What Healthcare can Learn from March Madness

Every spring, I look forward to two things: the snow melting, and the NCAA basketball championship tournament. I watch very little TV, but for those few crazy weeks, I am glued to every March Madness game I can fit into my already bleary-eyed schedule. My alma mater is nearly always a contender, but that is only partially the draw. In truth, not unlike millions of other fans, I really watch in the hope of seeing a “Cinderella Story” emerge. There are numerous essays and theories about the psychology behind fandom and the desire to root for an underdog, and Continue reading

The Ring-In-The-Hand Moment


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Research has shown that our brains are hard wired to hang on to negative input. This “negativity bias” may have had an evolutionary benefit in that we could recognize and remember danger easily and learn to avoid it. However, in … Continue reading

Why “Collective Well”?

I admit it, I like words. I like clever words, funny words, word play. And I also like meaningful words. I believe that carefully chosen words, when backed up by corresponding thoughts, sentiments, and genuine actions that make those words ring true, make all the difference. I also have found that the messaging and nomenclature we use in medicine can have unintended consequences when heard by patients, families, teachers, or community members. For instance, in my field, I often see children with a murmur, which is quite frequently a benign or innocent, normal finding of hearing the blood as it flows by in a growing child’s chest. Undoing the amount of angst generated by that word “murmur” could keep me in business a long time; not only does the word have an evil or sinister sound to it (remember “redrum” from The Shining?), but Continue reading