Recent Writings
Straddling Conventional and Alternative Cancer Treatment
When Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died in July, there was not much notice. He did not get an obituary in The New York Times or in most other major media outlets. Yet Dr. Gonzalez[more]
The Actual Value of Breast Cancer Stories
In 1959, Jane Crile, the wife of Cleveland Clinic breast surgeon George (Barney) Crile, discovered a breast lump. Her husband was one a few renegade breast surgeons advocating[more]
Before Charlie Sheen, They Went Public With HIV
Charlie Sheen’s announcement on Tuesday’s Today show that he is HIV-positive was shocking, but when Hollywood activist Elizabeth Glaser and tennis great Arthur Ashe announ[more]
Why Did the American Cancer Society Ignore Evidence About Early Detection Until Now?
For a century, the American Cancer Society has held up “early detection” of breast and other cancers as its mantra. Once, that made sense. But over the past few decades, [more]
Teaching Medical Students About Culture and Consent
If a medical researcher had the chance to make a crucial discovery in the fight against a serious disease, is it acceptable to mislead the subjects of her experiment? Seventee[more]
Jimmy Carter: Our Latest Famous Patient
Former President Jimmy Carter’s recent announcement that he has metastatic melanoma is the most recent example of the complex relationship that exists between famous people [more]
Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands: On a Slippery Slope?
The slippery slope is an argument frequently invoked in the world of bioethics. It connotes the notion that a particular course of action will lead inevitably to undesi[more]
The Robot Will See You Now: Robert Wachter’s “The Digital Doctor”
Consider Robert Wachter’s vision of the hospital in the not-so-distant future. There will be no more dedicated intensive-care units, because only seriously ill patients wi[more]
Fighting Mental Illness on the Ballfield
Mental illness remains highly stigmatized, even after celebrities like Brooke Shields, Mel Gibson and Robin Williams went public with their stories. So it was really a big de[more]
Overruling My Father
When it came to offering medical interventions to severely ill patients with no hope of recovery, my father had a fiercely strong opinion: They were inappropriate. For decade[more]

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July 17, 2014

Father, Doctor, Role Model
‘The Good Doctor’: A Son’s Look at an Earlier Generation

In a career that spanned more than five decades, from the 1950s into the 21st century, Dr. Phillip I. Lerner witnessed vast transformations in medicine. But as his son, Dr. Barron H. Lerner, writes in this exquisitely insightful new memoir, none of the changes was more profound than the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship.
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npr-terrygrossBarron Lerner appeared on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on May 13th. The complete interview is here.

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