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What Is A Medical Archeologist?

I’m becoming an amateur archeologist. The hilltop where we live is strewn with arrowheads and bits of Native American pottery shards. I have slowly, surely, trained my eye to find them. There is little flint here; so most of the pieces I find were made of quartz. (Hard to work with, but remarkably beautiful and almost always a brilliant white.)

My kids and I walk the red-clay paths and look down for bits of stone protruding up, especially after a good, soaking rain. Elijah, my youngest boy, was the first to find one. ‘Is that an arrowhead, Papa?’ ‘Yep, good eye son!’ He had found what was probably the point of an atlatl (a kind of mix between arrow and spear).

We look for rocks that seem shaped by human hands. That’s the ticket; look for something that seems to suggest a purpose or a history. Things with no shape, no marks from being worked, are probably not worth our time. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

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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