Generalists

At the start of my 4th year of medical school in the fall of 1973, I approached a faculty surgeon for a letter to recommend me for post graduate training. The well regarded doctor was “shocked” that I was seeking a residency in the relatively new specialty of Family Practice. He noted that I had […]

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Specialization

Legendary doctor Sir William Osler was born in Canada in 1849. He studied medicine in Canada and moved to the US and later, England. He employed his immense intelligence, curiosity, energy and compassion to improve medical care world-wide. He authored textbooks, lectured around the world, wrote volumes of letters, taught at the bedside and practiced […]

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Born in Havre

I was born in Havre Montana located sixty miles east of Chester on US Highway 2. My hometown Chester’s population hovered around 1000 from the year of my birth until my high school graduation in 1966. Havre, with a population of about 5,000, was the nearest town that had a hospital in 1948. Over my […]

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Train Wreck

On September 25, 2021 an Amtrak passenger train derailed on the sparsely populated high plain between Joplin and Chester Montana. A local resident witnessed the accident from a gravel road crossing while waiting for the train to pass by. The train never passed and a “wall of dust filled the sky”.  About 141 passengers and […]

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Promoting Windblown

After observing several cycles of this pandemic’s ups and downs, I have decided to resume efforts to promote my book. Windblown; The Remarkable Life of Richard S. Buker Jr. MD; A Family Doctor is now available in hardback, paperback or e-book. Visit my website http://larryhalversonmd.com/ , click on “Buy Windblown” and click on “editions”to purchase […]

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Friendly fire

Frequent use of the term “friendly fire” has caused me some discomfort. I imagined it was a recent journalistic creation, but I was wrong. According to an essay published by the Poynter Institute, the term was first used during WWI. Author Roy Peter Clark wrote, “It is used accurately only when it describes a force […]

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Racial Prejudice

In the summer of 1963, my parents, my older brother and I boarded the westbound Western Star in Chicago. Our passenger car was designed with three bench seats on each side of a center aisle. As the fourth person in our party, I was seated behind my family next to a soldier in full dress […]

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Learning

 “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see […]

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When COVID is Personal

On Thursday evening December 17, 2020 following a typical day of work, David (not his real name) felt unusually fatigued. He begged off doing the dishes and evening child care duties and went to bed. He awoke at 2am with chills and shifted to his couch. He slept fitfully and shortly arose again with a […]

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High-Tech versus High-Touch

According to Wikipedia the terms high-tech and high-touch were coined in 1982 by John Naisbitt in his book Megatrends. Those contrasting terms have been frequently recited around medical circles for decades. Family medicine is either derided or praised by commentators of differing viewpoints as a high-touch medical specialty. Many family doctors embrace this generalization and value being able […]

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