Monthly Archives: February 2011

“Treat the patient, not the CT scan”

Abraham Verghese  has a fantastic op-ed in the Times discussing the growing, Asimov-esque presence of technology in hospitals at the expense of the physical exam. Not only is physical exam diagnostically important, but it also serves as a timeless ritual … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, MSI, Physician authors

Play it again, Sam

Oliver Sacks meets Sundance in “The Music Never Stopped” – a hit new film based on a case study (“The Last Hippie”) by the literary neurologist. Gabriel Sawyer, a young man whose brain tumor has interrupted his memory, uses classic rock … Continue reading

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Filed under Film, Memory

What is it Lassie?

Whoever thought that the greatest accuracy in cancer diagnostics would come with four legs and a tail? NPR’s Health Blog reports on the latest study of canines who can detect cancer in breath, fluid, and tissue specimens from patients – … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Research

Chefs at Sloan-Kettering

At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, comfort food has taken on a new meaning. In a hospital that treats thousands of cancer patients a year, having familiar foods (especially if you’re just 8 years old), can make a huge difference in outlook and … Continue reading

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Filed under Uncategorized

Holy medicine, Batman!

A British company, Medikidz, is offering comics to kids that discuss chronic illness, including asthma, HIV, and type I diabetes. “When children fall ill they naturally look to adults for courage, comfort and explanation. In most cases these adults are … Continue reading

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Filed under Comics, Education, Outreach

Secrets of a Mind-Gamer

In 2005, journalist Joshua Foer set out to report on the USA Memory Championship and emerged as a victor in his own right the following year. How can someone of normal intelligence and memory learn to stretch his brain to … Continue reading

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Filed under Memory

Day in the life of an MSII

All names used in this story have been changed. During the first two years of medical school, you learn just enough about medicine to feel helpless when confronted with an actual sick person. Relatives will call you, mention a bunch … Continue reading

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Filed under Day in the Life

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, doc

One of the most humbling aspects of medical school is experiencing the trust and disclosure granted by patients, simply by wearing a white coat. This idea of doctor-as-witness is examined in a new BMJ article, using Horatio from Hamlet to explore … Continue reading

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Filed under Literature

Indiana Jones and the Scythian Burial Mound

It’s every science kid’s dream job! A profession that’s one part Indiana Jones, one part doctor (Hollywood, are you reading this?) The NY Times looks at cancer through the lens of paleopathology. “When they excavated a Scythian burial mound in the … Continue reading

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Filed under Research

Sherlock Holmes and the Orphan Disease

Where do patients with undiagnosed diseases go when all other options are exhausted? Not House’s team of diagnosticians, but the next best thing – the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NY Times reports that the program … Continue reading

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Filed under Research