Do you need to explain to the person on the checkout line or, say, a mother organizing a bake sale, why your back hurts? Or why you need a seat on the bus?
Today we should move forward on the list published in the NEJM on Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care. We’re up to point 7 in our discussion, what’s 2nd in the authors’ proposed changes in attitudes and practice: “Both doctors and patients need to have more realistic expectations.” This point follows closely from the […]
A journalist who covers medical matters of the heart grabbed my attention on the Fourth of July. In The Voice of the Patient: Time To Bring Out the Muzzle?, Larry Husten at Forbes’ Cardiobrief blog, insinuates that the women who spoke at the FDA’s Avastin hearings are simpletons. In his short strip, Husten skips the possibility […]
The situation in Japan remains grim. I can’t reasonably report on this, except to say what’s evident by the photographs, videos and usually-reliable sources: a second reactor may have ruptured. There’s been another burst of radioactivity into the air. Meanwhile, thousands of bodies are being discovered in the post-Tsunami landscape along the northeast coast. The […]
I don’t know if makes sense to blog on a book by a woman who’s dead, who wrote about photographs and the news. But new media allows us to try new things, unedited. Here goes: In Regarding the Pain of Others, which I began, unknowingly, on the evening before the recent quake and tsunami, Sontag […]
Last night I began reading a long essay, Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag. The work dates to 1993, and centers on the power of photographs of war. She considers Virginia Woolf’s earlier reflections on horrific images from the Spanish Civil War, in Three Guineas. Sontag writes: “Not to be pained by these […]
A tweet hit me on Sunday evening, from a stranger: @Mibberz I’m saddened by how many ADULTS can’t get their #rheum 2 understand the level of severity of their pain.What hope is there for my daughter? I half-watched an on-line exchange about the issue, and then went about my family’s dinner preparations. The message came […]
“The insurance market as it works today basically slices and dices the population. It says, well you people with medical conditions, over here, and you people without them, over here…
– Jonathan Cohn, Editor of The New Republic, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, February 16, 2010*
There’s a popular, partly true, sometimes useful and very dangerous notion that we can control our health. Maybe even fend off cancer.
I like the idea that we can make smart choices, eat sensible amounts of whole foods…
This is my first film review, if it is that.
I was tempted to write about Ethan Hawke, hematologist among vampires in Daybreakers, but gore’s not my favorite genre. A mainstream choice would have been Harrison Ford solving the enzyme deficiency of Pompe disease in Extraordinary Measures, but I didn’t get sucked in.
I chose Precious, instead. This luminous movie relates to the practice of medicine everyday, big-time.
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