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Latest Posts

Vote In My Poll Or You Will Be Forced To Read About Cats Forever!

Alright, well a little melodrama never hurt anyone did it? I’m trying really hard to listen to my readers and adjust my blogging themes/topics/approach accordingly. I actually have no idea what you like to read – health policy, touching stories, humor, research explained, expert interviews, celebrity health initiatives, health tips… etc. So I’m asking. What would you like me to blog about? Please vote in my poll on the right hand side of this page. (Or if you’re viewing this message in a reader, well please come on over to my blog and vote.)

So far (my poll has a N=11, not a very high statistical power) you readers seem to be saying that you like personal stories about the blogger (I guess that means you want me to tell you about my cat – well there she is, featured in the top left-hand corner. Her name is “Ona” and she has an insatiable appetite for grilled asparagus.)

But I have this sneaking suspicion that you don’t really want to hear about ME, you’d like to hear about healthcare and medicine from a fresh perspective. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this should be a cat blog? Please do vote in my poll so you can water down the voices of those crazy people who are asking for more personal blogging. If you don’t… my only choice is to give the people what they want…  and you may be doomed to read about kitties, etc. forever!


Bizarre event of the day: I was voted as one the top 20 most influential health voices on Twitter. So go ahead and follow me there. My Twitter name is drval.

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Cartoon

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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