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Opinion: I experienced trauma working in Iraq. I see it now among America’s doctors

The next time you wrap up a visit with a health care provider, ask him or her, "How are you doing?"
A U.S. Army helicopter flies over Baghdad in April 2003. Source: Anja Niedringhaus/AP

I was on my honeymoon in Colombia when I first became aware of the true extent of my post-traumatic stress disorder. My husband and I were walking across a smooth, granite platform to take a closer look at a fountain in downtown Cartagena. As we neared the structure, mist from the fountain’s jets dampened the ground at my feet.

I froze, paralyzed with fear by a flashback — my first — triggered by something as ordinary as wet pavement on a warm day.

Two years earlier, I was working in civic engagement efforts in Baghdad. One morning, as I walked across a smooth, granite platform toward my apartment, gunfire erupted. I tried to run, but my flip-flops bested me on the pavement, still damp from an early

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