Posts Tagged ‘Wise Words’

Patients Who Have “Nothing the Matter with Them”

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

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.


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr and Changing Medical Practice

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

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.


Stress Illness in other cultures

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

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.


Stress, Families and Faces

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Death of a family member is a source of stress that most of us experience eventually.  Despite this, it is an uncommon subject for film.  A wonderful exception is Departures, an Oscar-winner from 2008 (Best Foreign Language film, Japanese title Okuribito), directed by Yojiro Takita.


Assessing Medical Research (1)

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

In a perfect world, every claim for a new health care treatment that reached you via the news media would be accurate and clear.  Unfortunately, the reality is that even experienced clinicians reading the evidence in medical journals need to consider carefully the meaning of the research before they use it to change how they manage their patients.  There are many ways for errors in collection, analysis and interpretation of medical research data to creep into even the best published studies.  The subject is so complex that one well-reviewed book on how to assess medical research (1) runs to over 300 pages.


The Mayonnaise Jar and the Two Beers

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, think about this story that is often quoted on the internet.  (If you know the author, please tell everyone by commenting.)