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Giving the Doctor a Second Chance

Giving the Doctor a Second Chance

“Someone had said you were a good doctor,” my patient said derisively, “but I was not impressed.” What had I done?

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Keeping Perspective on Ebola

Keeping Perspective on Ebola

Irrational fears are highly contagious, and there's no vaccine for that. So just like in the hospital, we need to use universal precautions. Be skeptical of hype. Get your facts from reliable sources and keep things in perspective.

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The Little Things

The Little Things

Although technically these are the little things, in a sense they’re actually the big things. Indeed, for some patients, the little thing may be the only thing that matters.

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Physician Suicide

Physician Suicide

Physician suicide is no surprise: Doctors have the highest suicide rates of any professional group. But losing two of our newest members within a week of each other is a…

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Adventures in ‘Prior Authorization’

Adventures in ‘Prior Authorization’

“Dear Doctor. We are writing to inform you that a prior authorization is required for the medication you prescribed.” That’s usually where I stop reading.

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TEDMED 2014

TEDMED 2014

Danielle will be speaking at the opening session of TEDMED 2014 at the Kennedy Center. This year's theme is “Unlocking Imagination in Service of Health and Medicine.” Free live-stream access…

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The Physical Exam as Refuge

The Physical Exam as Refuge

There are few situations where we expect to disrobe and have our bodies touched by relative strangers.

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Evidence-Based Medicine

Evidence-Based Medicine

Evidence-based medicine often induces more confusion than clarity. It also means different things to different people.

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The Patient vs The Illness

The Patient vs The Illness

So often in medicine we make it sound like the patient is responsible for the clinical outcomes of their illness.

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History & Physical podcast series

History & Physical podcast series

“History and Physical” is a new blog produced by the fantastic student team that produces the blog “In-Training”. Kevin Wang and Danielle Ofri discuss preserving empathy as a medical student,…

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Missing the Final Act

Missing the Final Act

Diseases, like dramas, have natural progressions. Introductions, backgrounds, developments, climaxes, and dénouements. And each disease of each person has its own singular tempo. Life in a teaching hospital, however, is…

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Incidental Illness

Incidental Illness

How, in the quiet world of outpatient medicine, does one know when a life is saved? In residency training, saving a life was always dramatic; there were no subtleties to…

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Art and Medicine podcast

Art and Medicine podcast

Kerri Lowe interviews Danielle for Story Shelter. Hear about taking a gamble on Yiddish poets, surviving devastating medical error, offering literature on the eve of 9/11, contemplating why doctors don't…

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Our Silence Around Dementia

Our Silence Around Dementia

Dementia is not something we doctors talk much about. We all have many patients with dementia — and more every year — but we never seem to chat about it…

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Why Doctors Write

Why Doctors Write

How does writing affect a doctor's practice of medicine? What are the ethics of writing about patients? Should patients be part of the process? Watch the full program broadcast on…

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Doctor Priorities vs. Patient Priorities

Doctor Priorities vs. Patient Priorities

The patient cheerfully admitted that he hadn’t been paying attention to his diabetes for the last few years. He’d stopped taking his medicine, stopped seeing his doctors, stopped thinking about…

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Acne

Acne

A young Navajo woman files silently into my office, making no eye contact. As she slips into the chair errant strands of black hair spill across her face. Through the…

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The Small Costs

The Small Costs

We all hear about “health care costs,” a lumbering behemoth that dominates the news. But it is the smaller amounts, literally the pocket money, that often has the strongest effect…

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Lots of New Patients, Too Few Doctors

Lots of New Patients, Too Few Doctors

Getting a primary care doctor is hard these days, and will only get harder as more people get insurance via the ACA. This is a "problem" that we should welcome,…

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Ethical Implications of Incidental Findings

Ethical Implications of Incidental Findings

Imagine that you volunteer for memory study and the fMRI also happens to find a life-threatening aneurysm. Your life is saved by the "incidental finding." But what if tumor that…

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Why Doctors Don’t Take Sick Days

Why Doctors Don’t Take Sick Days

From day one in medical training, the unspoken message is that calling in sick is for wimps. Most doctors ignore their symptoms and resist taking the day off unless they…

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When Doctors Share With Patients

When Doctors Share With Patients

Doctors often “self-disclose” to patients in an attempt to empathize. But contrary to what might be expected, such self-disclosures often turned out not to be helpful in addressing patients’ concerns…

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The Challenge of Diabetes

The Challenge of Diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes often triggers a flurry of life changes and medical interventions. But diabetes--like all chronic illnesses--is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Doctors’ Bad Habits

Doctors’ Bad Habits

We doctors constantly lament how difficult it is get our patients to change their behavior. But the truth is, we are equally intransigent when it comes to changing our own…

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NYU Stories

NYU Stories

A rare glimpse into the effects of shuttling from patient to patient without being allowed to process the powerful feelings—fear, anger, grief—that naturally arise when lives are at stake.

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The Raw Fear of Being a Patient

The Raw Fear of Being a Patient

At that moment, my faith in science plummeted from beneath me. My decades of medical training, my Ph.D. in biochemistry, my grounding in the scientific method, all evaporated in the…

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Humanities For Science Majors

Humanities For Science Majors

For one premed, a chance exposure to an unknown sliver of literature sprung open an entirely new world. The unexpected opportunity to steep in the humanities offered me ways to…

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More Power to the Placebo

More Power to the Placebo

The hospital ward was quiet for the night, except for “the howler.” The patient and I were both pretty exasperated with each other. He was sullen and cranky; I was…

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Doctors Blame Others for Medical Costs

Doctors Blame Others for Medical Costs

If doctors feel that the grind of medicine is just going to get worse, then they won’t have any stake in making major changes. You can present all the data…

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Review in “Clinical Correlations”

Review in “Clinical Correlations”

As the saxophone virtuoso Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

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