The Latest and Greatest Health and Medical Stories, For You by Me

It’s a pretty busy time for us sleep-deprived, hard-working humans in the Almost Doctor community! Pre-medical students and MS1’s are headed back to school, medical school applicants are furiously working on secondary applications, and medical students are being medical students. Because of this, I took the liberty to curate the latest and greatest stories in health and medicine on the web right now.


1. “Storytelling in Medicine – the Passion and the Peril” | Dr. Danielle Ofri

Excerpt: “So much of medicine is about stories—the ones we hear, the ones we tell, the ones we participate in—that it is no accident that doctors and nurses are attracted to stories.”

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2. “Doctors Fail to Address Patient’s Spiritual Needs” | Dr. Robert Klitzman

Excerpt: “Religion was never discussed in my medical training. In medical school, a priest maintained a small lounge, providing coffee and tea, where students could sometimes drop in to get coffee, but that was wholly optional, and most students never did so.”

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3. “Our Family Secrets” | Anonymous Medical Student

Excerpt: “Do any of you have someone to forgive from your clinical experiences? Did anything ever happen that you need to forgive or perhaps still can’t forgive?”

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Excerpt: “This issue includes an On Being a Doctor essay, titled “Our Family Secrets,” that we think, and hope, will make readers’ stomachs churn.”



4. “What is elegance in science?” | Patrick House

Excerpt: “Newton’s second law of motion, F = ma, which relates force with mass and acceleration, is one of the most elegant findings in science.”

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5. “Patients can spot the fake: They need the authentic” | Kathryn A. Hughes, MD

Excerpt: “As I got deeper into this world of science and medicine, and then surgery, I was concerned that the experiences around me might overwhelm or blunt my humanity, become mundane.”

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6. “The Ethics of Bloodless Medicine” | Amanda Schaffer

Excerpt: “If we don’t know what’s wrong with us, we expect our blood to provide an answer. Blood symbolizes murder, birth, passion, danger, and conquest, as when hunters drink from a slain animal.”

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7. A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine | William L. Toffler

Excerpt: “A shroud of secrecy envelops the practice of assisted suicide. Doctors engaging in it do not accurately report the actual manner of death.”

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8. “Yes, I am a Rhodes Scholar who is “just” a family doctor. Here’s why.” | Dr. Yan Yu

Excerpt: “So you’re a Rhodes Scholar, and you’re just a family doctor?”

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9. “What does a doctor look like?” | Dr. Lara Devgan

Excerpt: “I, like almost every female surgeon I know, can remember being called “nurse” instead of “doctor” on the wards. Despite our white coats and name tags, we have been mistaken for secretaries, scrub techs, translators, and social workers — all valuable members of the health care field, to be sure — but none reflecting our actual identities.”

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10. “Ain’t the way to die: The stories that this physician will never forget.” | Dr. Zubin Damania

Excerpt: “The common theme of such stories of hope and peace in the dying process was clear: It all begins with a conversation. It might be with a loved one, a friend, or a trusted medical team member. Or it might be a conversation we have with ourselves: What matters to me at the end of my life?”

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Sonal Kumar

Sonal Kumar is passionate about combining science and storytelling. She has vast experiences outside of healthcare including marketing and advertising, print and broadcast journalism, including TV/radio production. Sonal is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @sonalkumar2011.