Editor in Chief

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile

For some time now, I have had the privilege of expressing my opinions on federal medicine within U.S. Medicine as the editor-in-chief.

Life Moves Pretty Fast

Life Moves Pretty Fast

If you don’t stop and look once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Beuller.
I have commented numerous times within this column on the daily stressors that federal medicine providers face within our large health system.

Clearly there are always unintended consequences

Clearly there are always unintended consequences

…of any legislative or regulatory act that’s taken in the heat of battle.” Richard “Dick” Grasso was chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange from 1995 to 2003 and is credited for his efforts to restart the Exchange following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

Like too many Americans, I eat too much. If eating were a professional sport, I would be considered an accomplished athlete with an impressive career.

Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders

Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”               — Tom Peters I have been ruminating for the past few months over the bureaucracy of federal medicine and the importance of selfless service to our veterans and their… Read More

There is no higher religion than human service

There is no higher religion than human service

To work for the common good is the greatest creed. — Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
Government service can be extremely trying at times. Last month, I touched on the difficulties of surviving the bureaucracy to which we submit ourselves each week in the care of our servicemembers and their families.

These walls are funny

These walls are funny

Occasionally, there is a movie that just seems to resonate with many groups and situations. The 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” directed by Frank Darabout was certainly one of those movies. It was, and remains, common for myself and work colleagues to refer to being “Shawshanked” whenever we are confronted with laborious federal bureaucratic rules that are ubiquitously enforced with little apparent forethought or purpose.

Doctors are Human Animals

Doctors are Human Animals

They want to be loved, they are tribal, they instinctually favor stories over scientific evidence, they make mistakes, and even small gifts make them susceptible to being biased. If we took doctors seriously as human animals, we might hurt them — and they might hurt us – a lot less.

Life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid

Life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid

A friend and colleague recently used John Wayne’s quote after bringing a recent malpractice suit to my attention. The case involved an anesthesiologist, gastroenterologist and a medical assistant in Vienna, VA, who were involved in the care of a patient presenting for a screening colonoscopy.

Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life

Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life

Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone… Read More

In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence

In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence

“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.” — David Hume (1711-1776) Evidence based… Read More

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inward at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inward at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.

I am concerned about the health of our planet, how it affects public health and how human management of our environment

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

“I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.” (Mark Twain – 1835-1910)             It is with some dismay that I have watched the news reports concerning the re-emergence… Read More

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  – Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) I have never been one much impressed by celebrity.  During my years haunting the halls of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) as a military clinician,… Read More

If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of acceleration, civilization could easily disappear from the face of the earth within a few weeks.

If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of acceleration, civilization could easily disappear from the face of the earth within a few weeks.

“If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of acceleration, civilization could easily disappear from the face of the earth within a few weeks.” Victor Vaughan (1851-1929) Victor Vaughan was the surgeon general of the Army during the influenza pandemic of… Read More

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them. Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) I had the honor of being invited recently to speak at the 39th annual Garland Lecture series at the Boston Medical Library. As I tend to… Read More

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” — Thomas ‘Vince’ Lombardi (1913-1970) On Nov. 30, 2014 at midnight, I will pass on to the retirement rolls of the United States Army after 26 years, five months and… Read More

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” — George Washington (1732-1799) In 2009, I was deployed as an anesthesiologist to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, with the British combat support hospital (CSH) established there,… Read More

Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.

Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.

“Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.”

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

‘Don’t look where you don’t want to go.’ — Author Unknown In my life adventure as a father of three daughters, I have never faced anything as frightening and dangerous in their development into young adults as teaching them to… Read More