What the Uneducated Old Woman Told Me (Christopher Reid)

That she was glad to sit down That her legs hurt in spite of the medicine That times were bad. That her husband had died nearly thirty years before That the war had changed things, That the new priest looked like a schoolboy and you could barely hear him in church. That pigs were better … Continue reading What the Uneducated Old Woman Told Me (Christopher Reid)

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A Letter to My Cadaver With Some Questions I Still Have (Ramon Cancino)

Dear Mr {...}: Did you Hesitate? (Because I would have – Ten or Thirty times.) Did you like science When you were Young? Who was your favorite teacher? Cream with your coffee? What are your Top five Favorite songs? Sunset or sunrise? Ever Find it hard Just to Sleep? Did you ever Find your true … Continue reading A Letter to My Cadaver With Some Questions I Still Have (Ramon Cancino)

Bridging the Culture Gap (Pauline W. Chen, M.D.)

One afternoon not long after I finished my training, two sisters, both well-respected professionals in their late 40s, came to the hospital clinic. Both sisters had hepatitis B, and the older sister, like a fair number of chronic hepatitis B patients, had developed liver cancer. She and her sister were hoping that we might be … Continue reading Bridging the Culture Gap (Pauline W. Chen, M.D.)

Ancient Gentility (William Carlos Williams)

In those days I was about the only doctor they would have on Guinea Hill. Nowadays some of the kids I delivered then may be practising medicine in the neighborhood. But in those days I had them all. I got to love those people, they were all right. Italian peasants from the region just south … Continue reading Ancient Gentility (William Carlos Williams)

The Computer and the Hernia Factory

Excerpt from Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande Download PDF One summer day in 1996, Hans Ohlin, the fifty-year-old chief of coronary care at the University of Lund Hospital in Sweden, sat down in his office with a stack of two thousand two hundred and forty electrocardiograms. Each test result … Continue reading The Computer and the Hernia Factory

When Young Doctors Strut Too Much of Their Stuff

from New York Times Online View Online By ERIN N. MARCUS, M.D. Published: November 21, 2006 MIAMI, Nov. 20 — When I was a new faculty physician, I worked with a resident doctor who was smart and energetic and took excellent care of her patients. There was just one problem. As she delivered her thoughtful … Continue reading When Young Doctors Strut Too Much of Their Stuff

No Free Lunch (Paul Jung)

PREFACE: It is no secret that drug com- panies operate in a world of high risks and potentially high gains. Recouping large in- vestments made in new drug research and development and maximizing corporate profits depend on persuading the medical community to prescribe as much of specific medications as possible. That persuasion takes many forms, … Continue reading No Free Lunch (Paul Jung)

First Do No Harm: History of Treatment, and Pharmaceuticals (Jacalyn Duffin)

If the whole materia medica as used, could be sunk in the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes. -Oliver Wendell Holmes (1883) In June 1991 the body of American President Zachary Taylor was exhumed for a medico-legal examination. He had been dead … Continue reading First Do No Harm: History of Treatment, and Pharmaceuticals (Jacalyn Duffin)

The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy (Jacalyn Duffin)

Anatomy is to physiology, as geography to history; it describes the theatre of events. - Jean-Fernel, On the Natural Part of Medicine (1542); cited in C. Sherrington, The Endeavour of John Fernel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946), 64 Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body. Today it seems integral to the study … Continue reading The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy (Jacalyn Duffin)

Spring and All (William Carlos Williams)

By the road to the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue mottled clouds driven from the northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the waste of broad, muddy fields brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen patches of standing water the scattering of tall trees All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy stuff … Continue reading Spring and All (William Carlos Williams)