Alex Trebek book

Alex Trebek’s Legacy: What Has It Taught Us?

{Update from Sam} On November 8, 2020, Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the unwaveringly popular game show Jeopardy, died of pancreatic cancer. It was twenty months and two days after his public announcement of the diagnosis of advanced (Stage IV) cancer and his “plan to beat it.” What have we learned? Well, my initial […]

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COVID Management Catastrophe: the End of an Error

Now that we have a new president-elect and can look forward to a new approach to the management of Covid-19, how will Joe Biden appeal to those citizens who see it as their constitutional right to intentionally disregard public health measures? A right they define as being able to assert their liberty and individuality. And, […]

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Listen to Debbie’s podcast!

{Update from Sam} If you are wondering where Debbie has been over the past few months while I’ve been pontificating here on the blog (don’t worry; I will continue to do so in the future), she has not crawled under a rock. In fact, she has been working hard on her podcast, The Gap Year […]

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What Covid-19 Teaches us About A Good Death

{Update from Sam} When the coronavirus and its resultant disease, Covid-19, first appeared on the scene in New York and Washington State, alarms went off throughout each state’s respective government offices. “Would there be enough personal equipment to protect front line health care workers? Would there be enough health care workers to care for the […]

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How Safe Will You Be? The Proper Use of Gloves and Masks

As a gastroenterologist, I have had to get up close and professional (sometimes much more up close and personal than any normal person would want to be) with a host of germ-laden material. Try giving someone a fecal transplant through a colonoscope. And, during the early phase of the AIDS epidemic, gastroenterologists were frequently the […]

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The Ritual of Medicine Is Threatened By the Rise of Telemedicine

Recently I saw an article describing the tension between a patient and her oncologist when considering a follow-up appointment during this coronavirus pandemic.  On the surface it posed simple questions. Should they meet and risk cross infection? Could they accomplish their goals through telemedicine? Below the surface it underscored the value of medical ritual and […]

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Doctor and patient on ventilator in China

Should the Elderly Decline Ventilators?

This post is going to be very grim. I hope you will take it as useful information and food for thought. Despite the call for more ventilators, these breathing machines are not a panacea for elderly patients.  As Coronavirus sweeps the country, and as governors beg for federal assistance, the reality of mechanical ventilation for […]

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