by Allen Shih In the well-lit room, students bustled, Dressed in scrubs, holding scalpels, and clutching Netters. Not one spoke, but some did pray. Today was the day. With swift broad strokes of knives, we cut into the flesh. Like lawyers on cross-examination, sifting through layers of muscles, we tagged hidden nerves and camouflaged vessels. Beyond donning the white coat on stage, Beyond the first patient hailing “bye doc!” Beyond spending time alone with terminally-ill patients, Anatomy taught us our first patient. Enshrined in a place of learning, A still woman with prominent cheekbones lay, With slender hands as cold as ice. Her blue eyes squinted into the night. Author … Continue reading


Hopkins Humanity and Medicine Conference

Humanity and Medicine Conference Johns Hopkins School of Medicine December 10, 2016 submitted by DJ Elpern The Turner Auditorium. I haven’t been in this room for 37 years… Not much appears to have changed. It is an imposing amphitheater that suits the Oslerian tradition of Hopkins. What follows are some random notes I took.  There was much more that I missed.  It was a day of rich pickings and I wish I could have gorged on more that was offered.  The following photo could be a key theme of this day at the Turner Auditorium.  The physician (observing) not doing something to the patient. The meeting began with a stressing … Continue reading


Free Money in Finland

In his book, The Health Gap, Michael Marmot discusses the effect income inequality has on well-being and longevity. He discusses how the income gap is less in Scandinavia than almost anywhere else and shows how this translates into a narrower health gab between the upper and lower income brackets. Finland is now starting “an experiment in the form of social welfare: universal basic income.” This holds promise to further narrow the health gap. The December 18th NY Times article about this does not mention “the social determinants of health” but some of what the article covers is straight out of Marmot’s book. See: Free Money for the Jobless.

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