Dear Patient(s), Thank you for educating me. Thank you for letting me shine bright lights into your eyes and place Q-tips up your nose. Thank you for not shooting me a dirty look when I ask you to lift up your pendulous breast so I can listen to your heart. Thank you for letting me ogle at your protuberant belly—whether it contains a baby, a liver tumor, or liters of fluid inside. ...

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Four years ago, as I was making rounds on the oncology floor, one of my patients with leukemia asked, out of the blue, "Hey, Doc, who you gonna vote for?" He had an Obama T-shirt by his bedside. Chuckling politely, I asked him why he wanted to know. "I'm curious, Doc," he said. "It tells me your worldview." He said that if we agreed on who should be the next president, ...

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This blog is about freedom and personal responsibility.  I have opined that cigarette smokers should not be permitted to transfer total responsibility for the consequences of their choices to the tobacco companies, even if this industry has committed legal and ethical improprieties.  I do not support the politically correct beverage ban in New York City, sure to spread elsewhere, where the ...

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Suppose 20 children and 6 adults died at a school in a very short time period. And suppose there were clusters of similar deaths, many of young healthy people, around the country: at a movie theater, a shopping mall, a high school, a house of worship. Would you expect the Center for Disease Control to get involved in trying to figure out why these people died and how to prevent ...

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As a doctor, I have never really believed in any type of significant mind-body connection. Of course stress is related to depression or even heart disease. But I never really thought that we as humans were capable of controlling our bodies responses to disease.  I don't think I'll ever believe that it is possible to heal yourself from a serious disease like cancer from thoughts. But recently, I have had a ...

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The AP alert flashed over my phone, its words chilling -- gun shooter -- elementary school-Connecticut -- then the report: 27 killed, 20 of them young children. Killed by a young adult not old enough to legally buy a drink, but able to get his hands on a fearsome amount of firepower, and old enough to have developed a hatred of others that nobody will ever comprehend. Struggling with this since, I ...

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Gun rights advocates are correct: a well armed principal might have reduced the death toll from the tragic elementary school shootings in Connecticut last week. Gun carrying citizens might also have been able to take down the shooters in Aurora and Virginia Tech. To most people, after all, guns are about self-defense, not about committing crimes. As the old saying goes: “There has never been a mass shooting at a ...

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"I kissed my daughter as she left for school today and realized it might be the last time I would ever see her.”  -New Jersey mom, three days after the Sandy Hook, CT shootings On December 14, 2012, twenty school children died of the Gun Disease, shot making gingerbread houses.  As guns beget guns, firearm injury and death spread like a virus.  Doctors, the healthcare system, have failed to protect the most ...

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On Friday morning I was seeing a patient, chatting about the holidays. She had given me a gingerbread house making kit for my kids -- which she had done annually since I had become her doctor. "You are doing so well," I declared, "Have a very Merry Christmas!" "You too!" she said as we hugged and she left the examination room. At 12pm ...

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Is the medical profession doing enough about gun violence? Are any of us?  This is the question that we all must ask ourselves, in the wake of the incalculably sad massacre of little school children in Newtown, Connecticut. I have struggled for days now to find the right words—how can I, or anyone else for that matter, find the words to describe the indescribable shared grief we have about the indescribable horror ...

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