Mark Soth is a mid-career academic intensivist in Ontario, Canada. He blogs as the Loonie Doctor about physicians' personal finance
We really have come a long way as a society in that "the talk" is not so much of a big thing anymore. We speak more openly about sex - the benefits, the pitfalls, and the repercussions both within our families and in our public institutions. It is no longer a major taboo. That was not always the case.
Historically, the taboo of sex has contributed to much misery. For example, when syphilis ran rampant around the world in the 16th century, many were denied care because it was considered “the wages of sin”. Of course, they treated syphilis with mercury back then, so that may have been worse. The advent of penicillin as an effective cure for syphilis in the 1940s was revolutionary, but it still did not eradicate the disease. With penicillin, education, and condoms - syphilis is much less common now, except on internal medicine exams.
Did all that talk about sex make you uncomfortable? Probably not. In fact, some medical nerds are probably chomping at the bit to correct me on some fact about syphilis.
Iris Gorfinkel is a General Practitioner and Founder & Principal Investigator of PrimeHealth Clinical Research in Toronto, Ontario
I’d been attending this particular patient’s medical needs as her GP for the past five years. Enid dressed impeccably, was a young 85 years of age and had the amenities that most elders dream about. She had her health, financial security, education and a strong intellect. What she was missing was companionship.
“If only I had someone to travel with,” she lamented.
Hardly 24 hours later, I was asked to see Fred who had been my patient for 7 years. He was a robust 87 year old, financially secure, well educated, and possessed a marvelous sense of humor. He had remained active despite having lost his partner to lung cancer the year before.
“I miss having someone when I travel,” he told me.
Amy Gajaria is a third year resident in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto
Last week was the first snowfall of the season in Toronto. Usually, the first sight of fluffy white flakes collecting on city streets would have me dreaming of strapping on my cross-country skis. This, year, however, the first snow left me huddled inside, frightened of slipping on ice.
Towards the end of September I badly damaged my ankle when attending a charity event. In a few moments I went from an active 30-something to someone unable to stand independently. After the paramedics got me to the nearest hospital, the first thing that popped out of my mouth was not “pain medication STAT” (that was the second thing), but instead “I’m a doctor. I hate being a patient.”
I later told myself that this was because I wanted to speed up communication and avoid unnecessary explanations. ...continue reading →