Falling into the Diagnostic Trap

Falling into the Diagnostic Trap

It’s as though our brains close ranks around our first impression, then refuse to consider anything else. With this patient, we almost missed a life-threatening diagnosis.

Read more »

Assuming the Doctor’s a “He”

Assuming the Doctor’s a “He”

A classic study of preschoolers in 1979 showed that even young children “knew” that doctors were men and nurses were women. But surely we’ve moved beyond these stereotypes, no?

Read more »

Ins and Outs of Inpatient and Outpatient Medicine

Ins and Outs of Inpatient and Outpatient Medicine

The inpatient wards and the outpatient clinic are part of the same hospital, but they are like different planets. On the inpatient side, the patients are acutely ill — malignant brain tumor, acute renal failure, heart valve infections, intestinal bleeding, and so on. Not so in the outpatient clinic, where patients get their regular medical…

Read more »

Monday

Monday

Maybe it was simply human nature that no one wanted to be sick on weekends. Or admit to it. Or do something about it. Whatever the reason, Mondays were always the days of reckoning: weekend walls of denial came crashing down, weekend indiscretions faced their due, weekend warriors paid their price in blood. Admissions poured…

Read more »

Lemons for Weight Loss

Lemons for Weight Loss

The field of weight-loss pills is strewn with lemons. Why do both doctors and patients pretend that it's lemonade, when it's anything but!

Read more »

Slow Medicine

Slow Medicine

I can't tell you exactly when it happened, but sometime in the past two decades, the "practice of medicine" was insidiously morphed into the "delivery of health care." If you aren't sure of the difference between the two, then "God's Hotel" is the book for you. It’s an engaging book that chronicles this fin-de-siecle phenomenon…

Read more »

Doctors Have Feelings Too

Doctors Have Feelings Too

Doctors should be aware of emotions that may lead them to be less than honest with patients or reluctant to admit errors.

Read more »

Who Deserves a Heart Transplant?

Who Deserves a Heart Transplant?

In Israel, a New Approach to Organ Donation by Danielle Ofri New York Times One of the most agonizing spots in medicine is the “transplant list.” When I’ve referred patients for organ transplant—heart, liver, kidney—it is the start of an anguished wait. The clock ticks for my patient as we watch her clinical status decline,…

Read more »

Doctors’ Suicide

Doctors’ Suicide

What happens it's the doctor who commits suicide? Sadly, physicians--as a group--have a higher suicide rate than other professionals. Here's the story of one doctor and the effects of his death on his student.

Read more »

Music Teachers for Doctors?

Music Teachers for Doctors?

What if every doctor learned from a music teacher? Could a "coach" bring back the intellectual vibrancy from medical-school days for one doctor, the way a music teacher inspires constant growth?

Read more »

A Sampler of Danielle’s writing

A Sampler of Danielle’s writing

Want to sample Danielle's writing? Check out videos, podcasts, and of course, the written word of Danielle's most memorable stories.

Read more »

Americans by Choice

Americans by Choice

"Enlightened citizenship is the everlasting strength of our democracy." Inspiration from Andrew Carnegie.

Read more »

Filling the Ritalin Rx

Filling the Ritalin Rx

Most physicians think little about prescriptions after they hand them off to their patients. But patients can face shame and humiliation when filling a prescription.

Read more »

The Provider Will See You Now

The Provider Will See You Now

When did doctors become “providers”? The term has a deliberate sterility to it that wrings out any sense of humanity, and connotes a widgetlike framework for that which is being “provided.”

Read more »

Recertifying Doctors

Recertifying Doctors

In 1990, seeking to keep pace with the rapid advances in medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine initiated the “recertification process.” Now, doctors must take an exam every 10 years.

Read more »

Doc, How Much Time I Got?

Doc, How Much Time I Got?

There are few situations more horrible than having to tell another human being that he or she is going to die. And it doesn’t get any easier with experience...

Read more »

Literary Publishing at Bellevue

A news report from MedPage about the Bellevue Literary Review and the Bellevue Literary Press.

Read more »

Doctors, Patients, and Computers

Doctors, Patients, and Computers

The presence of computers in the exam room has had another consequence. Both physically and psychologically it has placed a wedge in the doctor-patient relationship.

Read more »

Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11

On 9/11, doctors and nurses swarmed Bellevue Hospital, ready to help the injured from the twin towers. But we weren't ready for happened next.

Read more »

A “Difficult” Patient’s Journey

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…

Read more »

Facing the Water

Facing the Water

She eyed the cool, glistening water, watching her friends swim. Gushes of water lapped over the edge, dousing the riverbank’s knot of weeds and rushes. She chided herself for forgetting her bathing suit. But this outing hadn’t been planned...

Read more »

“Quality” Medical Care

“Quality” Medical Care

We all want “quality” medical care. But how should quality actually be measured?

Read more »

NPR Interview

NPR Interview

Danielle Ofri speaks on Minnesota Public Radio about why  would anyone choose to become a doctor. Hear the story now. Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share on Twitter Tell a friend

Read more »

Why Would Anyone Become a Doctor?

Why Would Anyone Become a Doctor?

The awe of discovering the human body. The honor of being trusted to give advice. The gratitude for helping someone through a difficult illness. These things never grow old.

Read more »

A Problem Following Doctor’s Orders

A Problem Following Doctor’s Orders

It was a year into our relationship when my patient finally told me the truth. No wonder he couldn’t keep his medications straight.

Read more »

Stereotyping Patients and their Ailments

Stereotyping Patients and their Ailments

Mr. S received the unwelcome news that he was H.I.V. positive, though his T-cell count was still in the normal range. His T-cell count stayed high enough to protect him from opportunistic infections. He seemed to be one of the rare, lucky “nonprogressors.” But after several years of consistently robust T-cell counts, one of the…

Read more »

Lives Cut Short by Depression

Lives Cut Short by Depression

There is something about a first friend that is irreplaceable. No matter how disparately your lives travel, the first friend you ever had occupies a special place in your heart. I was lucky that Michael was considerate enough to be born four months before me, waiting next door, ready to join me in elaborate childhood…

Read more »

Doctors and the D Word….

Doctors and the D Word….

I could understand why other people might prefer euphemisms for death, but why medical professionals? Weren’t we supposed to be much more comfortable with the workings of the human body? Didn’t we pride ourselves on our technical accuracy? Didn’t we say “umbilicus” instead of “belly button”?

Read more »

Health and Luck of the Draw

Health and Luck of the Draw

We imagine medicine as a rational science, and we imagine our attention to our lives and our bodies pays off in reasonably predictable ways. But I have to admit that random, irrational, unplanned events can often have greater effects on overall health.

Read more »

Doctors on Facebook

Doctors on Facebook

For doctors who have waded into social media, however gingerly, many questions arise. Is posting a medical musing or details of a recent party on Twitter or Facebook the same as chatting with colleagues while walking down the hall of the hospital? Do the same rules of etiquette and liability apply to this extremely public…

Read more »

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: