Aug 292013
 

In our culture, unlike some others, eye contact in conversation is viewed as a sign of sincerity and engagement. Every morning, while shaving, I look into the mirror and automatically go through the motions. Like many men, we literally could shave in the dark. That’s until the razor develops a mind of its own and shaves a little closer than intended. Ouch! That’s the reality check. There are other reality checks that come to me and don’t involve exsanguination. (Please forgive the metaphor; I’m a recovering trauma surgeon.) Much more [read more]

Jul 152013
 

There are recurrent and compelling themes that seem to cross all of our relationships. This time, I am talking about “family values.” Without any conscious plan or motivation, it appears that we all are embedded within families that adopt rules and boundaries within which we live most comfortably and effectively. One could relate these rules to the policies and procedures that we carefully write and catalogue within our academic environment. These regulations are usually formatted to inform individuals as to how to function within groups, or families. There are other [read more]

Jun 032013
 

“On the road again – Just can’t wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends And I can’t wait to get on the road again. On the road again Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again And I can’t wait to get on the road again.” Like Willie Nelson, I imagine a few of us took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to be on the road. My wife Sydney and I had [read more]

Mar 112013
 

Someone once told me, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about at all.” Well, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is certainly in the news. The Daily Reflector has published two articles of real significance about our school. Recently, there was an accounting of the history of the development of the school, and Sunday, there was the report that indicates that the school is achieving what it was intended to do – produce primary care physicians who want to stay in [read more]

Feb 142013
 

Hey, this is the United States of a New York minute, git ’er done right now and I’ll have fries with that. I have sympathy for presidents of our country – every one of them has to satisfy every constituency in 45 minutes or less. Our current president has turned gaunt and gray under this pressure. Check the before and after picture of each of our modern presidents and tell me what you see? Compared to a president, I have a micro-responsibility. However, even at this scale, I have found [read more]

Dec 032012
 
30,000 feet

It’s the end of the “fly over” season for me. Many of the academic societies seem to have their major national meetings in the fall. These are important for a variety of reasons. We need to understand how we are faring in relationship to our colleagues in other academic centers in other parts of the country. Many of us are invited participants and presenters. They teach us, and we teach them. Inevitably, we are making and rekindling connections related to our recruitment needs. We also need to make sure that [read more]

Aug 032012
 
Roll models

The heat must be getting to me! Hot summer days can cause daydreaming. Thoughts drift toward occasions and things that have influenced me and made my own life richer and more meaningful. Some of my most pleasant memories have been built around cars. In fact, I have been fascinated by anything that involves movement and machinery. This delight in mechanical things likely developed as I followed my grandfather in his rounds through our family’s chocolate factory in Jamaica. The more serious and chronic “infection” occurred as I “helped” my father [read more]