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Latest Posts

Parents Get Tattoo In Support Of Their Diabetic Son

I was just making preparations for the top 2011 posts I’m planning to write in the upcoming days when I bumped into this cute story about a diabetic kid who felt ashamed to wear the insulin pump so his parents got insulin pump tattoos.

Some parents get tattoos of their child’s name, but Philippe Aumond and Camille Boivin went one better.

In a show of solidarity, they each have an image of an insulin pump tattooed on their abdomens, declaring that they are “forever linked” to their son Jacob.

“It is a great thing for him, and we were thrilled just to see his smile when he saw those pumps. It made our day, that’s for sure,” said Boivin, 36, from the family’s home in La Sarre, Que.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Creative Glucose Meter Case Reminds Kids That Diabetes Shouldn’t Stop Them From Having Fun

A few years ago, I connected with Kyrra Richards, creator of Myabetic, to highlight the completely adorable “Lovebug” meter case.  She and I have talked a few times since, and I had the opportunity to reconnect with her at the Diabetes Sisters conference in San Diego back in October.

It was at that conference that I was able to check out her new project, Champ, in person.  And it’s totally cool, in that “hey, let’s make my glucose meter case something that doesn’t suck” sort of way.  I love it.

I asked Kyrra what the inspiration for Champ was, and she had this to say: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

ER Physician Recharges At The Beach

This is my column in July’s EM News.  Have a restful day!

We travel to Hilton Head, SC, every spring for an ‘end of school-year’ vacation. It is a tradition that started several years ago; one which our family treasures. We plan months ahead, when we arrange lodging. Then, as the date draws closer we have to restrain ourselves from jumping up and down at odd, inappropriate times. The beach calls to us in an inexplicable way.

We live in a beautiful county, surrounded by mountains and lakes. It is, in itself, a worthy destination, perfect for biking, hiking, fishing and/or kayaking. But when May rolls around, our eyes turn to the east, and we long for the sand and sea. It is one of the special gifts of South Carolina, that highland forests and crashing surf are half a day’s car ride apart.

The morning we leave, the car is packed, the snacks tucked away, and we drive through the local Chick-fil-A for drinks. Then my dear wife immerses herself in a novel, her i-Pod turned to her music collection (eclectic as when we first met, running the gamut from Prince to Loreena McKinnet, from Aaron Copeland to Veggie-Tales). The children slip off their shoes and drift into games, or their own books and music before boredom takes them to sleep.

I am left enjoying the singular pleasure of driving across the state of South Carolina, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Red Neck Physician Antics


A physician friend of mine recently bragged that, while driving along a rural South Carolina road, he had stopped, chased a timber-rattler into the bushes, located said rattler, then urinated on it.

‘I wanted to say I had peed on a rattlesnake!’  He beat a hasty retreat (and I imagine a hasty zip-up) when the snake rattled and struck at the air.  Who can blame Mr. Snake?

You can take the redneck to medical school, but you’ll just get a redneck with a medical degree.

Which brings me to me.  I have to work on our tool-shed/work-shop in the morning.  The tool-shed/work-shop is, however, over-run with red-wasps.  I counted no less than ten nests inside.  These are irritable, contentious creatures with no love of humanity.  If they were humans, they would be Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Prediction: Physicians Will Retire Earlier And Earlier Because Medicine Is No Longer Fun

I wonder if we’re in danger of stifling fun in medicine.

Certainly there are still fun things to do in medicine (ablating a pesky accessory pathway safely, for instance). But as I watch the newly-minted medical school graduates emerge from their long, sheltered educational cocoon, I wonder what their attrition rate will be from medicine once they see our new more-robotic form of health care community.

There is a social camaraderie in medicine when you train. Maybe it’s the “misery loves company” syndrome. In medical school you stick together through thick and thin because few others understand what you’re going through. You strive for the day when, collectively, you earn the designation of “doctor of medicine.” There’s a strength in numbers.

But as our work flows become regimented, our geographic coverage areas more dispersed, and our hours more fragmented, I’ve seen the loss of the collegiality of the doctor’s lounge being replaced with the coldness of e-mail blasts. I’ve seen the loss of summer picnics with my colleagues’ families replaced with “Doctor Appreciation Day.” After work get-togethers that included our spouses and kids are have long since gone – most of us just want to get back home to re-group for the next day ahead. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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 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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