Ideas and Insights

Is Patient Storytelling a Civic Duty?
06.5.2019

During a meeting with the American College of Not-to-be-Named-Doctors, their staff shared with me that the Incoming President’s plan was for it to be “the year of the patient.” Immediately, I wondered why it wasn’t every year. Clearly the mission of any professional medical society is to be a voice for its members, but their […]

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What Having Heart Disease Has Taught Me
06.4.2019

I’m often asked what it’s like to live with heart disease. For me, the physical limitations have been much less difficult to manage than the emotional and psychological ones. Heart patients are cautioned about becoming “cardiac cripples”—overly anxious and worried about their future to the point that it affects their health. Yep, I’ve done that. […]

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Childbirth and Mortality Through the Ages: Reflections on Mother’s Day
05.12.2019

Bundled up to break the wind off the water, I stared down at the small, timeworn gravestones marked not by years of birth and death, but by days and weeks. Mary – stillborn, Stephen – 1 week, Sarah – 5 months and 12 days, Albert Henry – 6 years, 9 months, and 11 days, Louisa […]

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But You Don’t Look Like a Patient
05.12.2019

Sitting next to me was an elderly woman stooped to a right angle. Next to her a gentleman tethered to an oxygen tank by a nasal cannula. Everything else – the dated magazines, water cooler, and photographs of farms and birds – looked like any other doctor’s waiting room. I’d been waiting to see my cardiologist longer […]

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