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Latest Posts

AIDS In America: We Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Yesterday I introduced my friend Charles Roth. Charles was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2003 and was already in bad shape. He had been tested as healthy the previous year, but the disease struck quickly, hospitalizing him for a week and keeping him out of work for a month and a half. He returned to work but repeated illnesses due to AIDS meant that by 2006, he was unable to work full-time. A bank executive, Charles still tries to find occasional contract work or odd jobs like résumé writing and tax preparation, but with the recession, these jobs are low-paying and hard to come by. For the most part he makes do with a tiny state disability check and food stamps.

So how typical is Charles’s case? We’ve all heard of success stories like Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and still has not developed AIDS. But clearly neither case tells the whole story. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Daily Monthly*

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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