Mea sententia...

Mea Sententia (which translates roughly as 'My Opinion') has been my intermittent blog since 2011. Much of my writing is about medical issues, but my topics range through philosophy, behavioral and decision making, management, humor, and persona/family anecdotes.
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Why I decided against pediatrics

I am often asked by friends and colleagues why I did not become a pediatrician. 

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She thinks I'm real

As a child, I looked forward to the infrequent family outings that involved a restaurant. As the eldest of three, it gave me a chance to strut my stuff in front of my sisters: I was allowed to order without much interference, so it was a rare opportunity to have a cheeseburger, fries and the most chocolate item available for dessert. 

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When the improbable becomes the inevitable

“Just keep doing tests. Eventually you are bound to find something.”  She was right, of course. But not in the way she meant.

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Stranger in a strange land

I find myself a stranger in a strange land, or (more prosaically) a square peg being forced into a round hole.

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Infestation...

After decades of hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking and swimming in various back country environments, it finally happened. I have been colonized. Beaver fever, also known as giardiasis, caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia.  Enjoying my metronidazole.

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Incrementalism and the status quo

I was recently told that ‘the problem’ underlying my often strained relationship with the institution where I work is that I am a revolutionary working in an institution committed to incrementalism.

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Quality goals and flipped priorities

What would you think if you received this message from management: “You can ignore chlamydia…it is not one of the quality goals for this year.” Or if you were told at a meeting to discuss a mandated quality initiative: “All you have to do to get credit for BMI screening is just click the box that says you will talk about it at the next visit.” (These are both true stories.)

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Thanks for 44 years

Forty four good years, with more to come.  I’ll honor it with the words we started with…

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Thoughts for Labor Day

I don’t consider myself a laborer, though I surely work very hard. I work because I love to.

 

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

 

“Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;

Something attempted, some done,

Has earned a night’s repose.”

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

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Some thoughts about the medical history

'Taking a history’ is one of the first clinical tasks medical students are taught. The logic behind this is inescapable: without the history, attempts at diagnosis and treatment are doomed to failure. We start our training with the history, when we present patients for discussion with other doctors (in training or later, in practice) we start with the history. And except in rare emergencies, we start every patient interaction with the history.  The history: it always starts there but it doesn’t end there.

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