Podcast Episode 2: Mood & Meds

I know it’s been nearly two months since my first podcast episode! I finally got my act together to record another episode. Baby steps! In today’s episode, I discuss mental health and the stigma around it and its treatments. I offer some personal experiences here, and I hope you find this helpful! As always, I…

My 2021 Audiobooks (and Actual Books!)

It’s already that time when I review the books I have listened to this year! Last year’s list was much shorter than I would like, but between having a new baby and dealing with a pandemic, free time was not in abundance ;) I haven’t read a ton of books in previous years as I…

Sitting with Suffering: A Lesson from a Patient

“Don’t throw away your suffering. Touch your suffering. Face it directly, and your joy will become deeper. You know that suffering and joy are both impermanent. Learn the art of cultivating joy. Practice like this, and you come to the third turning of the Third Noble Truth, the “Realization” that suffering and happiness are not…

Measles, Medicine, and Modern Ethics

The ongoing news reports of measles outbreaks in the United States and my concurrent readings for a course in Theories of Justice has gotten me thinking. A lot. I’m thinking about the undoing of medical progress and the unfortunate damage done by the now debunked Lancet study about a purported link between the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine…

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Last night my husband and I were searching for a movie to watch and I found this title on iTunes. I had never heard of it, but it seemed to have great reviews, and given my weird interest in topics around death and dying, I thought it would be an interesting movie. It ended up…

Dr. Abraham Verghese on the Importance of Touch

Sometime during medical school, I heard about a book about treating patients during the onset of the AIDS epidemic in America. I was surprised and delighted to learn that the author, Abraham Verghese, was Indian, and, like me, his roots were from Kerala, India. Given my deep interest in HIV medicine and Infectious Diseases at the…

Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with Death

In many parts of the world, people understand the natural cycle of life and death. In America, it seems to be the opposite. Everyone expects immortality because of the vast scientific advances and research being done. It’s almost as if people feel entitled to living forever at any cost. But this way of thinking needs…

Touch and Trust

For a physician, the sense of touch is closely entwined with the treatment of a patient. We learn the physical exam maneuvers that help us demystify the internal workings of the human body, at least enough to glean more precise information about the person’s ailment. We press on the sinuses to gauge whether a sinus…

Turning Off Social Media: Why Happiness Depends on It

The other day, an old Alanis Morissette song came on the radio and I was reminded of my childhood neighbor, Ashley. Ashley and I had spent hours listening to Alanis’ first album. I got to thinking how Ashley was the one girl on my street who treated me as a true friend; her being Jewish…

An Open Letter to the Boards

Dear Boards, Well, our last twelve months together have been a mixture of emotions, ups and downs, lessons, pain, and maybe one or two victories. I first heard the horror stories about you during first year of residency, but at that point I (along with my peers) was just trying to keep my head above…

Immortality & Ethics: The Henrietta Lacks Case

  In May 2018, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery installed this portrait of Henrietta Lacks while three of her grandchildren looked on. The fascinating story of this important woman was revealed in Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). I initially read this book during residency, then revisited it two years ago for a…

The Sour Taste of Force-Feeding: Gitmo Hunger Strikers

“Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially.”                                  …