Doctoring Knowledge

The why and how of public distrust of vaccines…Surely, questions worth asking

One of the biggest changes in healthcare in recent times is the emphasis on decision-making. Patients and doctors now work with big menus. It’s mostly a good thing, but a certainty with increased choice is increased conflict. As a doctor who works in a field–electrophysiology–that is almost exclusively preference-sensitive, I’ve grown increasingly interested in why […]

Doctoring General Medicine Health Care Knowledge

With vaccines…Is there no middle ground, no room for questions?

“We should be as demanding of ourselves as we are of those who challenge us.” Dr. Jerome Groopman, writing in the New Rupublic Writing about the medical decision-making surrounding vaccines proved to be sketchy. Yesterday’s post brought stinging criticism from both sides of the debate. A pediatrician felt the structure of the post was patronizing. […]

Doctoring General Ablation General Cardiology Knowledge

No, Young Adults Should Not Live in Fear from Coronavirus

What follows is an OpEd that I co-authored with Andrew Foy, MD, from Penn State University. Andrew is an academic cardiologist who studies the quality of scientific evidence. Two outlets have declined to publish our piece. This is not surprising given that we critique a research letter written by prominent academic leaders. As you read […]

Doctoring General Medicine Health Care Knowledge Reflection

Follow-up on my Eight COVID Assertions

Yesterday’s post generated some good comments. Two emergency medicine specialists felt that I was both wrong and insulting in saying that hospitals were not overwhelmed. What I meant in the word ‘overwhelmed’ is the notion of not being able to support a sick patient in the ICU or on a vent. That didn’t happen, but […]

Doctoring Health Care

What I Got Wrong (and Right) about COVID19

In May, I wrote a column about COVID19 that got some attention. My reason for writing was the change in messaging about the strategy of flatten-the-curve. We were first told to flatten-the-curve to prevent overwhelming hospitals. But then the thinking changed to flatten-the-curve to save lives.  I made eight assertions about COVID19. Let’s see how […]

Doctoring General Medicine Health Care Reform Knowledge Reflection Social Media/Writing/Blogging

Can We Discuss Flatten-the-Curve in COVID19? My Eight Assertions

On Telehealth, an older couple asked me a tough question about COVID19. They asked whether this virus would either be gone or less dangerous in 6 months to a year. It was a curious question. I replied, Why do you ask? Doc, we have a big family with many children and grandchildren, most of whom […]

Doctoring Health Care Health Care Reform Knowledge

Public trust, the CDC and Tamiflu

Why do doctors lose credibility? Consider the few public doctors out there with millions of followers. The majority of the stuff they recommend is perfect: eat good food, exercise, be nice. and sleep. Check. No problem. Everyone is good with that until they shatter the sense with nonsense. One miracle cure or stupid supplement or […]

Doctoring Knowledge

Medical decisions — tradeoffs, emotions, preferences and experts

Maybe you wonder why a cardiologist writes about vaccines and mammography. It is because I have grown intensely interested in the medical decision. As a doctor in a preference-sensitive field, electrophysiology, how do I help patients understand and choose the best path–of which there are many. This seems like a simple task, but with humans, […]

Doctoring General Medicine Healthy Living Knowledge

Vaccine anxiety… A teachable moment for doctors?

I’ve read and re-read Dr. Paul Offit’s WSJ opinion piece, The Anti-Vaccination Epidemic. Dr. Offit is a professor of Pediatrics at a leading hospital in the United States. He is also an author, a scientist, and a vaccine-developer. In short, he is a major physician leader. I’ll come back to that point in just a […]

Health Care Healthy Living inflammation Nutrition

Dear Girl Scouts: It’s time to cut out the cookies

It happened while I was leaving a grocery store in the southeastern United States. The young girl who asked me if I wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies was strikingly perfect. She was thin, happy, and well spoken. So were her colleagues. The moms, too, were of healthy weight and cheer. It was as if […]

Doctoring Social Media/Writing/Blogging

The biggest mistake is not learning from one…

A friend recently asked me why I am so hard on doctors. “You write a lot of negative stuff about us,”  he said. That worries me. I am not a nihilist. I believe in what we do. I put doctoring decidedly in the noble category, right alongside teachers. In fact, my attachment to doctoring is […]