Monthly Archives: November 2009

People, Panic, and Pandemics

People, Panic, and Pandemics

Yesterday was a typically busy day in my medical clinic, plenty of killers on the loose – diabetes, hypertension, coronary disease. But every patient wanted to talk about swine flu. The news that swine flu had come to New York City sent my patients into a panic and they peppered me with questions: Is it…

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Humanizing Medicine: The Small Details

Humanizing Medicine: The Small Details

“Angelina Gomez,” the medical assistant hollers out to the crowded waiting room. As always, I cringe when I hear this. It sounds so harsh, so cattle-like. I know that the assistant is actually a gentle and caring person, and I understand that he uses a loud voice so that he can be heard over the…

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Let Me Down Easy

Let Me Down Easy

Every illness is unique, and every person faces illness in his or her own way. Anna Deveare Smith, in her one-woman show “Let Me Down Easy,” slips into the persona of twenty-one individuals who have faced an aspect of illness or death. In ninety minutes, Deveare Smith takes the audience on an existential scavenger hunt,…

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