One Event, Two Stories

Photo: Kal111

I recently had a patient of mine undergo surgery to remove his gallbladder due to acute cholecystitis. He’d been out to dinner with some friends and had started to feel nauseated, then developed some right upper quadrant abdominal pain that necessitated ending the evening early. After a sleepless night, a morning episode […]

How To Know Yourself

Photo: kretyen

In the past, I’ve been humbled to discover things about myself I didn’t want to know: as I wrote in The Good Guy Contract, that I believed I needed other people to like me to be happy, and as I wrote in Keeping Romance Alive, that I was warm when in fact […]

End-Of-Life Discussions

Photo: 28misguidedsouls

When I was a resident working in the intensive care unit (the ICU) at the University of Iowa, one of my responsibilities was to communicate with the family members of my patients. However, an intensive care unit, as its name suggests, is an intensely busy place, and I often observed among my […]

The Double-Edged Sword Of Hope

Photo: Albion Europe ApS

I’ve taken care of many patients with cancer throughout my career, but one in particular stands out in my mind, a forty-year-old journalist who came to me with a diagnosis of a grade IV glioblastoma—a malignant brain tumor with an almost uniformly fatal prognosis. The reason I remember him so […]