Tag Archives: Doctors Patients and Diseases

Physician, heal thyself

Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, USA   Author’s right coronary artery before stenting “Physician, heal thyself” is a biblical reminder (Luke 4:23) that while physicians are eager and able to heal illness in others, they are often unable to heal themselves. A similar saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” was mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary […]

Flyfishing and medicine

James Stoller Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Photo by Jeff Smith I am one of the many doctors who relish the zen of flyfishing. Standing in a stream, reading the clues for what type of fly to cast and where to cast it, and focusing incessantly on a dry fly drifting lithely to entice a hungry […]

The treasure trove of memory

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece     Olive Tree with Pansies, Loutraki, Greece Memory, the ability to recall at will previous events and various facts, is a precious mental faculty, an asset that underpins learning, knowledge, and experience in any field of human endeavor. In medicine its value is undeniable, though for legal as well as […]

“The GBM in Room 9”: on the objectifying power of naming and diagnosing

Atara Messinger Toronto, Ontario, Canada   French literary theorist and philosopher Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) I wheeled the patient through the double doors into the operating room. As I parked the hospital bed next to the operating table, I quickly glanced at the patient’s chart. NAME: ‘J.’ AGE: 28. HISTORY: Progressive headaches, visual changes, and right-sided […]

Decoding doctor-speak in the era of OpenNotes

Jennifer Wineke Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Modern-day doctors share a common dilemma: how do you get all of the necessary information into the electronic medical record while still being present with the patient? Every doctor I have talked to approaches this challenge a little differently. Some acknowledge the impersonality upfront and apologize to the […]

Not by blood

Simon Edber Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA   Child Seated on a Sofa (1883) by Mary Cassatt National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection Raven knows exactly how she joined the family: “She didn’t want me so she took me to the hospital, and then you came and bought me from the hospital.” Well, almost exactly. “I […]

Aspects of distancing

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Corfu Island, Greece. Author Photo. I will call him Bill. We had been unaware of each other’s existence until we first met as elected members of a professional committee in our local medical association. In this capacity we had been working together for several years, convening every two or three months […]

People or numbers: healing and efficiency

Damiano Rondelli Chicago, Illinois, USA   In a rare text from 1793, the Italian physician Luigi Angeli instructed young doctors on how to approach a patient: “…once you questioned the patient about his disease, or the remote causes of this, and after you observed the quality of his temper, age, once clarified the life style, […]

In the beginning: the bible’s solution to obesity

Josie Hulme North Ogden, Utah, United States   “Feasting on the word of God” takes on another meaning when searching the scriptures for instruction on healthy eating. By Emma Hulme One Bible story clearly related to health is that of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had conquered the people of Judah and brought many Israelites back […]

Uncertainty and clinical truths

Anjan Banerjee Cambridgeshire, UK   “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability” (William Osler)   Monday 15:35 pm Franciso Goya. Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta, 1820. The ninety-eight year old patient with piercing blue eyes and a quizzical expression sat in her wheelchair in the colorectal clinic. We sat facing each other […]