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Mysteriouser and Mysteriouser: Ghost Stories and Death in Medicine

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash I knew far more when I was 24 and just starting my medical career than I know today. If you asked me, I would confidently tell you that free will was a myth, the soul an illusion, and stories of ghosts and heaven simply wishful thinking. The older I … Continue reading Mysteriouser and Mysteriouser: Ghost Stories and Death in Medicine

Fart Jokes, Medical Aid In Dying, and the Battle to Bring Joy into Medicine

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. George Bernard Shaw My article “Joy, Suffering and the Goals of Medicine” was not easy to publish. It was rejected by several other journals before being accepted by JAMA-Neurology. I never got a reason … Continue reading Fart Jokes, Medical Aid In Dying, and the Battle to Bring Joy into Medicine

The Medical Bullshit Detector Part II: Unreliable Experts

While it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can often learn a lot by looking at its author. In the case of medical bullshit—whether that be a best-selling book, a “miracle supplement” or a “revolutionary new theory on health”—a careful glance at the real accomplishments and actions of the person … Continue reading The Medical Bullshit Detector Part II: Unreliable Experts

Joy, Suffering, and the Goals of Medicine

As medicine strives to provide person-centered care, it is essential that clinicians support the subjective well-being of people living with serious illness. Toward this end, addressing the subjective suffering of an individual is now recognized as complementary to medicine’s goals of treating disease. Joy, on the other hand, has generally fallen outside the purview of … Continue reading Joy, Suffering, and the Goals of Medicine

The Medical Bullshit Detector Part I: Untrustworthy Products and Unbelievable Ideas

People who care about reality—including scientists, philosophers, doctors, teachers, and other concerned citizens—have long been bothered by bullshit. On the one hand, it is morally and philosophically reprehensible to purposefully undermine truth and to proclaim ignorance as a virtue. But more importantly, bullshit is harmful to people who live in the real world. Bullshit can … Continue reading The Medical Bullshit Detector Part I: Untrustworthy Products and Unbelievable Ideas

Expert Briefings: Marijuana and Parkinson’s Disease – What Do We Really Know?

https://youtu.be/3TKMcoKJzO8 There is increasing interest in the Parkinson's patient and research community about the potential for cannabis-based products to treat PD. In this webinar I review what cannabis is, how it works in the brain and why there is so much excitement about its potential in PD. We then review animal and basic science studies … Continue reading Expert Briefings: Marijuana and Parkinson’s Disease – What Do We Really Know?