“I admire anyone who has the guts to write anything at all.”
– E. B. White
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
– Mark Twain
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
– Maya Angelou
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at ...
“Isn’t she … isn’t she pretty in pink?”
- Psychedelic Furs, Pretty in Pink
October in New England. The sky is a brilliant blue, the leaves on the trees are turning impossible shades of orange, yellow, and red.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so in addition to the brilliant fall colors all around, people are wearing pink clothing and pink ribbons, and products on ...
“A good surgeon has the eye of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the hand of a woman …”
– 15th century English proverb
#ILookLikeASurgeon, a hashtag on Twitter and the movement it has inspired, has resonated deeply with me.
I look like a surgeon. There is so much more behind this seemingly simple statement of fact. I am not just stating that I have excelled and I have achieved and ...
Smitty greets Sully as they meet to head to work, “Hey there, Sully! How’s your wife?” Sully answers, “Oh, geez. She’s up in bed with laryngitis.” Then Smitty says, “Laryngitis?! That damned Greek!”
As you may have guessed, I am nursing a case of laryngitis, my voice muted and strained. This time, it has not stopped me from attending to my work responsibilities or other activities. It has required some adjustments though, ...
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
- Albert Einstein
“Miracles happen every day; change your perception of what a miracle is, and you’ll see them all around you.”
— Jon Bon Jovi
“The miracle is this: The more we share, the more we have.”
— Leonard Nimoy
It is amazing when things in medicine work just the way ...
"Only one rule in medical ethics need concern you -- that action on your part which best conserves the interests of your patient."
- Dr. Martin H. Fischer, German-American Physician and Author
"A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount."
- Principles of Medical Ethics, American Medical Association
"I pledge to pursue the practice of surgery with honesty and to place the welfare and the rights of ...
Have a little faith in me.
- John Hiatt
Spring ushers in major holidays in many faiths and religions. The rites of spring and the vernal equinox, new life and rebirth are springtime themes and touchstones across many cultures. Faith is important to many people and across many cultures and religions. I would assert faith is even important to atheists and agnostics, and those without a formal religious tradition.
Faith is important ...
- Joe “King” Carrasco
Fight for Your Right (To Party)!
- Beastie Boys
We Just Wanna Dance
- The Flirts
My favorite radio station, WHFS, had a ritual every Friday afternoon to start off the weekend, back in the day. DJs Weasel and Bob Here would exchange pleasantries as they exchanged shifts, and would launch the same set of songs at the same ...
– Slim Pickins as Maj. ‘King’ Kong, riding the bomb in “Dr. Strangelove”
I am converted. Like many doctors, I was very leary of social media, wary about using it, skeptical of its professional value. Especially Twitter, but really all of the platforms. No longer: I have embraced social media, and it has embraced me.
I feel a little bit like Dr. Strangelove, only the subtitle is now “How I Learned To Stop Worrying ...
Eonia I Mnimi (Eternal Memory)
- Greek Orthodox Funeral Blessing
“Have you ever seen anyone die before?” my cousin asked me, from across the bed.
“Sure I have, plenty of times,” I answered.
We were flanking her father, my uncle (really, my mother’s cousin, but extended Greek families are complicated; suffice it to say that our families are very close). He had just taken his last breath.
My uncle had been declining for several years with Lewy ...
Physicians have so many ways to communicate. Yet why are they so far apart?Communication Breakdown, It’s always the same, I’m having a nervous breakdown, Drive me insane!
- Communication Breakdown, Led Zeppelin
Oh why can’t we talk again? Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone!
- Hanging on the Telephone, Blondie
I honestly don’t know how they did it, how doctors practiced and communicated effectively in the days before our modern technology, with computers, ...
I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!
- The White Rabbit, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland
It is in the very words, "running late." It is not walking late, or strolling late, or even meandering late. It is always running late, the phrase itself active, implying urgency and speed, rush and anxiety. The distress, just like the White Rabbit. The ...
Help, I need somebody! Help, not just anybody! Help, you know I need someone, help!
- The Beatles
We are all here on earth to help each other; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.
- W. H. Auden
“Help the doctor!”
I’m sure most surgeons have heard this exasperated statement at some point in the operating room. It is said with that special mix of ...
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
Stick to Facts, sir! … In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir: nothing but Facts!
- Charles Dickens, Hard Times
“Information without context isn’t transparency” flashed across my Twitter feed. So now I am thinking about context, and communicating context, in medical care.
This quote, from Heather Pierce, JD, MPH, Director of Science Policy and Regulatory ...
There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life. - Lucy Maud Montgomery
Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.
- Gerard Way
My colleague, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, is currently on leave from his academic anesthesia practice as well as from his post as speaker of the house of delegates for the Massachusetts Medical Society to serve as Lt. Commander Jesse Ehrenfeld, combat anesthesiologist in Kandahar, ...
You are human and fallible.
- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Alas, the frailty is to blame, not me -- for such as we are made of, such we be …
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Sha-doo-bee, Shattered …
- Mick Jagger, “Shattered”, The Rolling Stones, Some Girls (1978)
The image of the surgeon is synonymous with strength. Surgeons are stereotypically charismatic, commanding, confident, even arrogant. Strong minds, strong bodies, strong wills. Leaders, especially ...