ethics

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

The Pain Med Conundrum

Under-treating pain violates the basic ethical principles of medicine. On the other hand, we are lambasted for over-prescribing pain medications. What are doctors to do? 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

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

My Patient Doesn’t “Do” Vaccines

When my patient told me that he doesn’t “do” vaccines, I decided to try to understand his reasons, More

Should Med Schools Be Renamed for Donors?

24 of the country’s 141 medical schools sport a donor’s name rather than the plain old university name. The pace is increasing, as are the number of eyebrows being raised. More

The Little Things

Although technically these are the little things, in a sense they’re actually the big things. Indeed, for some patients, the little thing may be the only thing that matters. More

Why Doctors Write

How does writing affect a doctor’s practice of medicine? What are the ethics of writing about patients? Should patients be part of the process? Watch the full program broadcast on WGBH -Boston. 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

Why Doctors Don’t Take Sick Days

From day one in medical training, the unspoken message is that calling in sick is for wimps. Most doctors ignore their symptoms and resist taking the day off unless they are sick enough to be hospitalized in the next bed over. What explains this toxic brew of denial, ignorance and bravado? More

When Doctors Share With Patients

Doctors often “self-disclose” to patients in an attempt to empathize. But contrary to what might be expected, such self-disclosures often turned out not to be helpful in addressing patients’ concerns or building rapport. More

Who Deserves a Heart Transplant?

One of the most agonizing spots in medicine is the “transplant list.” In the United States, as in many countries, we rely on a simple system of altruism for organ donation. But other countries are trying different approaches. More

Doctors on Facebook

For doctors who have waded into social media, however gingerly, many questions arise. Is posting a medical musing or details of a recent party on Twitter or Facebook the same as chatting with colleagues while walking down the hall of the hospital? Do the same rules of etiquette and liability apply to this extremely public environment? More

For Whom Do We Write

Was writing simply cathartic, an unloading of pent-up frustration, pain, occasional exhilaration? Or was this part of a nobler cause, something that would fall under the purview of healing, something with ultimate benefit for my patients? For if it wasn’t the latter, was I not simply exploiting my patients for their readily accessible drama? More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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