Musing of a Contemporary Pathologist
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Thoughts on One More Birthday

Contrary to T.S. Eliot, April is definitely not—at least for me—the cruelest month. To the contrary, April has always meant springtime, sunshine, light rains (“ … April showers bring May flowers …”) and the promise of summer warmth and vacations. My mother was in labor struggling to deliver me for more than two days. Finally, on Wednesday, April 26, 1939, I entered the world weighing almost 9.5 pounds,...

Peter, Paul and Mary

Last week, my wife, Kate, and I went to hear a concert given by Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey. The night of February 17 was miserable because of a ferocious, record-breaking rainstorm and high winds. We started out for the 8:00 PM concert at 3:30 PM for three reasons: the terrible weather conditions, the fact that it was a Friday (which means horrendous late afternoon traffic in Los Angeles), and because it was...

Easter Memories

The New York Times crossword puzzle for Wednesday May 20, 2015 included, as a clue for 23 across: Holiday not widely observed by Quakers. The answer was: Easter. I did not know that about Quakers but I was reminded of one of the reasons to do crossword puzzles: you learn a lot. That puzzle also reminded me why, despite the bunnies and the painted eggs, I am not fond of Easter. The South Brooklyn neighborhood of my...

Doctors who write; It all began with Ctesius of Cnidus

A question I am often asked about my first novel, A Little Piece of Me, is: why did you write it? This is usually followed by: how long did it take? I also get asked if it is based on something in my life. I did study a liver biopsy with the same condition affecting the little boy in the book and, as I called the pediatrician to relay the diagnosis, I wondered about the effect of this condition on a family about...

Medicine, molecules and music: Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) – surgeon, scientist, composer, educator, women’s rights advocate, Broadway award winner

A 1951 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (CCCP in Russian, USSR in English) stamp bears the images of five great Russian composers: Mikhail Glinka, Peter Ilyitch Tchaikowsky, Modest Moussorgsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff and Alexander Borodin. Only one of them, however, can claim to be the first to link cholesterol to heart disease (Hood 2014). Only one of them can claim to have developed the laboratory technique...