In Search of a Beloved Teacher

“Written and Illustrated by…” These words were written on a blackboard in September, 1971, in crisp, authoritative chalk. This was practical magic, unfolding on our laminate pressboard desks every single day. Ms. Zive handed us power, and it was exhilarating. More

A Tax Plan that’s a Medical Emergency

Three members of the U.S. Congress are physicians. But they seem to share a collective amnesia about the Hippocratic Oath. The bill being proposed by Republicans is about taxes, but the toll on our health could be worse than the toll on our wallets. More

Patients vs Paperwork

Like some virulent bacteria doubling on the agar plate, the EMR grows more gargantuan with each passing month, requiring ever more (and ever more arduous) documentation to feed the beast. It’s time to take action. More

The Most Powerful Tool in Medicine

Danielle Ofri speaks at the Mayo Clinic about conversation as the single most powerful tool in medicine. More

Viva Italiano!

“Cosa dice el malato, Cosa sente il medico.” We are thrilled to see “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear” in Italian. If luck somehow allows you to be in Rome on January 18 instead of your office, please join us at the Trevi Fountain Convention Center. More

Medical Humanities: The Rx for Uncertainty?

A large part of our medical maturation is facing uncertainty and then accepting it into our fold. This is far harder than memorizing all those rare diseases. The humanities can offer doctors a paradigm for living with ambiguity and even for relishing it. More

One Last Visit to See My Patient

My 91-year-old patient and I had been together for some 20 years — honestly I’d lost count — so visiting her at home, even in the torrential rain, was the least I could do. More

Nothing Glamorous about Opioid Addiction

Pain stands nearly alone as a medical condition that not only can’t be measured but that patients might also have an ulterior motive to lie about. I never wonder if a patient is lying when she says she is constipated or has a vaginal itch. But the reality is that there’s not much street value for Metamucil, and there aren’t any rehabs filled with recovering Monistat addicts. More

Facebook Live

Our first Facebook Live event! We discussed doctor-patient communication, medical humanities, the Bellevue Literary Review, patient support groups. And we had a book giveaway. Hope you can join us for the next one on Monday Dec 11 at 2:15 pm.   More

How We Treat Our Fellow Americans

The blossoming truth of “No Apparent Distress” is that a segment of American society has been casually cast aside, left to scavenge on the meager scraps of volunteer health services, and failing that, left to die. Some politicians might call this “choice.” A more medically accurate term would be abandonment. More

AJN Review of “What Patients Say, What Doctors Feel”

Can any of us, nurses or physicians, say that we always listen as well as we should, giving each patient’s story our full attention? Like physicians, nurses feel the unrelenting pressure of time constraints. Ironically, such listening can save time in the long run. More

ReachMD Book Club

Danielle is interviewed by Maurice Pickard for the ReachMD Book Club.  Listen to the conversation about how the quality of the doctor-patient conversation can have a direct effect on medical outcomes.   More

“Review of Systems” Podcast

Danielle is interviewed by Audrey Provenzano for the podcast “Review of Systems.” Listen to the conversation that covers communication, doctor-patient relationship, medical activism, and what happens when patients gain more power in the conversation that physicians.   More

Why Medicine Needs Poetry

“When patients come to us with headache, and stomach pain, and foot pain, and 300 other issues, they are really speaking in metaphor. We may call it somatization disorder, or write them off as “complainers,” but in fact, it is metaphor. To be skilled clinicians—and to get the right diagnosis—we must be able to interpret our patients’ metaphors.” More

Healthcare’s Biggest Conflict of Interest

The doctor-patient relationship is a one-on-one interaction, and so conflicts of interest are concrete and directly personal. Medical decisions can be swayed by money, even unconsciously, regardless of whether it’s from insurance companies or from industry. But the most basic conflict of interest is that health care access is tied to health insurance. Presence or absence or extent of health insurance is the most powerful influence on how doctors care for patients. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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