Mea sententia...

Mea Sententia translates roughly as 'My Opinion' and 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 personal/family anecdotes.


Thought for today

First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you.

Then you win.



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What is the right question?

Good questions can give good answers.

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The need for failure

At recent meetings, senior leadership and management have spoken eloquently and forcefully about the huge challenges we in health care face from the perfect storm combination of an ongoing national financial crisis, the health care reform act with its unknown and largely unknowable changes, and our local revenue shortfalls. They emphasize the need for innovations that are carefully considered, centrally controlled, and rapidly developed and deployed. The theme is: “Major change is inevitable, and mistakes are not an option. We have to get it right the first time.” 

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Confirmation bias

I will never forget the quasi-humorous sign in the radiology reading room:

I’ll see it when I believe it.

Robert Burton, a former Chief of Neurology at Mount Zion Medical Center, explains it this way:

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Shared decision making

The trend of the last two decades toward patient-centered (or family-centered) medicine is unmistakable and and a very good thing. Unfortunately, it is often discussed in the abstract, which obscured the fact that no two patients are identical in their needs or desires. Kevin Pho’s recent discussion gets it right: 

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The night before Christmas (legal version)

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain
 improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of
 stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

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The art of the apology

It could have been a big deal, but it wasn’t. Our appointment to discuss our options for diagnosing and treating a potential malignancy had been scheduled with the wrong interventional radiologist.

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The cure!

He came in every year for his physical right after tax season (he was an accountant), an event I learned to dread. 

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Thought for today

f you are silent in the face of evil, or acquiesce to what you know is wrong…

…you have sided with evil and are collaborating with the devil.


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Snowstorm epiphanies

Every year, as winter approaches, I look forward to big snowstorms. Not just because I love Nordic skiing - though I do. Not just because the individually tiny flakes and their accumulation into deceptively gentle drifts are such a useful reminder of the importance of soft power. Not just because of the quiet, or the magic of moonlight glistening on fresh powder, or even the knowledge that the piles of snow against the foundation will help insulate the basement and protect our pipes.

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