​​​​​A Sense of Melancholy

by Rosanne Trost At times in my life, I have had a vague feeling of being vulnerable and lonely. It comes and goes. I can best describe it as a sense of unrest. Fortunately, the episodes are infrequent, usually brief. Still I wonder what they mean, if anything. Is there a message I am missing? In my childhood, when these uneasy feelings would occur, I never shared them. I do not know why. Probably because I would have been misunderstood. The pensive thoughts would not have been validated. As a little girl I remember feeling guilty for these sad times. I should be more grateful. During my junior year in … Continue reading

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Skin and Him

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

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What it feels like to be an interesting teaching opportunity

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!

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After Great Pain

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

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Hopkins Humanity and Medicine Conference

Humanity and Medicine Conference Johns Hopkins School of Medicine December 10, 2016 submitted by DJ Elpern The Turner Auditorium. I haven’t been in this room for 37 years… Not much appears to have changed. It is an imposing amphitheater that suits the Oslerian tradition of Hopkins. What follows are some random notes I took.  There was much more that I missed.  It was a day of rich pickings and I wish I could have gorged on more that was offered.  The following photo could be a key theme of this day at the Turner Auditorium.  The physician (observing) not doing something to the patient. The meeting began with a stressing … Continue reading

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Free Money in Finland

In his book, The Health Gap, Michael Marmot discusses the effect income inequality has on well-being and longevity. He discusses how the income gap is less in Scandinavia than almost anywhere else and shows how this translates into a narrower health gab between the upper and lower income brackets. Finland is now starting “an experiment in the form of social welfare: universal basic income.” This holds promise to further narrow the health gap. The December 18th NY Times article about this does not mention “the social determinants of health” but some of what the article covers is straight out of Marmot’s book. See: Free Money for the Jobless.

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Crazy New Journals

Over a 16 month period from late June 2015 through late October 2016, I received 20 solicitations to submit articles to, or join the editorial board of, the following new journals.  I will keep adding to this list.  D.J. Elpern Austin Journal of Dermatology Dermatology Research and Practice International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Journal of Dermatology and Pigmentation Research! International Journal of Women’s Dermatology (IJWD) Jacobs Journal of Experimental Dermatology Journal of Clinical Dermatology & Therapy The Journal of Cosmetic & Laser Therapy Journal of Cosmetology & Trichology Journal of Dermatology and Pigmentation Research Journal of Dermatology Research Journal of Dermatology Research and Therapy Journal of Dermatological Research … Continue reading

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2017 Hot Spots in Dermatology

Hot Spots in Dermatology August 18 – 20, 2017 Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii ‘A’ohe pau ka’ike i ka halau ho’okahi One can learn from many sources The Road to Turtle Bay and Hot Spots! HOT SPOTS HAWAII is a unique continuing medical education program that blends clinical and therapeutic updates while allowing time for reflection and introspection. The program will be held at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore. Doug Johnson has negotiated a favorable room rate. Hot Spots is designed to allow attendees to consider aspects of our personal and professional lives not typically included in traditional continuing education. Leave your cell phones, pagers and … Continue reading

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Air Care: Thoughts about Health Care from 39,000 Feet

If the rich could hire the poor to die for them, the poor would make a very nice living. Yiddish Proverb Air Care: Thoughts on Health Care from 39,000 Feet. by David J. Elpern I’m sitting in Economy traveling from the City of Angels the Big Apple. Just in front of me is the First Class (FC) section. The cabins are separated by a curtain and I watch a stylish stewardess hovering over a passenger there. The FC passengers get the best attention money can buy. Food, drinks, a table cloth for their meals! Solicitous smiles from the stews. We, in coach, get a small packet of pretzels, soda, juice … Continue reading

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Health Anxiety: Tables and Appendix

Table 1. Demographic Data Age 0 – 9            5 10 – 14        8 15 — 19      20 20 – 29       41 30 – 39       10 40 – 49       23 50 – 59       28 60 – 69       39 70 – 79       39 80 – 84       12 85 – 89       14 > 90            2 Male =            97 Female =     115 Trans =            1 (87 yo woman with confusion) New Patient                      34 Returning Patient            188 Table 2. HA Questions Are you worried a lot about a particular health problem? Y N Do you tend to worry about your health in general? Y N Have you ever … Continue reading

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