Every patient tells their story, but are we listening?

Storytelling is an excellent way to learn. In fact, it’s probably the best way to learn. Each patient that comes for medical treatment has their story of signs, symptoms, and circumstances. But often and for certain, when their story is reduced to medical terms, it loses the significance. It is obvious that we are not listening. One of my longtime friends has a younger brother … Continue reading Every patient tells their story, but are we listening?

Is It Apathy or Is It Ignorance?

One of my favorite late night shows was Jay Leno and his segments on “Jaywalking” This segment had Jay going to a public park or boardwalk and interviewing people with common questions. The questions were generally current events, current politics, or some common knowledge such as the capital of a state, or my favorite Question: “Why did women burn their bras in the ‘60”s (meaning … Continue reading Is It Apathy or Is It Ignorance?

The “Right-To-Try” Before I Die

“Jimmy Clark figures he has only so much time left, maybe five years in a best-case scenario, less than two if things go south quick. He’s trying to stay positive, knocking things off his bucket list, but he knows the deterioration that comes with ALS portends a gradual loss of the ability to speak, move, eat, and breathe. Clark, a 59-year-old Texarkana retailer, wants to … Continue reading The “Right-To-Try” Before I Die

Are We Sinking Ourselves in Medical Debt?

Several of my friends, independently, have told me their stories about their experiences with Obamacare. All the stories are similar in many ways and entail recounting of large deductibles and small coverage. The news media has recounted different stories, each with a different problem, but basically all with the same theme. My favorite of the most recent ones in my realm is of a wife … Continue reading Are We Sinking Ourselves in Medical Debt?

AARP Bulletin Advises Members Against Medical Tests

I wonder how many patients Elizabeth Agnvall has sent to an early grave today? The latest AARP Bulletin screams the headline- Doctors say: Skip These Tests! “Doctors warn that some of the common medical tests routinely taken by Americans do more harm than good, waste billions of dollars and could endanger your health or even your life…” Are you kidding me? On page 12 she … Continue reading AARP Bulletin Advises Members Against Medical Tests

Influences and Perceptions: How our intuitions deceive us

Why is it that I believe certain truisms? Did I learn them as a child or was I taught by the television ad? We are much more likely to believe an anecdote or story than we are to believe the scientific evidence. Mothers that believe they know the cause of a child’s illness are unlikely to be swayed by hundreds of scientific studies that say … Continue reading Influences and Perceptions: How our intuitions deceive us