I was invited to attend a private breakfast with book author, surgeon, and New Yorker contributor Dr. Atul Gawande shortly before Dr. Gawande’s talk at The New Yorker Festival. Over breakfast, Dr. Gawande spoke with IBM executive Dr. Paul Grundy on the future of health care. The event was sponsored by IBM so there was plenty of talk about how technology can and will influence the practice of medicine -- ...

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Humans have invented tools to solve problems for themselves since day one. We need to bang something into the ground. That rock over there will work. We need to communicate with one another over a distance. Hey, how about some smoke signals? The social web is just another tool to solve our communication problems in addition to smoke signals and the telephone. It’s absolutely wonderful at spreading new ideas, new being ...

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As doctors, we have pills to treat infections and high cholesterol. We have scalpels to replace hips and open clogged arteries. But beyond pills and scalpels, what tools do we have? Walking out of the doctor’s office without a prescription is a rare occurrence these days. And the famous surgeon tagline has always been “a chance to cut is a chance to cure.” We see people when they’re sick and ...

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Upon finishing my second residency at Hopkins in Baltimore in September of 2007, I moved back to Williamsburg to start a new kind of practice:

  1. Patients would visit my website
  2. See my Google calendar
  3. Choose a time and input their symptoms
  4. My iphone would alert me
  5. I would make a house call
  6. They’d pay me via paypal
  7. We’d follow up by email, IM, videochat, or in person
It was simple, elegant, and affordable for me to start. But ...

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Do you spend 8 hours in front of a screen at work? Do you then spend your free time watching TV or poking around the internet when you get home? How much time are you spending cooking healthy meals to eat with friends and family? How much time are you doing physical activities that make you happy? A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology entitled, Screen-Based ...

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I received my Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins in 2006. I took a course on transportation safety where we focused on designing roads for safety, making airlines safer, and decreasing the risk of medical helicopter crashes. In 2007, I worked for Public Citizen, Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy group. Ralph’s book, Unsafe at Any Speed, forced the automobile industry to focus on converting their cars from steel death ...

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Are reblogs encouraging suicides in the gay community? Recently, we’ve seen numerous young gay people take their lives. Tumblr went purple and spread the word with 29,294 reblogs. The photo above has 17,300 reblogs. Obama even made an "It gets better" video with 704,000 views. Is the blogosphere contributing and encouraging this recent suicide epidemic? Are we reblogging the stories of these “martyrs” without actually thinking about what we’re doing in ...

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The Futurama exhibit from the 1939 World’s Fair, although pretty in exhibition form, looks like a terrible place to live. It’s a world of machines, concrete, and efficiency. How boring! Futurists have always imagined the “what can we do?” scenarios. They’ve never really asked the questions:

  • What should we do?
  • What do people want that would make them feel more alive and more happily human?
Jane Jacobs, in her excellent book
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Almost every Sunday night, I walk to this one restaurant in my neighborhood for some comfort food (we’re creatures of habit aren’t we?). I pass a church on my way where an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is held almost every night. As I walk through the crowd of smokers, I look at them and they look at me. They don’t know that I know they’re recovering addicts. And they put a smile ...

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Dr. Marcus Conant, among the first AIDS specialists in San Francisco, who for decades had one of the world’s largest private practices for patients with AIDS and HIV, has left town and moved to Manhattan. He has been a physician for nearly 50 years, but like many doctors, in the past decade he has become increasingly frustrated with insurance challenges that made running a private practice unnecessarily complicated and a financial ...

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