Its our duty as physicians to avoid needless testsI recently presented Yale Surgical Grand Rounds focused on “Cost and Quality in Cancer Care.” Amidst the talks in Washington regarding our unsustainable health care spending, and provisions of the Affordable Care Act rapidly taking hold, it seemed appropriate to start to critically evaluate how we spend our health care dollar and the value we receive in return. The data are ...

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Stop searching for the health reform silver bullet I recently had the privilege of joining the Yale Cancer Center’s contingent on a visit to University College London in the U.K., where we share a number of scientific collaborations. Between discussions of pathways, particles, and personalized medicine, some of the “tea time” conversation turned to policy and how uninsured patients with cancer in the U.S. get care. We talked about ...

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Diversity provides color to the tapestry of human experienceI was recently appointed the Assistant Director of the Yale Cancer Center with the portfolio of Diversity/Disparities. While I’m not sure I’m the most qualified for this, it has gotten me thinking a lot about diversity, disparities, and what it means to achieve health equity. Too often, I think, we are plagued by narrow thinking ... the impression that our ...

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Cancer has a way of teaching us poignant life lessonsI just finished reading George’s recent post on Evelyn Lauder, who recently passed away from ovarian cancer, and am still stirred by the passing of Patrick Swayze from pancreatic cancer and Elizabeth Edwards from metastatic breast cancer. There’s a reason I am a surgeon, and not a medical oncologist. Death has this bleak sadness about it, that eternal optimists ...

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Science makes me a better doctor, faith makes me a better personSome have argued that there is an innate conflict between faith and science. I am not sure that is so. Not only do the two seem to co-exist; but to my mind, they may even be synergistic. A few months ago, at Schwartz rounds, a case of a pregnant patient who was being given chemotherapy was presented. When the nurse ...

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