ERs for Primary Care

ERs for Primary Care

George Bush once famously (or infamously) commented that health care is indeed available for all: You just go to the emergency room.

Read more »

Pet Care vs Human Care

Pet Care vs Human Care

There’s a lot we can learn from animals in many facets of life — Lord knows, a nice massage behind the ears could do a lot of us some good — but I am consistently impressed by how much smoother veterinary medicine runs.

Read more »

Social Mission of Med Schools

Social Mission of Med Schools

What exactly is the mission of a medical school? Is it to train the best and smartest doctors? Is to tend to our nation’s health? Is it to further medical knowledge?

Read more »

Abortion: The View From Both Sides of the Street

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. Almost by definition, any analysis of the politics and practice of abortion is heavily partisan. Even the medical world—the last bastion of any possible objectivity— has been overlaid with politics.…

Read more »

Palliative Care: From the Get-Go

Palliative Care: From the Get-Go

by Danielle Ofri CNN.com It was a hot July afternoon when I found myself in a quiet hospital lounge, having “the family discussion” with a patient newly admitted to my medical service, a sweet middle-aged woman whose lung cancer had spread so extensively that it now encircled the vital vessels of her chest. The “family…

Read more »

Endorphins and Overeating

Endorphins and Overeating

by Danielle Ofri CNN.com As a primary care internist, my practice spans the common adult ailments—diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, arthritis. It is hard not to avoid the difficult truth that obesity, while perhaps not causing all of these illness, certainly exacerbates them greatly. With my patients, I stay away from issues of…

Read more »

The Patient's Voice

The Patient's Voice

by Danielle Ofri CNN.com Whenever a patient asks me about the side effects of a particular medication, I point to the very long roster of symptoms listed for the drug. “It’s anything any patient has ever experienced,” I say, then try to help prioritize the symptoms into the more common ones versus the rarer ones.…

Read more »

Can We Measure a "Good Doctor?"

Can We Measure a "Good Doctor?"

What do quality measures actually measure? Can they tell us who is a good doctor, or what makes a good doctor?

Read more »

Owning Up to Medical Error

Owning Up to Medical Error

Precisely two weeks after completing my medical internship,I proceeded to nearly kill a patient. July marked the startof my second year of residency at New York City’s BellevueHospital, and it was my first time being fully in charge of a patient.

Read more »

When Unemployed Means Unhealthy Too

When Unemployed Means Unhealthy Too

Research confirms what physicians observe and what everyone seems to know in their gut: losing a job is bad for our health. Our crazy patchwork system that ties health insurance to our jobs means that the recession--and it's "jobless recovery"--are damaging our nation's health.

Read more »

Facing Our Prejudices

Facing Our Prejudices

I had to be honest—I was uncomfortable with my patient's “morbid obesity.” Perhaps in obese patients we see the feared reflections of ourselves, should we lose our carefully honed discipline. This reaction is entirely irrational, of course; but emotions were never billed as rational, and doctors are as susceptible as anyone else.

Read more »

Residency Regulators are Back!

Residency Regulators are Back!

How many hours can a doctor work? The residency regulators are back. About ten years ago, the national organization that accredits residency programs (ACGME) set out its first guidelines about how many hours a doctor-in-training can work. Interns and residents finally achieved the vaunted 80-hour workweek. (New York State was 15 years ahead on this,…

Read more »

A fascinating tapestry…

A fascinating tapestry…

“The threads of Danielle Ofri’s memoir, Medicine in Translation, come together in a fascinating tapestry, with shimmers of what it is to be a physician, a mother, a writer and musician, a person with opinions trying to open herself to a world full of differences. She writes well, and the stories she weaves here are…

Read more »

True Stories – “Medicine in Translation”

True Stories – “Medicine in Translation”

Review of “Medicine in Translation” by writer/blogger Elaine Zimbel. “In person Dr. Danielle Ofri is an impressive woman with a healthy respect for the doctor/patient relationship.  She was guest speaker at a McGill University seminar entitled “Singular Intimacies: literature as a bridge between doctor and patient”, a topic which particularly interested me since I had…

Read more »

The Pastor's Son

The Pastor's Son

There was a sharp rap at the apartment door. When Samuel Chuks Nwanko opened it, he saw a young man standing in the hallway wearing a stained denim jacket over a University of Nigeria T-shirt. The whites of his eyes were spidered with crimson streaks. He was probably a fellow university student, but not in…

Read more »

Why Don't Patients Take Their Meds

Why Don't Patients Take Their Meds

A good chunk of every medical visit is spent writing prescriptions. The computer has made it easier on the doctor, but it doesn’t seem to have much effect on the patient. A good chunk for these beautifully printed, fully legible prescriptions never make it to the drug store to be converted into actual pills.

Read more »

Jewish Book World review

Jewish Book World review

“Medicine in Translation” reviewed in Jewish Book World “Often lost in rancorous public debates is the impact proposed social changes will have on individuals. The health care reform bill recently passed by Congress is one such case. Billions of dollars may be saved and millions of people will have health insurance. But what can happen…

Read more »

Two Steps Forward for America’s Health

Two Steps Forward for America’s Health

The fine print of the 2010 Health Care Reform bill is still being analyzed. Shortcomings and limitations are being uncovered. But a new report from the Commonwealth Fund showed that there will be immense and immediate gains for young adults. Most young adults “fall off” of their parents’ health insurance plans once they complete their…

Read more »

A Patient, a Death, but No One to Grieve

A Patient, a Death, but No One to Grieve

What if a patient dies and nobody is there to mourn? Is it like a tree falling silently in the forest?

Read more »

Scenes From the Lives They Lived in the City

Published: June 29, 2003 New York Times excerpt from SINGULAR INTIMACIES: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue By Danielle Ofri (Beacon Press) ”Nine P.M.,” somebody shouted. ”Rikers bus rollin’ in!” I stepped out of the Bellevue E.R. into the chilly spring night to see what the excitement was. Just pulling in was a school bus, the…

Read more »

Treating Patients When Language Is Only One of the Barriers

by Mike Reicher January 4, 2010 New York Times “A defective heart, a child detained by border guards — Julia Barquero had already had her struggles. But now her physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Danielle Ofri, was trying to explain to Ms. Barquero that she could not receive a heart transplant because she was…

Read more »

At Bellevue, a hospital reflects a changing world

At Bellevue, a hospital reflects a changing world

Though city hospitals invoke images of charity patients and substandard, last-resort medical care, the reality is quite different.

Read more »

Los Angeles Times articles

Danielle Ofri’s articles in the Los Angeles Times Note: articles in the Los Angeles Times do not have full free access (at this time). When a patient dismisses the data by Danielle Ofri Dec 28, 2009 Los Angeles Times “…(And when politicians start to weigh in, you can be sure that the hard data have…

Read more »

Sometimes, Doctors Find Answers Far Off the Charts

Sometimes, Doctors Find Answers Far Off the Charts

By DANIELLE OFRI, M.D. Published: December 7, 2004 New York Times “Carmen came to my clinic because of a scalp condition. She was 37 years old, slender, casually but fashionably dressed, with the broad bill of a red baseball cap obscuring her face. Thick, silky black hair slid out from the sides as she shyly…

Read more »

At a Bustling City Clinic, Esperanto Would Come In Handy

At a Bustling City Clinic, Esperanto Would Come In Handy

By  Danielle Ofri. New York Times Despite three long years of high school French, the best I could come up with was “Je m’appelle Dr. Ofri.“ Mr. M. – I guessed he was from Africa – smiled politely. No doubt he was accustomed to the challenges of communication here, especially in a bustling city clinic…

Read more »

A Literary Review at Bellevue? Believe It

By DINITIA SMITH Published: October 2, 2002 New York Times ”Just tell me a story,” Dr. Danielle Ofri admonishes her medical students and interns at morning rounds. To Dr. Ofri, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, a part-time writer and the editor in chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, every patient’s history is a…

Read more »

Alone

Alone

We like to think of human beings as social animals, and by and large we are. Most of us exist in complex networks of siblings, parents, children, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintances. And usually we take this for granted. Every so often, in my work at the hospital, I come across a patient who has…

Read more »

Book Club Guides

Book Club Guides

Have a book club? Looking for something different? Beacon Press now offers book club guides for all four of Danielle’s books. There is also a book club guide for “The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review.” Check them out and share with friends. Danielle has made personal appearances at book clubs  (both in person and…

Read more »

Shingles and Dollars

Shingles and Dollars

Good health is only affordable—for the majority of the population—if it is covered by insurance. An excellent case in point is the vaccine for shingles (herpes zoster). Shingles is the revisiting of the chicken pox virus. The virus lives in the body since the first episode of shingles as a child, and then flares up…

Read more »

"A Sweet Life"

"A Sweet Life"

Danielle interviewed by Jane Kokernak for “A Sweet Life,” a wonderful new website that’s worth checking out. Q: Danielle, your book makes clear that, in the course of treating your patients, you seek to learn something about their lives beyond their lists of symptoms, numbers, and medications. In therapeutic terms, what do you get as…

Read more »

Follow

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

Join other followers: