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December 18, 2013 2 Comments

Writing Lessons from NY Times Magazine, Part I

I love the New York Times Magazine. At first glance, this may seem a low risk, even dull, statement. But the truth is that reading this weekly hodgepodge of facts and articles and photos, of politics and science and culture and fiction, is almost a secret pleasure. It’s varied. It’s easy to read. There’s almost [...]

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May 14, 2013 12 Comments

Should doctors be able to write?

At first glance, this might seem like a question with an easy answer. Yes, you might say, doctors receive a doctorate and are trusted with communicating to and about people at critical moments in their lives. Or you could reply, No, they are scientists and so need to be functional communicators able to write basic notes [...]

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April 12, 2013 1 Comment

Writing about Old Age

In the New York Times review of A History of the Present Illness, Abigail Zugar noted that I write “lovely, nuanced description” and have joined “the ranks of those immortalizing the small, realistic retails of modern medical care.” That was nice, but perhaps more interesting was the following comment: “[She] is at her best in [...]

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