As Coronavirus Fears Intensify, Effectiveness of Quarantines Is Questioned

I’ve been asked several questions over the weekend about the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Amid news the novel coronavirus may be spreading at an accelerating rate, concern is growing regarding China’s lockdown of affected cities. I’ll qualify this blog post by saying I’ve never been to China, don’t speak Chinese, and certainly haven’t … Continue reading As Coronavirus Fears Intensify, Effectiveness of Quarantines Is Questioned

The antimicrobial crisis: enough advocacy, more action

Those of us who practice infectious diseases medicine are well aware of the crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but we have not been very successful in galvanizing global action. In The Lancet, a recent editorial describes the antimicrobial resistance crisis and the need for joint action by the human and animal health sectors. One idea proposed is a legally binding global treaty to curtail unnecessary antibiotic use, similar … Continue reading The antimicrobial crisis: enough advocacy, more action

Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Boston

Many years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from Boston University and then started his career as a civil rights leader in Montgomery, Alabama. Each January, he is remembered with a day where Americans are instructed to “serve their community…” to “deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, and collect food and clothing.” I have nothing against community service, but this is not what … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Boston

Grand Rounds at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

On January 14, I am privileged to give Grand Rounds to the medical staff at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital here in Boston. I’m going to talk about strategies to reduce clinician burnout and mental illness and to improve well-being. In our work as healers, humanism and relieving suffering are central themes, yet burnout and mental illness can threaten these values. Continue reading Grand Rounds at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

My New Year’s Resolution

The past few days I’ve spent time thinking about my resolution for 2020, and here’s what I’ve come up with. My goal is to complete the Boston Sprint Triathlon on August 2, 2020. It includes a 750m ocean swim, 17.5K bike ride, and 5.5K run. I’ve never attempted a triathlon before, swum in the ocean for a significant distance, or rode in a bike race. I … Continue reading My New Year’s Resolution

As we approach 2020

As we approach 2020, with all the suffering and violence in the world, with the confusion spread by our “smart” phones, by platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I wonder what is most important, and it’s gradually becoming clear. Albert Einstein once said, “the significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” Humanity is at a turning … Continue reading As we approach 2020

As 2019 winds down

As 2019 winds down, I have a few thoughts. First, I’m so grateful to have a job as an infectious diseases doctor. Our field is fascinating and rapidly changing, from HIV and tuberculosis to other pathogens. For example, check out this report on the emergence in Australia of shigella that is resistant to all commonly used oral antibiotics. The increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections is a major … Continue reading As 2019 winds down