The Covenant

Burnout among doctors appears to be at epidemic proportions these days, with concomitant gushing prescriptions for wellness and resilience. But in reality, most doctors are not burned out: most love taking care of patients and want nothing more than to be able to do just that. The source of the agony is the profession—or rather the corporatization of the profession… More

EMR Ménage-à-Trois

EMRs have both breathtaking assets and snarling annoyances. But what started out as a tool — a database to store information more efficiently than the paper chart — has inserted itself as a member of the medical team. What used to be a tango between the doctor and patient is now a troika. More

Gaudeamus Igitur by John Stone

“Gaudeamus Igitur” is one of my favorite poems of all times. John Stone was a poet and cardiologist at Emory University, He wrote this poem (the title means “Therefore, Let us Rejoice” for a graduating class at Emory Medical School. More

Hart Island Podcast

Danielle Ofri talks with Michael T. Keene about New York City, Bellevue Hospital, the medical world, and the some of the history that connects to Hart Island, NYC’s potter’s field since 1869. More

Empathy in the Age of the EMR

We doctors have been reduced to tools of mere data entry. A higher being might peek into our exam room and be unable to distinguish the doctor from the sphygmomanometer. There is at least one upside to this mess, however. The aggressiveness of the EMR’s incursion into the doctor-patient relationship has forced us to declare our loyalties: are we taking care of patients or are we taking care of the EMR? More

Postcall Podcast

Danielle Ofri joins the Postcall Podcast team to discuss challenges in practicing medicine today, where writing fits into everything, and the Bellevue Literary Review. More

Medicine and the Machine podcast

A free-wheeling conversation with Eric Topol, Abraham Verghese and Danielle Ofri on everything from artificial intelligence to literary magazines to “falling in love” with your patients. Listen to the inaugural episode of Medscape’s new “Medicine and the Machine” podcast. More

The Daily Exploitation of Medical Staff

Corporate medicine has milked just about all the “efficiency” it can out of the system. With mergers and streamlining, it has pushed the productivity numbers about as far as they can go. But one resource that seems endless — and free — is the professional ethic of medical staff members. More

Doctor-Writers: What Are the Ethics?

There is a veritable epidemic of doctor-writers out there. What is going on? Are doctors suddenly in the kiss-and-tell mode? What about confidentiality? Professionalism? HIPAA? As one of the aforementioned doctor-writers, I look upon this trend with both awe and trepidation. More

Perchance to Think

In the pressurized world of contemporary outpatient medicine, there is simply no time to think. With every patient, we doctors race to cover the bare minimum, sprinting in subsistence-level intellectual mode because that’s all that’s sustainable. More

A Tense Moment in the ER

The hospital, by definition, is a stressful place for patients and families unsettled by the vulnerabilities of the human body. Add in issues of race, class, gender, power dynamics, economics, and long wait times, and you have the ingredients for combustion just hankering for tinder. More

The Insulin Wars

Insurance companies and drug manufacturers have come upon an ingenious business plan: They could farm out their dirty work to the doctors and the patients. When there’s an E. coli outbreak that causes illness and death, we rightly expect our regulatory bodies to step in. The outbreak of insulin greed is no different. More

A True Role Model: Dr. Lisa Schwartz

Lisa was my very first resident. She taught us medical students how to aspirate ascites fluid from the abdomen of a cirrhotic patient, how to diagnose granulomatosis with polyangiitis, how to wrangle a CT scan from an obdurate radiologist, how to handle a hallucinating patient who spoke only Igbo, and where to get a cheese Danish once the coffee shop closed. More

The Day After the Elections

Depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide–these are the very real side effects of Trump policies. My visit with Mr. A on the morning after the midterm elections seemed to crystallize all the bitterness of what has been unleashed in this country, and the effects it has on the people who suffer under it. More

Prescribing Democracy

“There cannot be any doubt,” Dr. Rudolf Virchow wrote in 1848, that the recent typhus epidemic was a result of “poverty and underdevelopment.” His prescription was “free and unlimited democracy.” Hmm–a prescription for democracy. Not something you get at your average doctor’s visit. But maybe that’s what we need. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

Subscribe