Recently, Dr. Peter Kramer published an intriguing, well-written, but poorly reasoned and potentially dangerous “thought piece” in the New York Times. His article, “Why Doctors Need Stories,” contains several logical flaws and erroneous arguments, but the overarching concept is a classic “straw man” argument.
A recent Viewpoint column by Melissa L. Rethlefsen et al. in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Engaging Medical Librarians to Improve the Quality of Review Articles,” examined the value medical librarians bring to the research process. Librarians’ expertise includes selecting databases, employing advanced search skills, refining topics, developing search strategies and managing results Read more
We’re six weeks into 2014, and the concept of “big data” continues to make headlines nearly daily. The New York Times recently reported that over the past three years, there’s been a hundredfold increase in Google searches for the term. Last fall, Stanford enrolled more than 700 students in a course on machine learning and Read more
A recent article in The New York Times highlighted the high costs associated with some types of subspecialty medical care, in particular dermatological procedures like Mohs surgery. Indeed, the patient profiled in the piece went for a minor procedure which, including facilities fees and questionable referrals to an anesthesiologist and plastic surgeon, generated billing that Read more
Sometimes being a doctor in an urban area such as the Bronx means you see all the things you can’t do for your patients. What do you do when what you can accomplish in the office isn’t nearly enough for your patients? * * * A 16-year-old comes to see you for prenatal care. She lives with Read more
A few months ago, I read an interesting article in The New Yorker that discussed the rise of Purell and the ubiquity of hand sanitizers. One comment particularly caught my attention: During a recent trip to Europe, I was mildly alarmed to find no serving tongs in the breadbasket on my hotel’s breakfast-buffet table: the Read more