Greg-Henry-BW-enews-squareWe begin another calendar year, another chance at renewal and redemption, another shot at ridiculous resolutions to lose weight, cut out sweets and get more exercise. I personally have resolved to call more old friends and waste their time on the phone talking about absolutely nothing. I have come to the realization that in a 13.7 billion-year universe, in which man may be just a passing fancy, these relationships are unimaginably important.

Greg-Henry-BW-enews-squareThis month we continue on our journey to understand what really happened at the 2013 ACEP Council, as expressed in the resolutions which were sent to the Board of Directors. I act as Virgil to your Dante in this quest, but the journey is neither allegorical or metaphysical. These resolutions are real. It’s your money. It’s your leadership. It’s your profession and your life. If you have no interest, fine. Then live with what you get. But to the rest of you, pay attention.

I have recently returned from my annual trip to the ACEP Scientific Assembly. It’s good to remember that this is the largest gathering of emergency physicians in the world. Even the Chinese don’t have a show this big. There is a circus-like atmosphere to the exhibit hall floor, and as I walked in, it actually appeared as a carnival midway. They were clearly only one malignant dwarf clown short of a circus. Fortunately, I showed up in time.

I am in that autumnal season in which I choose my two areas of study for the academic term. My pursuits have been wide ranging over the years but the recent PBS series on Shakespeare’s tetrology history saga made up my mind. I have now plunged headlong into Richard II, the two parts of Henry IV and Henry V, with even more zeal than I did as a youth studying under the legendary G.B. Harrison.

I decry the death of civil decorum and protocol. We are in the midst of a war on decency, responsibility and proper human discourse. Those who know me will concur that I am not a prude. In fact, far from it. I advocate no thought police, fashion police or official adjudication of language or manners. After all, we’re not the French (sacrebleu!).

altThere is no universal definition of a weed. Look it up. It’s really that plant that we don’t want growing in our garden; a subjective point of view in which personal taste trumps botanical knowledge. But just as the quintessential garden elements are a matter of opinion, so are the important events of our history. Time is the only dimension we are all forced to march along with at exactly the same rate, and it allows us to look back at events and have perspective.

altThis column is a nested narrative, but lest you think I am fulfilling the path of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein or Ovid’s Metamorphosis, be assured that medicine is still the medium. The time frame is the last ten days of my life, during which I testified in a jury trial in defense of an emergency physician and lectured to 300 physicians in New York City.

altLicking old wounds is what you do at my age. This issue of EP Monthly explores the question of workforce, like it was a “terra incognita”. We have discovered a new problem! Eureka! This is like Christopher Columbus claiming he discovered America.

altLast month I was given the distinct honor of giving the opening address to the Swedish Society of Emergency Medicine as our specialty became officially recognized as a board certified entity in Sweden. The Swedes have watched with growing envy over the years as emergency medicine in America has gone from a rag-tag army of the restless and bold to one of the most sought after medical training programs in existence.

altThis month I present a potpourri of concepts and Quixotic explorations of ideas mostly brought on by travel, cocktail parties and my obsessive study of obscure topics. Hold onto your hats. My first topic is the current struggle which the country seems to be having over marriage.

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