I’ve enjoyed writing and stories my whole life, but until recently, didn’t think that I had the talent or the time to commit to doing serious creative writing. I now see that writing is both a craft and an art, one that takes time and one that leads you into learning what you need to know if you are open to the process. I’m excited by the potential of using stories to influence people and culture. As my research and clinical career has veered further from traditional paths, I’m seeing the limitations of the academic medical paradigm in taking an observation to move standards of care. There are certain problems where doing research and publishing scientific manuscripts is absolutely essential, and the quickest way towards change. However, there are other situations–for example, helping both doctors and patients to drop the restrictions of their roles to have more meaningful and healing conversations–that may be best approached directly through the power of words, ideas, stories and metaphors.

Essays

The Head Leads to the Heart

How Finally Embracing Spirituality Made Me a Better Physician

Books

Neuropalliative Care: A Guide to Improving the Lives of Patients and Families Affected by Neurologic Disease

This comprehensive guide thoroughly covers all aspects of neuropalliative care, from symptom-specific considerations, to improving communication between clinicians, patients and families. Neuropalliative Care: A Guide to Improving the Lives of Patients and Families Affected by Neurologic Disease addresses clinical considerations for diseases such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, and severe acute brain injury, as well discussing the other challenges facing palliative care patients that are not currently sufficiently met under current models of care. This includes methods of effective communication, supporting the caregiver, how to make difficult treatment decisions in the face of uncertainty, managing grief, guilt and anger, and treating the pain itself. Written by leaders in the field of neuropalliative care, this book is an exceptional, well-rounded resource of neuropalliative care, serving as a reference for all clinicians caring for patients with neurological disease and their families: neurologists and palliative care specialists, physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, as well as trainees in these areas.

Coming Soon:

Dangerous and Expensive Bullshit

Navigating Life with Neurologic Illness

From the Blog…

Medical Aid In Living

While in Colorado I worked with a number of persons living with neurologic illness who made the decision to utilize the Colorado End of Life Options act (Medical Aid in Dying – MAID). Even though I was in support of this option, I held many stereotypes about the people who made this decision. Once I … Continue reading Medical Aid In Living

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

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