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Peter J. McDonnell, MD
He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of Ophthalmology Times.
The Grotto of Font-De-Gaume
Examining the intelligence of the early man through artistic expression
Working the system at expense of veteran care
Rather than figure out how to meet the demand for care and comply with the policy, news reports and congressional committees indicate that staff members developed strategies to “game” the computer scheduling system to make it appear as though timely appointments were being given when such was not the case. How many veterans might have suffered some irreversible vision loss as a result of delays in eye care?
How to spend $450 million wisely
Blowing through a half-billion dollars is probably a lot harder than it seems
Enlightened discourse on the Internet
Examining the gender pay gap and what anonymous web users really think of it
Why a new oral therapy for hepatitis C may be a game changer
The looming promise of a well-tolerated and extremely effective oral agent to eradicate HCV infection is exciting, as it offers the possibility of eliminating this disease as a significant public health problem, as well as the albeit uncommon ophthalmic manifestations.
Making fun of doctors
Some people say that laughter is the best medicine, whereas others may argue in favor of antibiotics, erectile dysfunction therapies, and medicinal cannabis. Settling arguments about the comparative value of these therapeutic agents is, however, a topic for another day. This editorial seeks to shed light upon the laughter that involves, or is directed at, us physicians.
Not to wax poetic . . .
Thanks to the Polar Vortex, this has been a harsh—some might say cruel—winter in my little town that sits along the border between North and South. Thankfully, we have the poetry of William Carlos Williams to help get us through these frigid days—reminding us that winter is a time of peace, and that the wise trees of Baltimore have prepared their buds and will soon bring forth a beautiful and fragrant springtime.
A cloudy view of the future
Some days I just can’t help feeling great about the future, especially the future of medicine. And then on other days, like today, I watch videos and read stories on the Internet of people being gunned down in the streets of giant “world-class” cities like Kiev, Caracas, Bangkok, and Aleppo by their fellow citizens.
‘Best’ ways to die?
A recent article in The New York Times1 suggests that physicians—because we understand the implications of a serious illness diagnosis and the implications of treatment and the associated morbidity—die “better” than do non-physicians.
A contrarian view of employee turnover
Is it practical for medical practices to retain only stellar employees and pay them well above other practices, while letting one-fourth to one-fifth of their workforce go every year, to be replaced by new workers who will hopefully prove to be stellar? Would it be consistent with the culture of medical practices to reproduce the Netflix system of “high performance”?

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