February 2018 Archives


Beneath the University hospital that was associated with the medical school I attended in Amiens, France there was a seemingly infinite maze of interlocking concrete passages that connected all of the different “pavilions” (“units”) of the hospitals. I remember how my feet echoed as I walked along those corridors.

They had been constructed during World War II, to bring the hospital safely underground in case of German Bombing.

One day I was walking in step with all the other surgeons, echoing together, with a regular beat. Read more on They Don’t Need To Understand — They Are Peasants!…


There are many times I escort a patient back to my front desk Shouting things like “Never give up! Never surrender!”

I tell them how I was taught to say that when I was on active duty with the US Army Medical Corps.

“Think of whatever inspires you!” If a psychiatrist wonders if a patient is “untreatable,” then all we are really saying is that THAT patient is, at THAT moment, untreatable by THAT psychiatrist. Read more on The Untreatable Patient?…


In the middle of downtown Paris, I was having a snack when I was a mere medical student, honored guest of a famous and chic woman professor/scientist. She was telling me about how her son, who had numerous psychological problems, had two distinguished medical school professors fighting over his proper diagnosis. Of course, while they were doing this, he did not appear to be getting any better.

She confided in me more than I would have expected. Read more on Getting The Right Diagnosis…


Fashionista On The Street

It is her birthday, and our Fashionista is getting ready to go out on the town. You think she has some street cred? At the very least she has a high Adorability Quotient.

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In France, the first year of medical school was a “concours,” a “contest exam.” That meant that slots in the second year class went to those who scored the highest on the exam. There were 650 of us in the first year. There were 110 in the second.

It was obvious, that even with a chance to repeat the spring exam in the fall, and a chance to repeat the year, if a student did not turn up in the top 1/6 or so of the class. Read more on Studying And Actually Learning…

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I recently had a patient who walked in to see me wearing a vintage Dior suit. I complimented her, of course, as I think that an ideal way to dress. She presented as powerful, and in control of her life.

She looked me straight in the eye, as if she were delivering me a deep and secret truth. Read more on Useless Phase For Today: “Chemical Imbalance”…

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