Lancet review of “What Patients Say; What Doctors Hear”

“For all the sophisticated diagnostic tools of modern medicine, the conversation between doctor and patient remains the primary diagnostic tool.” This idea lies at the heart of Danielle Ofri’s new book What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, in which she acknowledges, dissects, experiments with, and analyses the complexities and miscues of the patient–doctor exchange. More

Losing a Patient

He made his way into my exam room supported by two metal crutches that braced at the elbow, lurching his withered legs forward, step by excruciating step. He was a wisp of a man, barely clocking in at 100 lbs—wasted away, it looked like, from untreated polio and a lifetime of subsistence living. Yet somehow here he was in bustling Manhattan, having managed to navigate our bureaucratic hospital system just a few months after arriving from East Africa. More

Racing the Diabetes Marathon

Diabetes can feel relentless and obstinate. Is there a toenail or ribosome out there that is not suffused by the tenacious diabetic tentacles? More

Lancet review of “What Doctors Feel”

What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine is as close to a page-turner as a clinician’s story is likely to become. What Doctors Feel deserves to be well received and widely read. More

Mensches with MDs

All religions have weighed in on the thorny ethical controversy of when life begins. In the Jewish faith, however, there is consensus: the embryo is only viable once it graduates medical school. More

A “Difficult” Patient’s Journey

Chloë Atkins is the type of patient that every doctor dreads—presenting with a plethora of symptoms that don’t offer any obvious medical explanation. There are multitudes of such patients in a general practitioner’s roster and most, thankfully, will not turn out to have a serious illness. But there are a few who do, and as Atkins’ book points out, this can be a harrowing experience. More

A “Difficult” Patient’s Journey

Chloë Atkins is the type of patient that every doctor dreads—presenting with a plethora of symptoms that don’t offer any obvious medical explanation. There are multitudes of such patients in a general practitioner’s roster and most, thankfully, will not turn out to have a serious illness. But there are a few who do, and as Atkins’ book points out, this can be a harrowing experience. More

A “Difficult” Patient’s Journey

Chloë Atkins is the type of patient that every doctor dreads—presenting with a plethora of symptoms that don’t offer any obvious medical explanation. There are multitudes of such patients in a general practitioner’s roster and most, thankfully, will not turn out to have a serious illness. But there are a few who do, and as Atkins’ book points out, this can be a harrowing experience. More

For Whom Do We Write

Was writing simply cathartic, an unloading of pent-up frustration, pain, occasional exhilaration? Or was this part of a nobler cause, something that would fall under the purview of healing, something with ultimate benefit for my patients? For if it wasn’t the latter, was I not simply exploiting my patients for their readily accessible drama? More

Neuron Overload

Sometimes it feels as though my brain is juggling so many competing details, that one stray request from a patient—even one that is quite relevant—might send the delicately balanced three-ring circus tumbling down. One day, I tried to work out how many details a doctor needs to keep spinning in her head in order to do a satisfactory job, by calculating how many thoughts I have to juggle in a typical office visit. More

Abortion: The View From Both Sides of the Street

A dispassionate discourse on the abortion wars in America? Not something that seems possible, at least in the current polarized culture in the United States. Into the fray comes the documentary “12th and Delaware,” a quiet movie that seeks to illuminate rather than bully. More

Memoir of Lost Love

Kay Redfield Jamison writes movingly of her love for her husband, and chronicles the illnesses that he faced in clear-eyed, heartfelt prose. Danielle Ofri reviews her book for The Lancet. More

Cold Souls–Movie Review

by Danielle Ofri The Lancet Review of movie “Cold Souls,” starring Paul Giamatti “How does the medical profession treat the patient with pains of the soul? Traditionally, we offer psychotherapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, sometimes a condescending pat on the shoulder. But what if we could extirpate the root-cause pathology? Just as we resect a melanoma, … More

Music and Medicine

The moment has finally arrived. After 3 years of sweating through etudes, scales, and Suzuki practice books, my teacher utters the words that every cello student yearns to hear: “It’s time to start the first Bach suite.” Studying cello as an adult hasn’t been the easiest task. But neither is medicine. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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