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Weekend Reading

Today's Top Reads Close

Another week gone, and, for those of us in the US, a three-day weekend to look forward to. Just a few more hours to go... Three days should give all of us a chance to catch up on some reading, and with that in mind here are a few items that you may have missed: Paul Levy at Running a Hospital held a poetry reading of sorts earlier this week featuring verse by doctors and nurses. Each poem offers a poignant observation of what life is like for the men and women who provide health care, and they reminded me of how personally invested each is in the treatment of their patients. I particularly liked this poem:

ENCOUNTER ON THE STAIRS By Warner V. Slack, MD Next to Children’s Hospital, in a hurry Down the stairs, two at a time Slowed down by a family, moving slowly Blocking the stairway, I’m in a hurry I stop, annoyed, I’m in a hurry Seeing me, they move to the side A woman says softly, “sorry” in Spanish I look down in passing, there’s a little boy Unsteady in gait, holding onto an arm Head shaved, stitches in scalp Patch over eye, thin and pale He catches my eye and gives me a smile My walk is slower for the rest of the day

************** Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has entered the blogosphere witih a blog that highlights things that he "learned or experienced during the day." He has recently been posting about his trip through Africa, and his descriptions of the different health care systems, clinics and people he encounters provide the kind of perspective and insight that news reports typically lack. It feels personal and is written in a conversational tone. In fact, in his first post, he said something that struck home with me as an avid (and some would say obsessed) Blackberry user:  

I expect some of my entries may only be a paragraph or two punched out on my Blackberry while traveling in a car or waiting in an airport. Anybody who uses a similar device understands the efficiency and the limitations (No spell check, for example).

  As someone who has "punched" out the odd post on the Blackberry, I certainly understand its limitations -- as well as the need to double check spelling and punctuation! (Thanks to the Health Care Law Blog for pointing this development out. ) *********************** I'll leave you with a post that Margaret Gurowitz at Kilmer House made on yet another little-known episode from Johnson & Johnson's past -- the company's brief foray into the cola business. The product, Vino Kolafra:

...was recommended for athletes, bicyclists (cycling was a popular hobby back then, too), for the weak and overworked, for people convalescing from an illness, for those with weak hearts, as a brain stimulant and nerve tonic, for hay fever, to ward off fatigue and relieve nervous strain, as a cure for drunkenness (especially remarkable, considering the sherry base!), as a reliever of melancholia and nervous depression, to give troops stamina on forced marches, and more.

  Sounds like some potent stuff. Who would have thought that at one time Johnson & Johnson competed with The Coca-Cola Company!

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