Michael Galinsky, a director of and a principal subject in a documentary about chronic pain titled All The Rage has written a wonderful essay (1) on the process of physicians changing their practice (or not) in response to research data. Any one interested in how treatment of chronic pain and other symptoms linked to psychophysiologic disorders will evolve (or not) in coming years will find it clearly written and edifying.
Archive for the ‘Words of Wisdom’ Category
Among physicians with a humanistic soul, perhaps no quotation is more fondly remembered than one from Dr Francis Peabody. He was born in 1881 to a prominent New England family, trained at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital and was the first director of the Thorndike Laboratory at Boston City Hospital. Tragically, he died of sarcoma at age 46.
Here we continue the discussion from the last post of Arthur Miller’s play Broken Glass which he wrote at age 78. The play with my commentary will be broadcast the weekend of June 18-19 on many NPR stations around the US and is available on the web site of the LA Theatre Workshop. See the last post for links.
On Saturday, June 18, 2011 many NPR stations around the US will broadcast a play that, during intermission, I comment on. Starting Friday night, the audio be available for a week on the website of The L.A. Theatre Works who produced it. The play is Broken Glass by Arthur Miller (1915 – 2005), an American playwright most famous for four plays he wrote in his 30s: Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, A View from the Bridge and, my personal favorite, All My Sons. His notoriety increased further at age 40 when he left his wife of 16 years and, weeks later, married Marilyn Monroe.
In the last post, a quotation from Dr Jerome Groopman highlighted two common physician errors, the first being to lump together all patients with medically unexplained symptoms and label them hypochondriacs.
David Seidler was pre-school age and living in London when the Nazis bombed his apartment and later killed his grandparents in the Holocaust. Understandably, the family decided to relocate to New York. David developed a stammer during the move that he believed was connected to the war-time traumas. He struggled with his voice for over a decade.
Integrating the care of mind and body has never been routine in the practice of medicine. Finding a way to bridge that divide is a daunting task. I found unexpected encouragement today, while bringing light and air to the surface of my desk for the first time in a year or two. Buried in the “please find a place to file this” pile, I found a page my father had typed in law school sixty years ago. He had passed it on to me when I finished medical school.
Physical symptoms connected to stress are reported in many cultures. Abraham Verghese, MD is a professor of medicine at Stanford University in California. His critically acclaimed novel Cutting for Stone (Vintage Books, 2009) is narrated by Marion Stone, a 50 year old surgeon born in dramatic circumstances at a hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr Ghosh practices Internal Medicine at the hospital and early in Chapter 12 there is a description of some of his work.