Recent Posts


June 14th, 2013

Podcast 163: Boston bombings – 4

(2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

Dr. Brien Barnewolt of Tufts Medical Center shares his thoughts on the aftermath of the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon. Simple things matter in these circumstances, like wearing your ID badge.

Length: 9 minutes

May 21st, 2013

Podcast 162: Boston bombings lessons part 3

(4 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

Andrew Ulrich, executive vice chair of Boston Medical Center’s emergency department and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Boston University School of Medicine talks about the day and its lessons. He was just starting his shift when victims began arriving.

We’ll continue our explorations of the bombings, trying at least to salvage some lessons. If you have suggestions for the series — or thoughts on Clinical Conversations — please share them via the “add a comment” link below.

Joe Elia

Last week’s conversation with Alasdair Conn

May 14th, 2013

Podcast 161: Boston bombings’ lessons part two

(5 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5)

Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School continues our series on the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Thank you for listening. Do let us know what you think.

Joe Elia


Dr. Conn’s essay in the Annals of Internal Medicine

Last week’s conversation with Dr. Ron Walls


May 9th, 2013

Podcast 160: The Marathon bombing — lessons learned

(6 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)

Thank you for your questions about the status of Clinical Conversations. We’re edging our way back toward a normal schedule with this, the first of a planned multipart series on the lessons learned in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Ron M. Walls, professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School is the guest. Listen in and please let us know what you think.

Joe Elia


The JAMA “Viewpoint” piece written with Michael Zinner.

November 10th, 2012

Podcast 159: Making the Clinical Diagnosis, But Blowing the Patient’s Treatment Preference

(8 votes, average: 3.25 out of 5)

Running time: 20 min.

In some diseases there are two diagnoses to make: the clinical diagnosis and the diagnosis of what the patient’s treatment preference is. The first is hard enough to make, and the widening choice of treatment choices complicates the second.

Welcome to the task of “preference diagnosis,” which can lead to disappointment and worse if missed in diseases like breast or prostate cancer.

We talk this week with the authors of an essay on the topic in BMJ. They offer some advice and some resources you’ll find useful.



October 18th, 2012

Podcast 158: Physician-assisted dying — a conversation with Dr. Marcia Angell about the Massachusetts ‘Death with Dignity’ ballot question

(7 votes, average: 3.43 out of 5)

Our conversation explores the question that Dr. Marcia Angell poses in a recent essay in the New York Review of Books: May doctors help you to die?

Angell’s is the first name to appear as the sponsor of a November 6 ballot initiative here in Massachusetts, which is modeled on the Oregon law already in place.

I’d expect there to be some disagreement with her arguments, and you’re welcome to leave some feedback at 617-440-4374. I’d like to include them as part of the next podcast.

Here are some links:

1. Angell’s essay in the New York Review of Books

2. Information on the ballot initiative from Ballotpedia

3. The full text of the “Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act”

Clinical Conversations

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