Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

A Two-Biscotti Physician

[Recently] I ate at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. I had eaten there many times before, but the experience this time was different. After ordering, I received a vacuous bread basket with precisely two pieces of bread. At the end of my meal I was offered two biscotti — and no more. Only the manager could offer an explanation: As a means of containing costs, the decision had been made to capitate bread and biscotti distribution.

I was disappointed. I had been eating here for years. When Colic Solved was released, my publication party was held here. After all those anniversaries, New Year’s celebrations, and birthdays, I’m shortchanged on cookies? It’s remarkable how a great experience can be shadowed by something so small.

Then I got to thinking: Perhaps I’m a two-biscotti physician. Like this restaurant, there are times when I don’t finish well. I may do a phenomenal job with assessment and diagnosis, only to delay a callback on biopsies or X-ray results. Perhaps I get it all right, but fail to get the detail right on the home health orders. Are there small pieces missing in my encounter that represent everything a parent remembers? I know that there are, and I know there are things I have to work on.

There’s a lot we can learn from a restaurant. I don’t want to be a two-biscotti physician.

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »

Commented - Most Popular Articles