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CATHERINE
HUMIKOWSKI

Physician | Writer | Parent | Survivor

 

ABOUT

I am a pediatric intensive care physician who survived a cardiac arrest on the day my daughter was born. Also on the list of things that nearly killed me: cancer, internship, and the one time I tried capoeira. I live near Chicago where I practice medicine, hang out with my family, and write about survivorship and resilience.

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CV

I earned my AB and MD from The University of Chicago, then trained in pediatrics and critical care medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. I was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Chicago until 2017 when I took a break from academics to spend more time with my family and write a book. I joined the faculty at Lurie Children's Hospital in 2020 and continue to write and speak about wellness and burnout in medicine.

 

ESSAYS

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BEYOND BURNOUT

"Just before dawn on a Sunday, I wake to a frightening declaration in my head: I don't want to be a doctor anymore."

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FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH

"About a year ago, I died. Just for a few minutes, but long enough that I had a round of chest compressions so deep my sternum ached for weeks..."

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE OP-ED

"During my first week in Chicago, I cared for as many children with gunshot wounds as I had seen over the course of two years in Boston..."

"Ten Best Stories to Read this Week", Chicago Magazine

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CONFESSION

"Wednesday, 6 a.m. Time to hear about the new admissions before rounds. An infant was found unresponsive in his crib..."

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LUNCHROOM REVOLUTION

"This dysfunctional dash to prioritize work over biologic necessity sacrifices more than just good digestion and an appreciation for the embodied self. It sacrifices community, commensality, and shared integrity."

For a list of academic publications, click here.

 
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MEDIA

 

"Just Five Minutes" was originally told live at The Nocturnists event on the theme of Transitions which took place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on January 16, 2020.

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NEXT:

My first book explores the intersection of science and belief through true stories of resuscitation from near death, including a pioneer of emergency medicine who orchestrates his own rescue, an intensive care doctor who resuscitates his wife from sudden cardiac death, and an adolescent boy whose soul lingers after his suicide. Together with observations from my own near-death experience, these stories confront the rift between science and spirit while honoring the power of belief to drive human behavior, from scientific discovery to survival against extreme probability.

 
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