The Summer of Vaccines

Since I have come home from the World Health Assembly, vaccines have been on my mind. They have been on my mind so much that it has been impossible to think about anything else in a considered enough fashion to be able to write about it. I have been reading books about vaccines and vaccination,…

A Regular Person

On Wednesday afternoons I am the psychiatrist for a clinic for young people suffering from psychotic illnesses. These young people have serious and chronic conditions. They have a long road of recovery ahead of them, but they are moving forward. It is inspiring to see their efforts and to be an influence in their progress.…

Mindfulness and Marmalade

About one month ago I made marmalade with the Seville oranges that are imported to Canada from Spain in the late winter. Seville oranges are said to make the best marmalade and so, every March, I buy five oranges, add the right amount of sugar and water and one lemon and make a dozen jars…

Medicinal Marijuana – An Oxymoron?

April 1, 2014 is going to be April Fool’s Day for Canadian Physicians as the Government of Canada’s new policy on medicinal marijuana comes into effect. By all accounts, producers of marijuana around the country are preparing themselves to supply marijuana to the thousands of Canadians who will now have to obtain this through the…

Never miss a party…

On Friday, January 10, 2014 Sam Berns died of, well, old age. While that in itself is not remarkable, what is remarkable is that Sam Berns was only 17 when he died of old age. He suffered from Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome), a genetic disorder which manifests in rapid, premature aging. It is rare: there…

A Christmas Memory

My favourite Christmas story is Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. I first read it when I was ten in a Scholastic collection of Christmas stories and was completely entranced with the remarkable storytelling style of this man. Although I did not appreciate the significance at the time, In Cold Blood, Capote’s creative nonfiction examination of…

Rachel’s Daughters

I first appreciated that a part of my heritage was Jewish is Grade 5. My teacher, Mrs. Regent, was Jewish and she taught our class about the traditions of Hanukkah, making latkes for us and telling us the story of the light that burned for 8 days. I had not heard this story so memorably…