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" I am led by what I find to be true, not what I find to be popular. "
" As a kid, I did some running but especially loved biking and swimming. I grew up on Long Island, and our mom took us all the time to the ocean, so I grew up doing open-water swimming in the Atlantic. "
" We now know that sex is complicated enough that we have to admit nature doesn't draw the line for us between male and female, or between male and intersex and female and intersex; we actually draw that line on nature. "
" According to my mother, there pretty much wasn't anything I wouldn't eat as a child. Not just try, but eat. I was even inclined to dig into stuff about which she expressed open disgust - lobster and other shellfish, and cheap Chinese food with pepper so hot it made your gums feel like a medieval dentist had been at them. "
" My mother has told so many times the unbelievable story of how, as a toddler, I would demand raw onions and eat them like apples, I think that, at this juncture, it is a story that just has to be believed. "
" What we should care about is health - reduction of morbidity and mortality. Too often, we instead pay attention to whether something is 'normal.' A hospital may spend several million dollars separating a pair of conjoined twins, even though that separation is likely to leave them worse off. "
" Want to be a well-paid bioethicist, with one, two, or even three university appointments? Just get yourself a two-piece navy polyester suit and follow these three simple rules: (1) Never name names. (2) Screw principles; just follow procedures. (3) Bury the money. "
" After I dropped out of college at the age of 19, I became a mortgage broker, and when I went back to school I thought about going into real estate law. "
" Perhaps it is because I'm a writer trained in history that I've always assumed I would make mistakes in my drafts. Historians know how faulty human memory can be. "
" A hospital may spend several million dollars separating a pair of conjoined twins even though that separation is likely to leave them worse off. "
" Using medicine in the service of cosmesis is generally bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for democracy. The only exceptions are when we know the intervention will actually reduce suffering, as with a primary cleft lip repair. "
" When all is said and done, science actually takes hard work and a willingness to sometimes find out that your most cherished hypothesis is wrong. "
" I don't know what has caused this reawakening in academia. Obama? The GOP's assaults on science and on patients? Jon Stewart? I'm not at all sure. I just know I don't feel nearly as alone in academia as I used to. I'm feeling increasingly surrounded by fellow Ph.D.'s and by M.D.'s who seem to be taking a lot of things personally. "
" Doctors are human animals. They want to be loved, they are tribal, they instinctually favor stories over scientific evidence, they make mistakes, and even small gifts make them susceptible to being biased. If we took doctors seriously as human animals, we might hurt them - and they might hurt us - a lot less. "
" Conjoined twins simply may not need sex-romance partners as much as the rest of us do. Throughout time and space, they have described their condition as something like being attached to a soul mate. "
" I do work half time as a historian of medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and I started my career with work in the 19th century. "
" If we are going to have to worry all the time that we might offend some students' sensibilities, we are not going to be able to teach in a way that actually matters. We're not going to be able to teach about sex, gender, race, religion, or violence. "
" I actually completely suck at being a bioethicist. What I do is history of medicine and patient advocacy. Patient advocacy is actually the opposite of bioethics, because bioethicists are the people who increasingly set up and justify the systems we patient advocates have to fight. "
" You can't go into new life experiences without the understanding that yeah, you may fail, but knowing you might fail can't stop you from trying. "
" When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus. "
" The safety argument against steroids may be a good one, but let's be honest. It isn't the one that motivates most officials and fans to frown on steroids. Steroid use does not just seem risky or unnatural, it seems to disrupt the level playing field. "
" I could make a martyrly claim to having been the victim of childhood enslavement when I report that I started regularly cooking with my mother at a hot stove when I was five. But the truth is I wanted to cook. Cooking meant being near food. "
" Fact-checking doesn't exist primarily because some of us are liars and cheats. It exists because writers will be writers, much as they may mean to be historians. "