Recently I learned that my friend Hester had been suddenly diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  She had been focused on daily living, her long road stretching out to the horizon, attending to friends, creativity, work, and related pleasures and struggles.  Within days, her life abruptly made a hairpin turn into a new path, narrow and poorly lit, and short.  One week after I spoke to her, she died. It is at ...

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As physicians, we are often called upon to be advocates for our patients. Sometimes they have no other person to turn to. At those times, in particular, we evaluate their health in the context of relationship, family, and workplace. Having practiced family medicine for so many years, and now in counseling medicine, I have had the responsibility of advocating for my patients with their health insurance companies, within their families, ...

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Two nights ago, I was watching, with my family, an old episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, in which a young woman is bitten by a rabid wolf, develops rabies, and dies. That same night, I read a post on Facebook decrying the dangers of immunizations, with a link to an online “news” article blaming immunizations for everything from spreading cancer to HIV. My mother, as a girl, was bitten by ...

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