Why Nothing Works

More humanism and less science, that’s what medicine needs. But humanism is hard work, and so much of science is just Tinkertoy. Robertson Davies Why Nothing Works An Introduction to the Placebo New York Times, November 11, 2018 I have been interested in the placebo response for many years. This recent NY Times article is a good introduction to the topic. Here are some excerpts and random thoughts: The author, Gary Greenberg, attended the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies in Leiden, Holland (2017). He met some key researchers in placebo there. There is a conviction among many that the placebo is a powerful medical treatment that is ignored by doctors … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Gawande’s “The Upgrade”

In the end, we are dependent upon the creatures we have made. Goethe The Upgrade (Full New Yorker Text) Why Doctor’s Hate Computers by Atul Gawande The New Yorker, November 12, 2018 Gawande’s thesis is that the electronic medical record (EMR) has contributed greatly to the epidemic of physician burnout in the United States. A 2016 study found that physicians spend about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Something has gone terribly wrong. The software created for the EMR has spawned this massive monster of incomprehensibility. So much of what physicians … Continue reading

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My Pediatrician

by Puja Nayak “Doctor,” I say, my voice fading. I hear footsteps running and shut my eyes. Hours later, I have a wire in me. I try and pull it out but my doctor stops me. “No, don’t do that sweetie.” I give her a look. I don’t understand why I’m here. My head is hot, I am sweating, and many students surround me, taking notes. Are they talking about me? “Honey, you have something called Kawasaki.” I raise my eyebrows. “Your body and I are fighting it, so you will be okay.” She hands me a juice box and leaves the room with my parents. My pediatrician inspired me … Continue reading

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