Before I take a brief look back at 2007, here are some recent headlines to think about as we move towards 2008.
The relationship between Pharma and physicians is a complicated and often controversial one, and I’ve noticed a lot of media coverage about it recently. Check out this Slate article about off-label prescription use—it pits the instinct of the physician against the “industrial-government-insurance complex of medicine's last quarter-century” and is an interesting read, especially if (like me) you’ve been prescribed medicines for off-label uses before.
In a different angle of the Pharma-physician phenomenon (oh alliteration, how I love thee), this Boston Globe article discusses tough new policies limiting the amount of interaction and influence drug companies have with doctors at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Sounds promising, but its feasibility is a consideration.
Now that I’ve taken stock of the last week’s headlines, it’s time to reflect on some of the headlines that have appeared on this site. Perhaps this retrospective indulgence is merely that, but with a tiny bit of hindsight, I think I would categorize 2007 as a year of awareness—of being aware of how chronic illness affects those around us, of being aware of what others are going through and what lessons can be taken from that.
There have been ridiculous tales of medical mishaps and comic calamities (okay, I will stop with the alliterative abundance here, but who said anything about assonance?), and plenty of new voices who have made me laugh and impressed me with their grit.
There have been moments of profound grief, at once intensely personal and wholly universal, as well as moments of humility in the face of someone else’s pain. I’ve realized how much I owe the healthy one in my marriage, and how precious timing is when it comes to the people I love.
I’ve looked at books and the process of storytelling itself for inspiration and understanding. I’ve had some personal highs and I’ve only been in the hospital a few times, a different kind of personal high indeed.
From gluten wars to medicine and politics, it’s been a busy year for acknowledging and understanding disease and its many manifestations in our lives.
May you all have a happy and healthy 2008!