Posts by Jordan Messler

Fake News! Get Your Fake News Here!

One of the top stories of 2016 is fake news. Chances are, in 2017, we will continue to fall for these fairy tales. When people think Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are two completely different entities, we know facts can dissipate quickly. Why are we duped so easily? These stories fit into a narrative we want to believe in, reinforcing our often insular views, where the echo chamber reverberates at high frequency. We digest only headlines and forward those along, not having time to fully read the stories. Lack of faith in the "media" causes us to trust any headline from any source over the mainstream media. Facebook is recognizing the large role it plays in dissemination of fake stories to the extent that it plans to roll out a new filter in Germany to begin to fight this epidemic. Here's how you and others can combat fake news…

BREAKING NEWS: “Physicians Deemed Unnecessary”; “Social Worker Promoted to Hospital CEO”

“Physicians deemed unnecessary, ½ of all hospitals expect to be using artificial intelligence technology by 2020. Medical schools begin to shutter.” (See New England Journey of Medicine 2016.) “Social worker of inner city hospital found to be the most cost effective position in the system, promoted to CEO.” “Patients HCAHPS surveys determined to be filled out by their pets 90% of the time. Industry chief states this improves surveys have never been more accurate and recommends tying 100% of salary to Rover’s results.” (See webofliesmd.com for those last two.) So ran some Facebook headlines from my Macedonia buddy. Makes me long for the days of getting duped by The Onion. Fake news, as opposed to satirical news, is the latest virus infecting the web. They travel online faster than Usain Bolt. We are passed the era of truthiness and into the realm of post-truth. With newspaper subscription rates declining faster than ever, the search for real news gets harder and harder. Truth…

A Letter to My Patients

To my next patient: I often avoid putting my politics on my sleeve, as I don’t want that to get in the way of our relationship. I want you to know that I treat you as a fellow human being, no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation. With the election results, what will change about how I treat you at the bedside? Nothing. I may know about your criminal past. I see that tattoo underneath your gown. I hear your profanity-filled screed because you won’t get that MRI today. I know you don’t follow the treatment plan, that you are here illegally or that you are a refugee from another country. I will still care for you no matter what. It’s one of the blessed things we instill in each other in medicine. I saw someone like you recently: 28 years old, working hard, with 2 jobs, but neither provided…

The Head and the Heart

One of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, released Signs of Light last month. A more pop album than their prior folk rock versions, it’s still a good listen. The group states the origin of the name comes from a recognition that doing what you love – in this case, music – creates unintended sacrifices in the rest of life, such as relationships and friendships. Life is filled with these balances. The world today seems to be polarizing on notions of ideas that feel right versus ideas that are thoughtful. In reality, it’s some combination of both – to sell ideas, they require simple messaging with depth of thought. That same philosophy applies in life, and of course, in the hospital as well. Hospital comes from hospes, the Latin word for stranger, host or guest. Hence, the origin of similar words such as hostel, hospice, hotel and hospitality. A patient is…

Must-Listen Podcasts: Including Ezra Klein’s Interview with Atul Gawande

I have a seven-minute drive to work. Sounds like a brutal commute, I know. It gets worse. I drive past two golf courses, a multitude of palm trees and skirt by the intracostal before I arrive at the hospital. It’s a tough ride. To cope with the challenge, I used to spend that time listening to one or two songs on the way in and would often call a family member on the way home. Seven-minute calls are about as much as I can handle. It really only takes my mom two minutes to make me feel guilty. “When am I going to see the grandkids?” I say this because over the last year, I’ve now become addicted to podcasts. Which means I lost my seven minutes of morning wake-up music, and my mom really lays on that guilt because I don’t call anymore. Also, the seven minutes now seem too…
12345...