Smart Read

A Book Review: Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Unless we live in a small town, we are unlikely to know everyone that we come in contact with. We are often forced to make decisions on how to interact with a stranger without knowing anything about them, and the consequences can be devastating. Malcolm Gladwell struggles to understand the recent police shootings of African Americans,…

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In Shock, by Dr. Rana Awdish, A Book Review

It’s 5pm on a Monday and I’m sitting in a conference room with attending physicians and residents, listening to a mandated “Faculty Development” lecture on how to give proper feedback. I hear words thrown around, such as “timely feedback,” the “feedback sandwich,” “adult learners,” “professionalism,” “communication,” and “learning goals.” We are asked to role play, give and receive…

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The Unwinding of the Miracle, by Julie Yip-Williams

“They say that youth is wasted on the young. Now, as I approach my final days, I realize that health is wasted on the healthy, and life is wasted on the living. I never understood that until now, as I prepare in earnest to leave this life.” Of all the powerful statements in Julie Yip William’s moving…

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The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson – a Pulitzer Prize winner

A couple of months ago I read a book review of Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” written by Isabel Wilkerson. Ms. Wilkerson’s review referenced the Great Migration of African Americans from the Southern US to the North, when talking about Obama’s family, who raised her in Chicago. Wilkerson’s writing was so interesting, that I bought HER…

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Mentoring Matters

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing you the way. A mentor.” Denzel Washington A mentor can be defined…

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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

I took the advice of one of my patients and read this fascinating book which details the background of a promising Silicon Valley startup, Theranos. When I first heard of the company in the glowing Wall Street Journal article, Elizabeth Holmes: A Breakthrough Instant Diagnosis dated September 8, 2013, I was wondering why another company had not developed this…

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Educated by Tara Westover – Book Review and Musings

Educated is a memoir written by a young woman who was brought up in rural Idaho by fundamentalist/survivalist Mormons. She was the youngest of 7 children. Her family was theoretically home-schooling her, but the teaching was erratic and she mostly learned how to help her parents with their jobs – her father in the junkyard, her…

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Taxi Driver Wisdom

It is a beautiful weekend in the Washington area and all around the country. A group of friends from our Lady Docs circle and I decided months ago that we would spend a weekend together in a little town in the horse country of Virginia as our first gathering for 2018. Similar to January 20th of last year,…

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

One of the jobs of a practicing internist is to help patients improving health through lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and sleep. This can be quite challenging for me, so the fact that fascinating book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business delves into the neuroscience behind our daily routines, was…

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On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder – a book review and observations

I read about this book in a review in the Washington Post and got it as soon as I could. In light of the recent election, I felt confused and helpless. I wanted to know how to understand everything that is happening and what can I do, as one individual to find out where the…

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