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Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor

Boston, Massachusetts
I am a physician specializing in geriatrics and palliative care. My scholarly interest is in ethical issues near the end of life, and I have written 4 books for a general audience. I see patients for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a multi-specialty group practice in the Boston area, and am a... Full Bio
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Call the Concierge by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health My mother got a letter from her doctor this week informing her that he is going into “concierge medicine.” If she wants to keep him as her doctor—and she does (she’s 88 and ... Read on »
No News is Bad News by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health It’s that time of year again, when the Alzheimer’s Association releases its annual report: Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures . The 2014 edition doesn’t tell us much that ... Read on »
Lots Lumps by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Geriatrics would be a good deal easier if every older person suffered from just one medical condition. But most elderly people have more than one chronic disease and the old ... Read on »
Getting Autonomy Right by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health My father will be 90 next month. He lives in a nursing home because he needs help with all the most basic tasks—eating, dressing, bathing, walking. But my father also has de ... Read on »
No Man is an Island by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Early in my career as a geriatrician, a colleague of mine asked me to see a hospitalized patient of his who was having a great deal of difficulty with self-care. The patient ... Read on »
Everyday Ethics by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health  Nearly 25 years ago, gerontologists wrote about what they called “everyday ethics” in the lives of older people. They wanted to move the focus from the dramatic, life-or-de ... Read on »
In Good Company by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health In Britain, a growing number of companies are recognizing the wisdom of providing eldercare assistance to their employees. This isn’t a matter of altruism; as many firms di ... Read on »
Keeping PACE by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health At a time when most of the news about health and healthcare is pretty bleak, it’s nice to hear that one program for older patients is doing very well. The PACE program—Progr ... Read on »
The Double-Edged Sword by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health I just read a report describing the state of palliative care around the world that made me appreciate how far we have come in the US. Here, about 45% of people who die were ... Read on »
Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health When I was a medical resident at Boston City Hospital, a large, public, inner city hospital, I began wondering whether hospitals sometimes caused as many problems as they cu ... Read on »
Pulling the Plug on DNR Orders by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Recently, a friend commented that she was not sure whether or not to agree to a “DNR order” for her 90 year-old mother. Her mother has dementia and lives in a nursing home; ... Read on »
After Life by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health The saga of the pregnant brain dead woman in Texas, about which I blogged a couple of weeks ago, is now mercifully over. A Texas judge ruled that the hospital was required t ... Read on »
Up, Up, and Away! by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health “Patients’ costs skyrocket; specialists’ incomes soar,” screams the headline in the lead article in the Sunday New York Times. The thrust of the article is that the incomes ... Read on »
Unconscious Biases by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health “Ariel Sharon dies after 8 years in a coma,” proclaimed one headline.  “Brain dead pregnant woman kept alive” said another . Neither headline can possibly be accurate. The f ... Read on »
The Latest War by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health The NY Times didn’t cover it; neither did the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. But the BBC made a big deal of the G8 “dementia summit,” hosted by the UK just a c ... Read on »
Fragile: Handle with Care by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health From both an individual and a public health perspective, frailty is one of the most important conditions affecting older people. Along with dementia, which is really just co ... Read on »
A Rare Win Win in Medicine by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health How often does anyone come up with an idea for improving medical care that does good and saves money at the same time? Not very often. Even inventions that ought to save mon ... Read on »
Words, Words, Words by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Physicians are not known for their communication skills. Despite sessions in medical school and during residency addressing topics such as “breaking bad news” and “discussin ... Read on »
Aging Well by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health My mother will turn 88 in a few weeks. According to the definition of successful aging put forward by Rowe and Kahn nearly 16 years ago, she is aging quite well. Her kidneys ... Read on »
Remember the Birth Pangs of Medicare! by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health The remembrances of JFK this week focused, understandably, on his great promise and how an assassin’s bullet burst the bubble of optimism and exhilaration generated by his e ... Read on »