Why Medical Lessons?

One of the things I liked best about practicing medicine is that I was constantly learning.

Making rounds at seven in the morning on an oncology floor would be a chore if you didn’t get to examine and think and figure out what’s happening to a man with leukemia whose platelets are dangerously low, or whose lymphoma is responding to treatment but can’t take anymore medicine because of an intense, burn-like rash. You’d have to look stuff up, sort among clues

Posted in Communication, from the author, Ideas, Life, Life as a Doctor, Life as a Patient, Medical Education, Medical Ethics, Patient-Doctor RelationshipTagged , , , , , , , , 1 Comment on Why Medical Lessons?

How Well Do You Really Want to Know the “Red Devil?”

I know what it’s like to get the “red devil” in the veins.

You can learn about Adriamycin, a name brand chemotherapy, on WebMD. Or, if you prefer, you can check on doxorubicin, the generic term, using MedlinePlus, a comprehensive and relatively reliable public venture put forth by the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. If you’re into organic chemistry, you might want to review the structure of 14-hydroxydaunomycin, an antibiotic and cancer therapy first described 40 years ago…

Posted in Breast Cancer, cancer treatment, Essential Lessons, Life as a Doctor, Life as a Patient, Medical Education, Oncology (cancer), Women's HealthTagged , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments on How Well Do You Really Want to Know the “Red Devil?”

Doctors Don’t Tweet

I didn’t know much about social media until the summer of 2008. Then, I entered Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism as a new student and attended an optional lunch-time session on Facebook, Gmail and Twitter.

My kids used Facebook, so I knew about that. Still, I hesitated…

Posted in Communication, Life as a Doctor, Social MediaTagged , , Leave a Comment on Doctors Don’t Tweet

Dinner with my Family

Family gatherings centered on two things – food, and talk about medicine. We spoke of interesting cases (always nameless), challenging conditions and, even back then, the constraints of health care costs. My fiancé, now husband of over 20 years, couldn’t get over how debate over health care dominated our Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving feasts…

…when I learned I had breast cancer, I knew exactly what to do. The decisions, though difficult, were almost straightforward, buttressed by my knowledge and familiarity with the language of medicine…

Posted in Communication, Empowered Patient, Life as a Doctor, Life as a Patient, Medical Education, Patient-Doctor RelationshipTagged , , , , , 5 Comments on Dinner with my Family
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