Nursing Juliet

A dog is both Rorschach and receptacle, a two-way highway for love unbounded and unadulterated. In a world that relentlessly enforces limits, the love of a pet is a refuge for unconstrained emotion, especially for a child. More

A Doctor’s Responsibility

“Excuse me, sir,” I imagine the scenario playing out, “do you mind if I barge in on your life to see if I can save your life?” At what point does concern morph into presumption? The line between kindly interventions and condescending ones can be perilously thin. More

Child Separation Is a Medical Emergency

In adult medicine, we see daily the physical and psychological effects of early childhood trauma. Well into older age, patients retain the scars and setbacks from those early experiences. The list of effects of early childhood trauma is so expansive that it wasn’t surprising to see the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics refer to border agents’ removal of children from parents as “government-sanctioned child abuse.” More

Your Medical Chart Might be Biased

Medical charts are the primary means of communication among medical professionals. Coded language in the charts covertly signals to other members of the team which patients aren’t trustworthy or deserving. What does it mean when doctors and nurses–consciously or unconsciously–slip dog whistles into your medical chart? More

Medical Humanities

When your body threatens mutiny and you are peering into the abyss, you want a doctor who has contemplated mortality in a deep way. Being sick is indeed hell and every patient deserves a Virgil. Infusing the medical training with a bit more Virgil just might be the key. More

Art & Anatomy

The “art of medicine” is a term that is used—sometimes disparagingly—to refer to the non-technical skills of medicine. Artistic rendering enables us to appreciate the emotional grappling one must do in the world of anatomy and in the larger world of medicine. More

Mothers in Medicine

We in medicine are inculcated in the culture of deferred enjoyment, of sacrificing our lives now for some distant rose-colored, board-certified future. But here’s the breaking news: No chapter with unlimited time and resources is ever going to magically open up in our lives. No fairy godmother will miraculously graft 8 hours onto your day or stock your house with groceries or impress the 16 kinds of vasculitis into your cingulate gyrus. More

Doctor Visit Guide

Going to the doctor isn’t most people’s favorite activity. I often get asked by friends and family how to make the most of a medical visit. Here’s my advice, and it’s basically the same whether you are the patient, or a family member or a caregiver of the patient. More

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

Books by Danielle Ofri

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