ICD deactivation in the NY Times — with a quote from a blogger

The news came via a direct message on Twitter. “You got a plug in the NY times. Congrats.” (Thanks Dr. Jay Schloss.) Paula Span, author of the NY Times’ The New Old Age Blog, reported today on the issue of cardiac device deactivation in patients who are approaching end of life. The role I had […]

Two gifts and a consolation prize

President Obama has a few good ideas. He wants Americans to discuss healthcare this holiday season. That’s actually a really good idea. This blog aims to do some good in the area of medicine and health. What follows are two incredibly important essays. The consolation prize is an excerpt from my recent Top Ten post. […]

2013: Year-end summary of top cardiology stories

When the editors of Medscape asked me to write a Top Ten article on the best Cardiology stories in 2013, I jumped at the chance. I spent a lot of time thinking about Cardiology this year. I was invested. Plus, 2013 was a year for pivoting–big time pivoting. What made news in 2013 was not […]

New post up over at TheHeart.org: Compassion and Control — Lessons from Dr. Donald Low

Medsape Cardiology

As some of you may know, theHeart.org has merged with Medscape Cardiology. This will be my first post on the new site. Dr Donald Low was a prominent Canadian physician. When Toronto faced a deadly SARS outbreak a decade ago, Dr Low was a voice of calm and reason. His research in cell signaling and […]

Take fear and ignorance out of end-of-life decisions — A rebuttal to Dr Paul McHugh’s WSJ editorial

Perhaps it’s because I love the practice of medicine so much. Or maybe it’s because doctors (and teachers) have always been my heroes. I’m trying to sort out why I feel so offended by Dr. Paul McHugh’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal last weekend. His sensational and paternalistic view of physician-assisted suicide can be […]

Notes from ACC — Day 3 (Final Day)

Sorry this took most of the week to get out. (There was a good reason.) Better late than never I suppose. On Day 3 of the 2013 American College of Cardiology meeting, I woke up well rested and inspired to squeeze in as much learning as possible. The first order of business was putting the […]

New post up at theHeart.org: My Take of the Bystander Effect in Medicine

Healthcare looks much different than it did just a few years ago. When you let your mind wander about where we were, it’s shocking really. There’s cultural changes, including an explosion of complexity of care, an infusion of young doctors with different ideas about life, an evolving set of incentives, employment models and a heck […]

Let’s stop being ashamed of (discussing) death

I recently wrote a post about what happens when the elderly get sick. It was meant to accelerate the conversation about how modern medicine can’t make us immortal. I meant to say that doctors need to learn to be less ashamed of death. And that patients should at least hear about the risks of life-prolonging […]

Could the Dalai Lama be a heart doctor?

Famous Quote from the Dalai Lama.

I follow a lot of intriguing people on Twitter. Each of them sends me noogets (a favorite slang word of mine) of information that either inspires, uplifts, informs or even amuses me. But there’s one twitter-er that stands out. He really helps me–along with 2.6 million others. The Dalai Lama tweets most mornings about the […]

When will Palliative Care and Hospice discussions be considered normal?

The patient greeted me with a smile that belied his horrible luck. He was my age, but looked far older. It was a slowly progressive neurological disorder that left his mind intact while his body stopped working. He was now imprisoned in a bed. Various family members fed him, changed his diaper, and freshened the […]