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“I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” – John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)
As scenes of devastation from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 continue to play on the world’s media outlets, the precarious reality of man’s existence on this planet, in the face of natural forces, is all too obvious.
I recently returned from another medical training mission (our fifth annual visit) in Vietnam. These missions are tremendously valuable for training my fellowship and resident physicians on how to educate and function in challenging medical environments. Over the years I have had a number of military physicians comment that their medical mission experience was the single most important training they received in preparation for working in a battlefield environment. Our Vietnamese hosts benefit from the exposure to modern American medical technologies and procedures. While this mutually beneficial relationship has been a medical education success for both parties, I often think our team comes away with far more benefit then we necessarily bring.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
I began my fascination with the scientific method and the process of research early in college. Decades later (more than I like to admit) as I look back, I am awed at the accelerating pace of medical discovery and dismayed at the concurrent explosion in the bureaucracy of research conduct known as the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Most of my medical research colleagues consider ‘IRB’ a four-letter word, and we all have personal horror stories of navigating procedural insanity imposed by IRBs, sometimes euphemistically referred to as the ‘office of preventative research,” in the name of human subject protection.
As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least, to do no harm.
I do not believe there is a health professional on the planet that has not heard this quote from Hippocrates. It is as close to a postulate of medicine as anything I have come across.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
—Martin Luther King Jr, 1929–1968
'Don't judge a book by its cover' is perhaps the most common phrase in the English language used to convey the idea that one should not judge the worth of something based on outward appearance. A wounded warrior, friend, and colleague of mine recently related an event that happened to him. It caused me to again appreciate the wisdom of this old English metaphorical phrase.
This month US Medicine focuses on the widespread medical problem that is diabetes. Affecting over 17 million Americans, or 6.2% of the population, almost 6 million of this population does not even know they have the disease, according to The Obesity Society at www.obesity.org.
Some of you young men think that war is all glamour and glory but let me tell you boys, it is all hell! —Major General William Tecumseh Sherman
The famous phrase, “War is hell,” is attributed to General Sherman, who likely knew this subject better than most based on his exploits during the Civil War. In September 1864, he directed the inhabitants of the city of Atlanta to be evacuated before his army entered the city to burn it.
The Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) is the military’s electronic health record system. It is a system that many federal providers love to hate.
- A day without sunshine is like, you know, night
- Fixing healthcare and fixing the economy are two sides of the same coin
- The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do
- A leader...must have the determination to stick with it
- Because that's where the money is
- I wonder if a soldier ever does mend a bullet hole in his coat?
- There is nothing so annoying as a good example
- The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see
- It's hard to soar with eagles when you're surrounded by ducks quacking 'No!'
- It's far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has
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