Center Down

Mar 16, 2020
 

A beautiful poem for these times

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A Saint Patrick’s Day C19 Message From Dublin

Mar 16, 2020
 

‘A Terrible Beauty Is Born’ is a quotation fromm Yeats that is deeply etched in the Irish psyche.

There are many interpretations as to the meaning of the phrase.

In my mind, it refers to the beauty that was borne out of the pain & suffering of the 1916 Rising

La Feile Padraig from Dublin

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New Research Shows That Timing Matters For Medications - Introducing Chronotherapuetics

Feb 23, 2020
 
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😂 LOL 😂

Feb 22, 2020

A dark, wet & dreary Friday night.

The perfect end to a dark, wet, dreary week.

I have a self-diagnosed impending flu like illness with an ETA of tomorrow am (just in time to ruin my weekend)!

My ‘To Do’ list winks at me from an app on my iPhone.

For some inexplicable  reason, I never get to the end of that ‘To Do’ list & it grows from week to week.

I foolishly thought that if I paid for a colour coded app that my productivity would soar LOL!

The sad truth is that I have exactly zero interest in ticking off any job on that stupid list & that LOL reminds me of what I really want to do right now.

Just between us, I really (nay desperately) want to turn on Netflix & watch Nailed It.

I love the irreverent, politically incorrect, flirtatious Nicole Byer who hosts the cooking show where ordinarily mortals try to bake sinful, sugar laden cakes in a LOL bake off.

 Something about this show reduces me to LOL tears. 

There is a huge...

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The Bell

Feb 22, 2020
 

As doctors, we often give bad news.

A patient reminded me that sometimes, despite this bad news, the patient can outlive the doctor.

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The Wayfinder

Nov 13, 2018

This is the conversation that should have happened, but didn't.

Maybe a blog post will do for now?

The concept of 'The Wayfinders' comes from Martha Beck in her book

'Finding Your Way In A Wild New World'.

It is such an amazing concept.

I just wish that I had come across it years ago.

Many doctors are Wayfinders.

Many (if not most) of my friends are Wayfinders.

Some of my patients are Wayfinders.

All Integrative Medicine physicians are Wayfinders.

Chances are that you are a Wayfinder, if you are reading this.

What is a Wayfinder?

Here are some of the diagnostic criteria for classifying as a Wayfinder:

a strong sense of mission but not necessarily sure what that mission might be

a deep desire to lessen human suffering but again not clear how exactly to do this

high levels of empathy

emotionally sensitive & self-critical

sociable, popular & enjoys people but needs regular periods of solitude

feels chronically different

creative, gifted & special

dislikes the flat earth...

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The Physician’s Daily Prayer

Nov 12, 2018

This beautiful prayer was printed on the back of the booklet for the graduation ceremony for the fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

This is exactly the kind of medicine that I signed up for when I joined medical school.

I can think of many great colleagues who truly practice medicine in this way.

Sadly, the current tick-box, risk averse, documentation heavy medical culture that prevails can sometimes make it difficult to keep this at the centre of our daily clinical practice.

Of course, this is not just The Physician's or MD's Daily Prayer but the prayer for each of us as we go about our daily lives. A prayer for those who value social capital.

 

The Physician's Daily Prayer 

Thou hast chosen me  to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures. I now apply myself to my profession. Support me in this great task so that it may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.

Inspire me with love for my art and...

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Is Your Story Making You Sick?

Nov 11, 2018

We tell stories about ourselves everyday. 

We tell ourselves these stories.

We tell others these stories.

These stories typically begin with:

'I am.... '

'I always....'.

'I have...'.

A group of my friends from the University of Arizona are about to release a new movie which is called 'Is Your Story Making You Sick?'

Great question.

Last week, a friend of mine, re-told the story of how she developed an illness (in graphic detail).

The story focused on how terrible it was, how awful the doctors were.

I have heard this story many times and I truly empathise with her and what happened to her.

However, she only tells part of the story. 

She omits the part where she got better.

At this stage, does telling and re-telling the story help her in anyway?

I suspect not.

I think it may keep her stuck identifying with her ex-illness.

I also suspect that she is unaware of her tendency to tell this story over and over.

I often see the same thing play out in clinic.

People who have...

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The Invisible Lift

Jun 18, 2018

What if there were a way to increase our chances of sticking to our goals, dreams and plans? Sure, a to-do list, affirmations and accountability partners all help. Reality is that everyday life exerts a kind of gravitational pull that draws us away from being our best self.

The diet plan slips into an ice-cream. The compassion turns into a snide comment. The saving goal turns into a pair of shoes. No major transgressions needed. Just lots to little deviations from the script. Problem is that these unintended transgressions gain compound interest over time and that is now the person that we begin to become. Unintentionally.

The best prescription that I know to prevent this kind of drift is known as the 'invisible life'. This is a concept that I came across (and love) from the  Blue Zones project.

The Blue Zones project was a joint initiative between National Geographic and the National Institutes For Health. The aim of the project was to identify the secrets to living a long,...

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Medicine For The Soul

Jun 10, 2018
 

 

 

 

There are two ways that physicians can pray for their patients.

Firstly, privately without asking their patients consent or sharing the fact with them that they are praying for them.

Secondly, praying openly with patients.

A paper just published this year cautions against praying for patients unless invited to do so. The paper cites concerns about professionalism and boundaries as reasons to wait until invited before praying.

An amazing book by neurosurgeon David Levy shares his journey as he began to offer to pray with patients. He offers to pray with his patients. He absolutely respects any refusal to allow him to pray (although this is rare enough). He finds that surgeries tend to go more smoothly, patients and their families are happier and he is happier. 

He calls it 'Medicine For The Soul'.

Medicine For The Soul gets my vote!

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