The problem with dogs

Frankie was our Doberman. Her real name was Francine, after the female protagonist in my first novel, The Black Widows. I called both of them Frankie. Sometimes I give female characters male names, like Jessie in Ripples in Opperman’s Pond and Dannie in Not Just a...

Just Papa

May is Race Month in Indianapolis as the city gets ready for 350,000 fans attending the Indianapolis 500 held on the last Sunday before Memorial Day. The hotels fill, the restaurants are jammed, streets near the track look like a parking lot and the whole downtown...

Debt Repaid

While the year with Gordon was well lubricated, it was filled with scientific exploration at its best. We discovered fundamental heart processes and published a number of important papers. The experience with Gordon laid the scientific foundation for the rest of my...

Mixing science and booze

After I finished training at Duke and served my two years in the Navy, I was recruited by several universities to join their staff. Indiana came up with the best offer. Become an assistant professor of medicine at full salary, but study for a year any place I wanted....

My Duke Debt

Some forty years after my experiences with Dr. Kempner, Duke awarded me the Distinguished Alumnus Award. However, there was no way to predict such an outcome at the beginning of my training or what I would owe Duke for that training. In fact, my acceptance speech when...

Consequences of Defying Authority

Three years later, in my last year of training as a cardiologist, I was writing my first chapter on heart rhythm disorders for a major textbook. I desperately wanted to attend a conference at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago on interpretation of complex...

Defying Authority

How many of you have done that? Gone against the boss, the supervisor, or even just the advice of your best friend? Being a physician, especially a cardiologist, can involve life and death decisions. Making those decisions as a first year intern often leads to white...

Not Just a Doctor

I was an intern at Duke University Medical Center in 1964, and was assigned a month with Walter Kempner. Dr. Kempner emigrated from Nazi Germany in 1934 and came to Duke Hospital as a medical scientist. Slim, medium height with dark hair, he was a handsome,...

Taser safety concerns following death of teen

Doug Zipes recently had a case series published in the American Heart Association’s 'Circulation' Journal relating to the use of Tasers. Following the death of 18 year old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach, who was shot in the chest with a Taser, there are...

Portrait of the Electrophysiologist as a Novelist

I was recently interviewed by Harlan Krumholz for CardioExchange about my novels and the decision to turn my hand to fiction. "I write like you drive home at night: you know where you start from, where you have to end up, but your headlights illuminate only 100 yards...

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