Adding Spice to the Slog: Humanities in Medical Training

As soon as we’d finish rounds on the medical wards I’d race to pass out an Anatole Broyard essay in the nanoseconds before dispersal entropy overtook our team. More

Storytelling in Medicine: the Passion and the Peril

So much of medicine is about stories—the ones we hear, the ones we tell, the ones we participate in—that it is no accident that doctors and nurses are attracted to stories. More

Access to Care

“Doctor, it’s taken so long to get this appointment with you.” This is the opening line of so many medical visits these days, and I find myself constantly apologizing to my patients for the delay. Even though both the patients and I know that it’s a systemic issue, it’s still front and center in our personal interaction. More

Ethics of Money in Medicine

Just because money is a reality in medicine, doesn’t mean that we have to blindly accept all the consequences. There is a code of ethics in medicine. More

Incidental Illness

How, in the quiet world of outpatient medicine, does one know when a life is saved? More

Acne

A young Navajo woman files silently into my office, making no eye contact. As she slips into the chair errant strands of black hair spill across her face. Through the breaches I catch glimpses of her rich dark skin riddled with the pockmarks of severe acne. More

Ethical Implications of Incidental Findings

Imagine that you volunteer for memory study and the fMRI also happens to find a life-threatening aneurysm. Your life is saved by the “incidental finding.” But what if tumor that may not be serious is incidentally found? The tumor may not be risky, but the surgery to remove it is. You spend the rest of your life haunted by the decision of whether to operate or whether to wait. What are the ethical implications of incidental findings? A Presidential Commission weighs in. More

NYU Stories review of “What Doctors Feel”

A rare glimpse into the effects of shuttling from patient to patient without being allowed to process the powerful feelings—fear, anger, grief—that naturally arise when lives are at stake. More

Humanities For Science Majors

For one premed, a chance exposure to an unknown sliver of literature sprung open an entirely new world. The unexpected opportunity to steep in the humanities offered me ways to think and write about medicine that I doubt would have been accessible to me otherwise.
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Doctors Blame Others for Medical Costs

If doctors feel that the grind of medicine is just going to get worse, then they won’t have any stake in making major changes. You can present all the data you want but it doesn’t have a chance when stacked up against emotion and experience. More

The Immigrant Healthcare Imperative

Legalizing “undocumented” immigrants might be a boon for our healthcare system. Immigration reform makes both economic and medical sense. A young immigrant from Tibet offers first-hand lessons. More

The Dirty Secret About Medical Errors

As physicians we see medicine as a science. We think of ourselves as rational, evidence-based practitioners. But we are far less rational than we tell our patients and ourselves that we are. More

Can We Let Doctors Be Human?

Is our vision clouded because we are so immersed in the world of sickness? Is it because this helps reinforce the power dynamic that has kept patients “in their place” for centuries? Or might it be because, like our patients we doctors are scared down to our bones? If we were to see our patients living the lives that we live, then there would be nothing to separate them from us. And then we could easily become them. More

An Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors?

“That’s it,” I thought, after an overwhelming morning in clinic. “I quit!” It’s a thought that crosses the minds of the majority of doctors, it seems. A survey of more than 13,000 doctors found that more than two-thirds feel negatively about their profession. More

Fear is a Primal Emotion

This was it—the first code I was in charge of. After two years of racing to codes as a first- and second-year resident, now suddenly, the code was mine. I was the one to call the shots, to direct the care, to assign the jobs, to make the decisions….Shit! More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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