shutterstock_212693173 I work in a place where nobody calls me by my name. They all address me by a moniker of their choosing that I have asked them not to use.  I have asked them to use my name.  Aside from a few who respect my wish, most of my co-workers just call me by the impersonal-sounding phrase they’ve selected instead.  It creates ...

Read more...

shutterstock_176089838 Recent events in Baltimore sparked by the tragic death of Freddie Gray in police custody have thrust our city into the national and international spotlight. As others have observed, the anger, violence and grief that erupted in Baltimore following Gray’s death have roots that run much deeper -- and much wider -- than the highly publicized clashes between law enforcement and minority ...

Read more...

shutterstock_120079906 While examining a newborn baby for the first time, a mother happened to ask me, “Doc, what was your name?” “Dr. Bailony,” I replied. “Wow, that was the name of my pediatrician as a kid,” she said with a surprised tone in her voice. It turned out that her pediatrician as a young girl was my father, and by random chance ...

Read more...

Life is all about beginnings and endings. One of the biggest draws of obstetrics as a medical specialty is the fascination with the birth process as the beginning of life. The other extreme ... well, let’s say in this particular place and time in history, it’s still something that catches people unaware. Too often filled with dread and loathing, we approach the death of patients as a foreshadowing of our ...

Read more...

Loitering in the hallway of my son's school awaiting his parent-teacher conference, I completely forgot that the woman introducing herself and shaking my hand was an alcoholic.  I forgot that she had visited me in the office a decade prior for a consultation.  I forgot all of it. What I remembered is that we had gone to high school together.  We had grown up in the same city, in the same ...

Read more...

shutterstock_111214139 A chief resident about to graduate wrote the following to me:

I just read -- twice -- the New Yorker's review of Henry Marsh's memoir you tweeted about. Wow. It seems like he is grappling with so many of the things I'm feeling now, as I'm trying to sort out if I'm trained "enough" to head out into the world. Of ...

Read more...

shutterstock_110078714 In Bill’s room were his doctor, a medical scribe, a physician assistant, and a medical student. Not an imposing group, but in that moment each of them knew more about what was happening to Bill than he did. They were strangers who held keys to his fate. The doctor first instructed the scribe to generate an electronic note. Then, he turned his ...

Read more...

shutterstock_145263814 I tossed and turned during many sleepless nights as a cancer patient. Some nights from nausea, some from pain. Some from sadness, some even from being cold without hair. There were nights where I feared my next surgery or next treatment. Nights fretting about the scan or blood work -- had it spread? Would I see my graduation in 3 months? ...

Read more...

shutterstock_115412092 At my institution, we have a decades-old tradition known as Girls’ Night Out.  Once a year, the female surgical attendings treat the female general surgery residents to a night out at a fancy North End restaurant.  At its infancy, in the late 1970s, the dinner consisted of the only two female members of the department of general surgery.  It has since ...

Read more...

shutterstock_141076960 As someone who has practiced hospital medicine up and down the East Coast for the last several years, I’ve had the fortune of working with some absolutely terrific colleagues. The hospital environment is by its very nature a busy and hectic one -- where we all put our heads down and work tirelessly at the coalface for hours on end. Doctors ...

Read more...

Most Popular