A Tribute to Dr. Joe

by David Williams* (Written before the Covid crisis.) I have just learned that a friend and co-worker has entered end-stage heart failure. He is an aged cardio-thoracic surgeon who left the facility that I work in a week ago. His name is Dr. Joe M. I knew he was ill and knew that he had a cardiac condition but I did not know how advanced it was and is. He must have known. If you have the chops to do heart transplants (“its mostly plumbing…”) you know how badly off you are. Towards the end of his tenure with us, he arrived early one morning panting and breathing heavily. His … Continue reading


Carola Eisenberg: A Lucky Life

Carola Eisenberg, M.D. (1917 -2021) Dr. Eisenberg, a psychiatrist, was born with a social conscience. She was descended from Jewish socialist refugees from Czarist Russia and was a native of Argentina, where by her account she was inspired to pursue psychiatry after visiting a mental hospital as a teenager with her father. One of our colleagues, the Mohs miscographic surgeon Dr. Jenny Stone, has warm memories from her student days at Harvard of Carola Eisenberg: “In September 1978, I was a nervous first year student at Harvard Medical School.  In the midst of a flurry of faculty-introductory speeches, one person stood out: Dr. Carola Eisenberg, our new dean of student … Continue reading


On Infomercials and Experimercials

Dr. Bernard J. Carroll, an academic psychiatrist, died on September 10, 2018. His work demonstrated that the psychiatric drug literature had become so polluted as to be virtually meaningless, He called most drug trials “infomercials.” See his NY Times Obituary. Over the years, I have observed in my specialty, dermatology, the same is true. The Biologics are being aggressively and venally marketed. The result is that Humira, with sales of $18.5 billion in 2017, is the top selling drug in the world thanks to AbbVie’s multi-pronged marketing strategy. Where are the other Dr. Carrolls in medicine? Does dermatology have one? So many of our academic “stars” have been co-opted and feed … Continue reading

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