Being Mortal

I’ve just finished reading Being Mortal: What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande. I had read his previous Complications about life as a surgeon several years ago, greatly impressed. Both books have been highly praised, with the present book listed by the New York Times as among must reads of 2014. As a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Gawande knows what he’s writing … Continue reading Being Mortal

Medicine’s Desertion of the Elderly

“There’s no escaping the tragedy of life, which is that we are all aging from the day we are born,” writes Dr. Atul Gawande in his latest book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Accordingly, I’ve reached that point in life when I wish I could consult with a geriatrician, or specialist on the aging process. Given that we are increasingly an … Continue reading Medicine’s Desertion of the Elderly

A Court decision with deadly consequences

We should all be concerned about Thursday’s 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District that the FDA needn’t consider the banning of antibiotics in healthy food producing animals. Given the growing menace of antibiotic resistant infections among humans and the inveterate use of antibiotics in the meat industry to promote weight gain or combat disease, we draw closer to a … Continue reading A Court decision with deadly consequences

Meditation Goes Mainstream: Western Medicine says Yes

It’s just me in the sunroom before breakfast, sprawled out on my yoga mat, doing meditation for 15 or 20 minutes.  A series of deep breaths and letting my limbs go slack, a visualizing of a good moment.  The hard part is getting the habit, but having a time and place helps a lot.. The best motivator, however, is how relaxed it makes me feel, … Continue reading Meditation Goes Mainstream: Western Medicine says Yes

Intolerance: Medicine’s Nemesis

I had grown up thinking medicine was free of the prejudices, if not sheer ignorance, rampant in the everyday world where resistance to anything new seems a given.  Let’s face it:  we humans don’t like having the security of our assumptions challenged.  The truth is that the history of medicine shows the same proclivity for stubbornness or subordination to the weight of custom as elsewhere. … Continue reading Intolerance: Medicine’s Nemesis

The Fountain of Youth: We are all Ponce de Leon

As a 12-year old Florida school boy, I was introduced early to the 16th century Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, whom legend says came to Florida in quest of the Fountain of Youth.  Drink or bathe in its waters and you could be young again.  A story-line like this isn’t unique, finding its replay in myth and legend throughout the world.  Its insistence  doesn’t surprise … Continue reading The Fountain of Youth: We are all Ponce de Leon