Friday, May 27, 2011

Rough Men

We sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf. Churchill

This is on the wall of the Memorial at Coville, France. A few yards from Omaha Beach. Yet another reminded of what one group of people were willing to do for another. Rest in Peace and never be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

As a surgeon with gray hair, I can say without reservation, as Medicare implodes in 20 years (not next year or the year after) there are really only five steps that can be taken to halt the decline of American health care as we know it.
1. Evidence based, compassionate rationing. Should a bed bound 85 year old patient be given a pacemaker just because we can?
2. Tort reform. I always base things I do and order on the circumstance of trying to explain on the witness stand why I did or didn't do somehting to a jury not of my peers. So far, it's worked. I have not been sued.
3. Get rid of all this paperwork. One chart I just peer-reviewed for a complicated 2 week stay in the hospital was 500 pages long. Standardize all of this so a hospital in Brooklyn is the same as one in Walla Walla.
4. Focus the research so that the next expensive test or therapy is affordable and practical.
5. Incentivize the practice of medicine so it once again becomes a noble profession and it's doctor-patient not doctor-client...

Friday, May 20, 2011


Some very favorable reviews for the novel. Thank you for all the kind words. The next one, The Business of Killing, is in the works and should be ready by the fall. Philip Roth said, The idea is to turn flesh and blood into literary charcters and literary characters into flesh and blood. Nobody told me it would be this much fun, though. Wes