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.
Editor in Chief
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.
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. 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.” — 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.
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.” (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.” – 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.” 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. 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.” — 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.” — 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.”
‘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
“Doveryai, no proveryai.” (Trust, but verify) – President Ronald Reagan The quote, “trust, but verify,” is actually an old Russian proverb that President Ronald Reagan used during arms control negotiations with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. He learned… Read More
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” Gen. George S. Patton (1885-1945) I recently turned 50 years old and celebrated my birthday while on an annual field exercise, called Operation Bushmaster, with the… Read More
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) I do my best to avoid touching on editorial themes I find interesting in subsequent months. Last month, I touched on the incursion of medical technology into our daily practice… Read More
“In the sick room, 10 cents’ worth of human understanding equals 10 dollars’ worth of medical science.” — Martin H. Fisher, MD (1879-1962) It is a particular pleasure in federal medicine to have an opportunity to talk with our patients… Read More
“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” — Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO Sheepishly, I find myself enjoying this quote a little too much. My clinical and research workdays would… Read More
“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” ― Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) I am presently reading “Thomas Jefferson – The Art of Power” by Jon… Read More