Editor in Chief

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

Doveryai, no proveryai - Trust, but verify

Doveryai, no proveryai – Trust, but verify

“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.

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.

“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

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

“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

In the sick room, 10 cents worth of human understanding equals 10 dollars worth of medical science

“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

If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine

“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...

Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda…

“‎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

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error

“Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error.” — Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) Benjamin Disraeli was a British conservative politician who knew a thing or two about politics, serving twice as prime minister of the United… Read More

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” — Steve Martin I grew up laughing at Steve Martin, arrow-through-the-head gag, King Tut and all. I do not suppose Mr. Martin had any deeper goals with this statement beyond the… Read More

Fixing healthcare and fixing the economy are two sides of the same coin

“Fixing healthcare and fixing the economy are two sides of the same coin.” — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) As I ponder this editorial, the country is in the grip of its second day of government shutdown. I cannot help but… Read More

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”  General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. (1934-2012) Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho recently announced implementation of the Performance… Read More

A leader…must have the determination to stick with it

“A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets tough.” Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) Anyone who has followed this column over the… Read More

Because that’s where the money is

“Because that’s where the money is.” William “Willie” Sutton (1901-1980) William “Willie” Sutton (1901-1980) was an infamous bank robber who stole an estimated $2 million dollars during a 40-year crime career. When asked by a reporter why he robbed banks,… Read More

I wonder if a soldier ever does mend a bullet hole in his coat?

 “A ball had passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through the sleeve and passing through his chest from shoulder to shoulder. There was no more to be done for him and I left him… Read More

There is nothing so annoying as a good example

“There is nothing so annoying as a good example!!” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)I recently returned from my fellowship program’s annual medical mission to Vietnam. These missions are a highlight of our academic year, as they provide unique opportunities to practice… Read More

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” ― Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Like most Americans, I was shocked and horrified at the Boston Marathon bombings that ripped through the event on Monday, April 15,… Read More