Physician mistrust and the end of the doctor-patient relationship published a post a couple of days ago from medical student Joyce Ho in which she admitted to discomfort raising the topic of religion with patients. As a “polarizing” issue that could make the doctor-patient relationship “more unprofessional,” Ms. Ho imagined that patients would fear playing into their doctors’ prejudices, particularly if the doctor […]

Psychotherapy as generic conversation — Sloppy thinking in psychiatry 4

This fourth installment in my “sloppy thinking” series turns to psychotherapy, or what passes for it in some psychiatric practices. A very brief history: Sigmund Freud, a neurologist, invented psychoanalysis and its offshoot, psychodynamic psychotherapy, about 120 years ago. It was, first and foremost, a treatment that involved talking — not merely a conversation that […]

Review of HealthTap

As posted below, I joined HealthTap a month ago, impressed with its vision of bringing real medical expertise to the public in a Yahoo Answers type format. Since then I’ve participated actively. As of today, I’ve answered 40 questions, and I’ve been thanked by 30 members — it’s tempting to call them patients, but they’re […]


Last week I was invited to join an online service called healthTap. I signed up this weekend, and have been enjoying it so far. It’s a free membership site where users ask brief medical/health related questions. The questions are then answered, also briefly, by one or more physicians in the “Medical Expert Network.” Each doctor […]

Therapy for therapists

Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times blog Well featured my prior post, on the feelings some patients have as they imagine whether their psychotherapists have been in therapy themselves. My post was about patients’ fantasies, not the reality of therapy for therapists. Nonetheless, many of the comments argued for the great value of such […]

Psychiatric anosognosia

This post was inspired by an article in the May 30th issue of The New Yorker, “God Knows Where I Am” by Rachel Aviv. Full-text online is only available by subscription, but a free abstract is available here. In the process of telling a riveting and ultimately very sad story, the author discusses psychiatric insight.


Conflicts of interest in medical education: Disclosure may not help

Yesterday’s New York Times had an interesting op-ed, “Stumbling into Bad Behavior,” about corruption and unethical conduct in corporate and financial settings. The authors, Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel, are academics who wrote a book about ethical blind spots. They note that regulators, prosecutors, and journalists tend to focus on corruption caused by […]