A few good pens

Helping out Georgetown University fellows with their oncology consult service for a few days reminded me of how important it was to have at least three good pens with you at all times. By that, I don’t mean grabbing a handful of disposable Bics from a Staples shelf just ...

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How to say “I don’t know” like an intern

A key skill to have during oral exams back in med school was never to admit not knowing. Avoid the areas you’re uncertain of, dodge the examiner’s field of expertise as much as you can, and never ever say “I don’t know”.

These sage words were passed ...

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Lymphoma, a post mortem

Six weeks of anyhing will get tiresome near the end, doubly so if it involves taking a 6am train and not getting back home until 7. Combined inpatient/outpatient juggling twice a week didn’t help either, and neither did the high turnover1. Still, as inpatient rotations go, this ...

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Myeloid sarcoma, a slide show

This tumor board was almost two month ago. The case is fascinating, but the presentation had too much patient-related information for me to be comfortable posting it here. I ended up removing most of the interesting slides, though it remains a decent introduction to GATA2 mutations/MonoMAC syndrome, and a ...

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On medical euphemisms

Observe George Carlin discussing how euphemisms are invading the English language:

I first heard a version of this years ago, back in Serbia, while I was still a med student. It hadn’t left much of ...

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Stem cell transplants, a slide show

As first-year fellows, we have to present a case at the Medical Oncology Service tumor board every four weeks. Obviously, I can’t share the details of those talks here. But I can post a sanitized version of my slides, with all identifying information removed.

My first talk was about ...

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Pain. And Palliation.

I am not spiritual, or religious. Living in an atheist country that suddenly takes a turn towards militant Christian fundamentalism does that to you. I don’t believe in woo. I do believe that American doctors are overtreating their patients’ pain, and that American patients are too sensitized to it ...

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