Let me just start off this post by thanking Mark and Chris Hoofnagle for inviting PalMD to join them at denialism blog. Through Orac, I had followed Pal at his White Coat Underground and was delighted when the Hoof-gents invited PalMD to a bigger forum in their ScienceBlogs digs.
PalMD has now metamorphosized with his old blog now on ScienceBlogs. Congratulations, friend!
My Mom, a retired nurse, will understand completely when I say that PalMD is the kind of doc I once thought I could be (and Mom, you've got to put this guy in your bookmarks!).
Many speak of Pal's criticism of pseudoscience as his strength. Perhaps.
Instead, I admire even more Pal's treatment of the human side of medicine. With the loss of Dr Charles and The Cheerful Oncologist, the med blogosphere has been left wanting for a physician writer of the humanistic and reflective side of medicine. Signout has this gift as well but her current position in training makes it difficult to keep a consistent blog (I submit that she will give Pal a run for his money once she has more time.).
But since I never became a physician, I still admire the profession and even married a doc. For those who deeply and reverently appreciate the responsibilities to humanity with which they are charged, I am in awe.
PalMD goes for the jugular on when pseudoscience jeopardizes patient well-being, and rightly so.
However, I most enjoy his passionate and moving examinations of the physician experience and the physician-patient relationship. His recent account of the loss of a family member but honoring him for his place in the world reminds us all of how most doctors approach their families, their patients, and, if not spoken explicitly, their own limitations.
Earlier in the day, my wife was spending time with him, listening to his confused moans, and when she got up to say goodbye, he said, "you have a beautiful smile. Where did you get such a beautiful smile?"
Dick, she got her smile from you, her passion from you. How could you even wonder?
Best of all, I get to meet PalMD in person this weekend at ScienceOnline'09. But I've been enriched greatly by his writing on the web.
I hope that you will be as well.