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The House Special

During the past several weeks, I have diagnosed several patients with novel H1N1 influenza infection with my diagnostic opinion occasionally backed by a positive flu swab. When my wife, an ER doctor, fell ill I suggested she had novel H1N1 infection and went on to advise some of my family, friends, and neighbors of the likelihood that they too had H1N1. Yet when it was my turn to suffer with fever, body aches, headache, sore throat, and malaise one word seemed best able to convey how I really felt: swine.

My symptoms began four days after having the H1N1 shot and almost immediately after putting my children to bed following a fun but rainy Halloween night. It would have been nice to blame the rain or the flu shot for my suffering but I knew better. Unable to sleep I found myself ruminating over an aphorism I first heard as a third year medical student, spoken by a man who lives in my heart as my mentor. Read more »

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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