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Heartfelt Tales by Physicians and Patients Inspire a Unique Online National Magazine
Date:7/21/2009

NEW YORK, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A popular new weekly online magazine is providing a voice for doctors, other health professionals and patients across the nation who, in well-crafted, poignant nonfiction stories and poems, share the emotionally wrenching and inspirational moments that define the practice of medicine.

Pulse--voices from the heart of medicine, is the brainchild of Paul Gross, MD, a physician in the Department of Family Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "I wanted to capture 'real-life medicine,' going beyond the textbooks and professional journal articles to create a powerful dialogue to help stimulate change in the health care system," he said. His plan seems to be working, because the circulation of Pulse, launched only a year ago, has grown rapidly to over 3,400 participatory readers and writers.

Physician narratives and poems cover a range of themes, from epiphanies (the death of an infant in Paraguay inspires a career in medicine) to grace (caring words uttered by the parents of a dying child inspire a young, terrified intern) and professional humility (a vitamin nut teaches a doctor why it is important to listen to patients' beliefs and concerns).

Patients have written equally powerful and sometimes humorous stories about such topics as anger (when doctors miss an ovarian-cancer diagnosis), fantasy (an elderly patient sees a ghost) and pride (a patient reluctantly accepts chemotherapy, but visualizes it in a unique way). "Pulse stories are now being used for medical teaching, are being read by patients and health professionals alike, and are being picked up by organizations like the American Medical Student Association and the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness," says Dr. Gross. "We want these stories to get people talking about both the flaws and glories of how medicine is practiced today and help spark changes in the health care system."

Pulse, whose editor-in-chief is Dr. Gross and whose publisher is Peter Selwyn, MD, chairman of Family Medicine, has captured the imagination of a burgeoning pool of writers from across the nation and has hosted a spirited dialogue in its comments section. Stories are selected from submissions by clinicians (doctors, nurses and others) and patients, then helped along by the deft hand of Diane Guernsey, a former senior editor at Town & Country. Every Friday, one of these stories or a poem is e-mailed to Pulse readers.

"I have great dreams for Pulse," says Dr. Gross. "I'd like readers to come to think of Pulse as their own, a place where they can speak from personal experience and from the heart. A place where generous listening leads to understanding and the inspiration to advocate for change. We welcome new writers, stories and readers."

Pulse's stories (http://www.pulsemagazine.org/Archive_List.cfm) have included:

  • "Chemo? No, Thanks," it's not death but chemotherapy that terrifies this patient

(http://www.pulsemagazine.org/Archive_Index.cfm?content_id=45);

Montefiore Medical Center encompasses 125 years of outstanding patient care, innovative medical "firsts," pioneering clinical research, dedicated community service and ground-breaking social activism. A full-service, integrated delivery system caring for patients in the New York metropolitan region and beyond, Montefiore is a 1,491-bed medical center that includes: four hospitals -- the Henry and Lucy Moses Division, the Jack D. Weiler Division, the North Division and The Children's Hospital at Montefiore; a large home healthcare agency; the largest school health program in the US; a 25-site medical group practice integrated throughout the Bronx and Westchester; and, a care management organization providing services to 179,000 health plan members.

In 2008, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore was ranked as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals" in US News & World Report's prestigious annual listing and also received honors in the magazine's 2009 edition. The Leapfrog Group lists Montefiore among the top one percent of all U.S. hospitals based on its strategic investments in sophisticated and integrated healthcare technology.

Montefiore is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the future through medical education and manages one of the largest residency programs in the country. Montefiore is The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has an affiliation with New York Medical College for residency programs at the North Division.

Distinguished centers of excellence at Montefiore include cardiology and cardiac surgery, cancer care, tissue and organ transplantation, children's health, women's health, surgery and the surgical subspecialties. Montefiore is a national leader in the research and treatment of diabetes, headaches, obesity, cough and sleep disorders, geriatrics and geriatric psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery, adolescent and family medicine, HIV/AIDS and social and environmental medicine, among many other specialties. For more information, please visit www.montefiore.org or www.montekids.org.


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SOURCE Montefiore Medical Center
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