May 7, 2012
The Hidden Curriculum of Med School

“You can’t learn ethics or compassion. You either have it or you don’t.”

I’ve often thought of her statement in the years since. Is bedside manner something we are born with, or is it something we can learn?

While most of medical education and training is about the nuts and bolts of clinical care — how to treat hypertension, how to manage a ventilator, how to take out a gallbladder — the process also involves learning how to be “a doctor.” As opposed to lessons covered in textbooks and classrooms, this kind of learning is done through modeling, or what medical sociologist F. W. Hafferty has called the “informal” or “hidden curriculum.”

April 8, 2012
6 Medical Myths for the Holiday Season

1. Sugar makes kids hyperactive.

2. Suicide increases over the holidays.

3. Poinsettias are toxic.

4. You lose most of your body heat through your head.

5. Night eating makes you fat.6. Hangovers can be cured.

April 8, 2012
Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe

1. People should drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

2. We use only 10 percent of our brains.

3. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.

4. Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker or coarser.

5. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.

6. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy.

7. Cellphones create considerable electromagnetic interference in hospitals.

February 20, 2012
Scientists Hint at Why Laughter Feels So Good


We all know laughter is the best medicine.

January 23, 2012
Physician Writers Discuss Their Craft (A 1984 NYT article)

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »