John Henning Schumann appears in the following:
Saturday, April 09, 2016
Saturday, February 27, 2016
My father is approaching his 78th birthday, blessed with health good enough to still be an avid golfer and tennis player.
His regular group of tennis buddies changes from time to time. The lineup depends on how they're feeling.
I remember when one of the gents renowned for his fitness ...
Saturday, January 16, 2016
For years, Mrs. Sutton came to see me in the office every three months. Visiting the doctor quarterly was "the right thing to do," she told me, given the fact that she had both diabetes and high blood pressure.
She always set the agenda at our visits. She brought lists ...
Saturday, November 21, 2015
I remember being handed a white coat during my first year of medical school. It came crisply folded in a cellophane bag. I was told to wear it anytime we were in the hospital or with patients as a sign of respect.
There was no pomp about it. I took ...
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Saturday, August 01, 2015
Beware the mention of natural causes, as in my mother's obituary:
"Norita Wyse Berman, a writer, stockbroker and artist ... died at home Friday of natural causes. She was 60."
Sixty-year-olds don't die of natural causes anymore. The truth was too hard to admit.
Fifteen years on, I'm ...
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Doctors are obsessed with time.
It comes down to simple math. If I have four hours to see a dozen patients, there simply isn't much time to stray from the main agenda: What ails you?
Frequently harried, I avoid drug company salespeople. Their job is to get face time ...
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Poor old Dr. Krebs. His painstaking Nobel-winning work on cellular metabolism, called the Krebs cycle, has made him the symbol for what's ailing medical education.
"Why do I need to know this stuff?" medical students ask me.
"How many times have you used the Krebs Cycle lately?" senior ...
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Famed doctor and medical educator William Osler once said, "A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient."
What, I wonder, does that say about us doctors who treat our own kids?
This past winter, my daughter got the flu. She was miserable: daily fevers, achiness, sore throat, ...
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Oscar buzz surrounds Julianne Moore for her role as Alice Howland in the film Still Alice. Howland is a linguistics professor who develops early-onset Alzheimer's, a cruel irony for a character who makes her living with her brain.
Howland's awareness of her fate makes her decline all the more ...
Sunday, December 28, 2014
The holidays are here, bringing joy and, for some, wistful feelings.
Doctors are no different. Even for a profession that prides itself on scientific proof, the long nights of December afford ample opportunity for reflection and even doubt.
As we take stock of what we've accomplished and where we've failed ...
Sunday, December 07, 2014
Maybe you've heard about the slow food movement. Maybe you're a devotee.
The idea is that cooking, nutrition and eating should be intentional, mindful and substantive. Avoid fast food and highly processed grub. For the slow food set, the process is as important as the product.
Now I'm seeing a ...
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Back in 2003 I was a junior doctor working at a Chicago teaching hospital.
As one of the newer docs, my daily appointment schedule had lots of openings. Pretty much any assignment nobody else wanted came my way.
One morning the nurse who managed our clinic told me that my ...
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Doctors rarely talk about death.
Mostly it's because we're in the business of trying to help people prolong their lives, which almost always makes death an unwelcome topic of discussion.
Too often, death is seen as failure, though it shouldn't be. Death is a natural part of the cycle ...
Saturday, August 30, 2014
For years I've had a patient who is a gym teacher. As you might expect, he's pretty fit. Well into his 60s, he can do an impressive number of pushups, as he demonstrated one morning in our exam room.
He surprised me in a different way at an appointment several ...
Sunday, July 20, 2014
A woman in her late 20s came to see me recently because her back hurt. She works at a child care center in town where she picks up babies and small children all day long.
She felt a twinge in her lower back when hoisting a fussy kid. The pain ...
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
If you ask me to boil down the modern doctor-patient relationship to its most basic elements, cholesterol pretty much sums it up.
No single concept has permeated American medical culture to the extent of our anxiety about cholesterol.
It doesn't matter if you're old or young, male or female, rich ...
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Executions in this country often draw controversy. But when the headlines about them include words like botched or bungled, the debate about capital punishment enters new territory.
In Oklahoma, where I practice medicine, Clayton Lockett was convicted of murdering Stephanie Nieman, who had just graduated from high school, ...
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Charlie is like a lot of my patients. He's in his late 50s, weighs a little too much and his cholesterol and blood pressure are both too high. To lower his risk of a heart attack or stroke, he takes daily pills to control his blood pressure and lower his ...