. 1 Tip for Good Karma

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 3:26 PM

How many times have you passed someone in a hallway -- maybe a person you have seen many times at work but don't really know -- and said "hello"?

At 6:45 a.m. on Monday mornings, in a semi-deserted hospital hallway, I do this all the time.

The responses...

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The 4 Things Doctors Don't Do

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 4:46 PM

Friday, I was in the break room at the hospital scarfing down a power bar between three-hour cases. The truth was, I was multi-tasking: eating, writing on a chart and checking my email in my phone.

I had received an email from a businesswoman, whom I have known for...

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The Secret of the Bottom Right Desk Drawer

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 6:06 PM

In my office the other day, I was running on time and had a few extra minutes to visit with one of my patients.

As we swapped stories about what's going on in our worlds, I mentioned my passion for helping doctors love medicine again. I told her I hoped...

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