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Category Archives: Daily Dose

Dance and Doctoring

 I’m Chris, a second year medical student about to enter into the wards.  Going into college, I would never have guessed that I would end up in a dance group within the first few weeks of class.  Learning to dance, choreograph, and perform contemporary and

Now, the Moment You’ve Been Waiting For

Three years ago, the AMSA chapter at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, led by medical students Stephanie Oh (an MD/PhD student currently in her PhD years) and Andrew Orr (currently a PGY-1 in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania), initiated

Do you want your doctor to be creative?

If I were to ask you right now to list the most important qualities you want in a doctor, you would probably start with “competent” and “empathetic.” The first word out of your mouth would probably not be “creative.” And yet, there is a growing

Historical Fiction and the Practice of Medicine

With the publication of my historical fiction novel Isthmus, the second book in the Widow Walk saga, I am now scheduled to tour the book and present it at a number of gatherings.  Book readings are always interesting experiences.  Another physician-writer friend, Richard Selzer MD, once

My Grandfather Was a Physician

The ends of the black and white picture are fraying like a newspaper held over a warm flame. It’s a photo of my grandfather in the early 1900s; he’s wearing a suit and tie with wide, round rims that encircle his inquisitive eyes. Thick eyebrows comfortably

How medical students can train to be physician-advocates

We must be “brave, brave, brave” as we exhaust and challenge ourselves to reconcile the disparities that exist in our country. These words, delivered by keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson at the 2013 Teaching and Leadership Development Summit, inspire me as I continue on my mission

3 Lessons – Abraham Verghese’s Commencement Speech

Abraham Verghese is a physician of many talents. He teaches internal medicine at Stanford, he writes opinion pieces, and he has published two memoirs and one novel. Many know him for the celebrated 2009 novel Cutting For Stone, which reached the New York Times bestseller list. Verghese also has a unique

The words that changed McAllen

There are some pieces of journalism that are so gut-wrenching that they can have immediate effects. The recent investigative series on the terrible conditions of nails salons that came out in the New York Times, for example, was so horrific that it caused the governor of New York to, within 3

Structure and Poetry

In a recent interview I read in the Harvard Gazette, poetry professor Helen Vendler discusses her inspiration for becoming an expert on poetry. Vendler was the first woman to be named a University Professor at Harvard. Much of her inspiration for studying poetry, it turns out, comes from

Research Subjects

To my doe-eyed high school self, “research” was a term thrown around in ivy-covered college admissions tours, nightly news reports, and the wellness section of the Times. I imagined pipettes, fluorescently lit blobs of green appearing in petri dishes and evoking “Eureka!” moments, and the

Why technology won’t destroy the doctor-patient relationship

Many aspects of medicine have changed over the course of human history. Schools of thought shifted from humorism to evidence-based medicine, while the standard of care evolved from bleeding to our modern cornucopia of interventions. Yet across centuries, the doctor-patient relationship has remained relatively constant

The Perfect Skill Combo for Success

In his recent article arguing for the importance of an education in the humanities, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof says that liberal arts are needed to guide the most practical, rational, logical discoveries of science and technology in the right direction. He writes

Problems and Solutions in MedTech: One Case Study

I read through all five parts of physician Robert Wachter’s article on Medium, “How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose.” In it, Wachter chronicles the steps of oversight and technology-enabled errors that prompted a nurse to give a pediatric patient at UCSF Children’s Hospital 38.5 times

How could I do this better?

I came across this post, “Wild, Crazy, and Creative Doctors” that lists some examples of how creative doctors have improved their practices. My favorite are the most simple ones, like this: “Marshall Zaslove, MD, a physician productivity expert, advises doctors to have a nurse follow

We Need More Doctors Who Create

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) loved law, writing, and medicine, and jumped from one to the other until he settled on medicine as the career that brought him the most satisfaction, despite precocious success in poetry (his 1830 “Old Ironsides” poem was instrumental in stopping the planned