Mea sententia...

Impressing the date

My daughter and I were standing on line in an upscale cross-country ski lodge near Sun Valley.  The man in front of us ordered for himself and then his somewhat younger and obviously starstruck female companion. Their order consisted of two hamburgers, two coffees, and two large chocolate-chip cookies, and their bill came to about $30. He handed the guy behind the counter a $100 bill and said, just a bit louder than necessary, “Keep the change.”

Behind the curtain...

As I watched my 17 month old granddaughter decode the world, it was impossible not to marvel at the enormity of the task and wonder what was going on behind that so expressive face as she processes the flood of sights, sounds, feelings, tastes, experiences, and consequences. Some predictable, but many not.

 

Reflections on retirement

Since I retired, I have repeatedly been asked two questions. “How do you like retirement?” and “Don’t you miss practicing medicine?”

Building boats and EHRs

Imagine that you want a boat. You tell someone to build or buy you a boat, and tell them to send you a bill. What would you get? A kayak? A windsurfer? A boat for waterskiing? A sailboat. A party boat? A cruise ship? A submarine? A battleship or destroyer? You probably would not get what you want. Very likely you would end up with something expensive - that you cannot use.

Before you build or buy a boat, you need a defined goal and a process:

Intolerance at the hairdresser

This week, waiting at a local hairdresser for my appointment, I had an unnerving experience.

Two women came in together and sat down. They were talking enthusiastically about the previous night’s State of the State address by Governor Lepage, pleased with how well he spoke and looking forward to some of his promises. At one point, one of the women said: “It’s too bad they won’t let him do what he wants. If they did, he’d get rid of all those Somalis.”

Retirement is like playing Tetris

After four decades in medicine, I retired from the active practice of primary care 15 months ago.  I still get asked at least once a day: “Well, how’s retirement treating you?” My usual reply is that it is a learning process. A more accurate response would be that it is like playing Tetris, but with pieces that change shape and rotate unpredictably as they fall.

(For those not of a certain age, here is Tetris:

On the road to shared office visits

This is a repost of something I wrote in 2012 about how I discovered that doing collaborative officie visit notes with patients transformed the process for both the patient and myself.


 

Nearly a year ago I embarked on an adventure that has been changing how I practice medicine. It is also changing how medicine feels. 

Memo to my successor

You are about to have the honor and great pleasure of working with a group of patients I have come to know and respect over the years. While I cannot tell you how to practice medicine, I feel no reluctance to tell you what made it so worthwhile for me.  

Retirement message to my colleagues

Here is the letter I sent my colleagues upon my retirement from active practice in December 2015.

Doing nothing - but doing it right

It’s always easier to do something than to do nothing. Doctors often offer treatments for things they know are what we call ‘self-limited’ meaning that they will clear up all by themselves.  I think this form of unnecessary treatment reflects an awareness that although many things resolve without intervention, both doctors and patients are driven to DO SOMETHING. Though it is usually tempered by the wish to do something as benign as possible, sometimes doing nothing is the best choice. The trick is knowing how to do nothing properly.

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