Peter J. McDonnell, MD

Enlightened discourse on the InternetExamining the gender pay gap and what anonymous web users really think of it
Why a new oral therapy for hepatitis C may be a game changerThe looming promise of a well-tolerated and extremely effective oral agent to eradicate HCV infection is exciting, as it offers the possibility of eliminating this disease as a significant public health problem, as well as the albeit uncommon ophthalmic manifestations.
Adaptability shapes survival of academic health centersThe future of ophthalmology—including academic health centers—will rely much on the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment, suggests Peter J. McDonnell, MD, of the Wilmer Eye Institute.
Making fun of doctorsSome people say that laughter is the best medicine, whereas others may argue in favor of antibiotics, erectile dysfunction therapies, and medicinal cannabis. Settling arguments about the comparative value of these therapeutic agents is, however, a topic for another day. This editorial seeks to shed light upon the laughter that involves, or is directed at, us physicians.
Not to wax poetic . . .Thanks to the Polar Vortex, this has been a harsh—some might say cruel—winter in my little town that sits along the border between North and South. Thankfully, we have the poetry of William Carlos Williams to help get us through these frigid days—reminding us that winter is a time of peace, and that the wise trees of Baltimore have prepared their buds and will soon bring forth a beautiful and fragrant springtime.
A cloudy view of the futureSome days I just can’t help feeling great about the future, especially the future of medicine. And then on other days, like today, I watch videos and read stories on the Internet of people being gunned down in the streets of giant “world-class” cities like Kiev, Caracas, Bangkok, and Aleppo by their fellow citizens.
‘Best’ ways to die?A recent article in The New York Times1 suggests that physicians—because we understand the implications of a serious illness diagnosis and the implications of treatment and the associated morbidity—die “better” than do non-physicians.
A contrarian view of employee turnoverIs it practical for medical practices to retain only stellar employees and pay them well above other practices, while letting one-fourth to one-fifth of their workforce go every year, to be replaced by new workers who will hopefully prove to be stellar? Would it be consistent with the culture of medical practices to reproduce the Netflix system of “high performance”?
Wishing You a Moderate New Year
All the more reason to smileMatthew Hertenstein is a psychologist at DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, who has studied the photographs of children and high school students and then determined what happened to them later in their lives. It turns out that people who smile more warmly in their photos when they are young will allegedly live longer and happier lives.