Australian politics, society & culture

Medicine

Dying with dignity means different things to different people
By Karen Hitchcock
Before I started studying medicine, my grandmother was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I had no idea what that was. “Scarring of the lungs,” she said. When I announced my plan to become a doctor, she was ecstatic with pride. She’d tell anyone who listened. Like the person scanning our
What is sickness, and how much of it is in our heads?
By Karen Hitchcock
I was recently asked to give a presentation about “what makes us sick”. Thinking about that question nearly made my head explode. It’s more like “What doesn’t make us sick?” My big inner-city hospital is overflowing with the sick. There are people who are in the orthopaedic ward
How doctors deal with drug companies
By Karen Hitchcock
It was midnight and I was lying awake in bed, thinking that I should have been a surgeon. If something went wrong, I could cut it out. No nonsense, a clear cut. We physicians just sit around trying to protect organs with a bunch of drugs. Protecting organs is like being a soldier in peacetime. You hang out, doodling
Can antibiotics really cure back pain?
By Karen Hitchcock
Why doctors second-guess themselves
By Karen Hitchcock
By Karen Hitchcock
Mental disorders are messy amalgams of biology, psychology and culture / ‘The Extraction of the Stone of Madness’ (c.1494), Hieronymus Bosch
Modern madness
By Nick Haslam