Category: Community Life

  • Segregation

    It has been about a year since we moved out of the “inner city.”  It’s an experience we are still processing with many mixed feelings, among them relief, disappointment, and shame.  It is a relief to be able to walk around the block without fear of hearing gunshots, to sleep at night with working heat and running water…

  • Anniversary of Theft

    My wife reminded me that it has now been one year since we were last broken into.  She was partly reminded of this because our car was broken into last week, an incident in which only a cheap phone charger and several quarters were taken.  This occurred despite having moved to a “nicer” area of the city, one in…

  • Failing Faithfully: The Futility of Medicine (Scholar’s Compass)

    It was stunning news. I listened with disbelief as my colleague described how a patient of ours, in whom we had uncovered a host of serious diseases over a few years, was now newly diagnosed with cancer after an incidental scan. In addition, his social supports had been eroded and I thought about what it would…

  • Sweets Not Sweet

    Last Saturday I tried to go to work early and catch up on some paperwork. The building was not yet unlocked, so I went to the diner across the street for some breakfast. I ordered the $3.25 breakfast, consisting of a carb (2 slices of white toast), a vegetable (fried potatoes), and a protein (2…

  • Exercise-o-phobia, Lungs, and the Womb

    I haven’t exercised in several years.  Really, the only time I run these days is when someone is literally dying.  I run to Code Blues in the hospital.  I run to stat messages on my 1980’s style pager.  And that’s about it. It’s shameful.  I’m a physician who routinely counsels children and adults about the benefits of exercise…

  • Smidgen of hope

    The drug dealers around the corner work long hours, rain, snow or shine. Sometimes they purposely look away when I walk by. Sometimes they say hello/hi/good morning or “Do you have a light, ma’am?”, to which I respond, “No! I don’t smoke. And you shouldn’t either!”. Sometimes they look like hardened criminals with their lower…