by Steven Sobel, M.D.* Taking a medication generally connotes a positive means of maintaining one’s health. Using a substance, on the other hand, is a pejorative term, implying reliance on chemicals as a means of escape. Yet the boundary between substance and medication defies facile demarcation. Our labels can be arbitrary and even hypocritical. One person’s medication is another person’s substance. A chemical used as a substance in one situation is considered a medication when used somewhat differently. The distinction shifts along with cultural norms and the passage of time. We might reach a consensus that penicillin is a magic bullet medication, a specific, effective antidote to an identified pathogen … Continue reading
Deep multicolored hues emanating from its surface in all directions Voracious and cruel like a black hole, ripping the borders of lighter brown nearby Seeding and spreading through the crimson water Eventually arriving at the home of thought, pleasure, and personality Shutting it down like an ember drowned by the morning rain Pronounced dead shortly, his lifeless body calling my name Despite his protective pigment If only he had known If only he was told If only he wore the protective white paste He could have been saved from the black hole by Ajay Kailas, a third year medical student at University of Central Florida who is interested in dermatology, … Continue reading
Ruth Tapp, a patient in the U.K., describes what it feels like for the patient to be the subject of bedside teaching. Here is the BMJ article: bmj.i6190.full This was a useful (and short) essay that will be of help to physicians, students, patients and their families. Some things have changed since 1920 — but not all!
After great pain a formal feeling comes — The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs — The stiff Heart questions was it, He, that bore, And Yesterday–or Centuries before? The Feet, mechanical, go round — Of Ground, or Air, or Ought — A Wooden way Regardless grown, A Quartz contentment, like a stone — This is the Hour of Lead — Remembered, if outlived, As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow — First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go — There are times when pain is the artist’s teacher. Emily Dickinson expresses that in her great poem, After Great Pain. Keats, having studied medicine for seven years at … Continue reading