How to close the leadership challenge and end this COVID chapter

The reason that the United States hasn’t been able to reach higher vaccination rates is because of leadership failures. It’s really hard for leaders to lead transformational change during stable times. It’s infinitely harder to lead i…

You can’t fix what is already broken

It’s one of the last weeks in December. If it was any other year, I would have realized that Christmas is around the corner, the air would be filled with a different, radiant, joyful kind of energy, and most of us would be focused on all the less…

Laocoön and His Sons: suffering of those who care for those who suffer

Arguably one of the most famous statues of Western civilization is of the Laocoon group, made between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D, and discovered and excavated in Rome in 1506. Michelangelo himself was supposedly one of the first …

I see you, COVID

I see you, COVID. I see you in the hospitals each day. I don on my surgical cap, scrubs, goggles, N95 mask, and gown. Are you there? I see you in the scared eyes of my patients, in their tears, and in their regrets. I see you in their cough, gasps for …

The role of empathy in improving patient care and decreasing medical liability

Studies reveal that more than half of all practicing physicians demonstrate signs of burnout. Contemporary physicians face tremendous pressures due to a confluence of factors, including balancing heavy patient loads within constrained schedules, the in…

Mom’s new pacemaker: a story

An excerpt from A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace. “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” -Henry David Thoreau My mother, bless her ninety-year-old heart, is slowing down. The t…

A Christian physician’s message to Christian vaccine skeptics

I think it is remarkably irresponsible to have a balm and refuse to use it. I think it is remarkably irresponsible to have a salve and refuse to apply it. I think it is remarkably irresponsible to have a cure and refuse to accept it. And you’d th…

The unvaccinated and a history of cynicism

The vitriol that characterizes discussions about vaccines, masking, and school policies has been deeply disturbing. I am a physician who is concerned about COVID. At first, I thought that everyone would want to be vaccinated. I thought that the pandemi…

The unvaccinated are not difficult patients

We’re getting into trouble. With headlines like “Why I am angry” and “Burnout rates at an all-time high,” physicians need to take a moment and breath. Unvaccinated people are presenting as very difficult patients that physicians dread. In his landmark …

There’s no patient-centered care without patient-centered data

The problem We are on the precipice of a data tidal wave in health care, which is exciting because it can transform lives. But it’s concerning because our health care system is not built to deliver this promise. We are funneling data into an abys…

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