Monday, June 27, 2022

The Organ Thieves- The Dark History of the First Cardiac Transplant in the Segregated South


The dark history of The Medical College of Virginia (now VCU School of Medicine) is hiding in plain sight, in the form of this well written, deeply thoughtful book, The Organ Thieves, by Chip Jones.

The book covers not only the first heart transplant in the segregated south, wherein the surgical team failed to obtain informed consent from the family of a black man (who was declared brain dead), but also the impact of the case on the legal definition of death. 

The author also summarizes the history of MCV, including the legacy of the segregated Saint Philip's Hospital and of grave robbing (from black cemeteries) for the supply of medical school cadavers. The remains of these unfortunate individuals ended up in a well adjacent to the Egyptian Building, which was discovered in a 1994 excavation.

Kudos to Mr. Jones, for this brilliant book and for not glossing over the history of MCV-VCU. Despite the many positive accomplishments at my home institution, its history is best understood with a truthful and comprehensive narrative.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Wenzel- 2022 MCV Foundation Eugene P. Trani Award Recipient

Huge congratulations to Dr. Richard Wenzel for receiving the MCV Foundation Eugene P. Trani Award for excellence in service, details here.

Dr. Wenzel is a colleague, mentor, role model and friend. It was a huge honor to be included in the special video to celebrate his award.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Propinquity: The Influencer

Propinquity- or the state of physical proximity which increases interpersonal interaction. Something much needed in this day of Zoom-meeting-for everything.

Recently the VCU ID Division expanded to its headquarters placing 95% of the entire team (faculty, fellows, staff, Pharm D, OPAT team, nurse practitioner) in the same building, on overlapping floors. With a new conference room, meeting spaces, couches, coffee tables and reading lamps, team interaction soared. Visit to my office increased more than ever. Collaboration and sense of community is surging.

Physical proximity is a major influencer of connectivity, community and (shared) behavior, something which is neatly explored in the book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change.

Sadly, most of us are blind to the impact of physical space and physical triggers on our behavior.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Library by Stuart Kells

I took another break from blogging, for reasons that are not entirely clear. Perhaps it was to focus on reading more books.

Which gets me to the point of books on books.

Check out The Library by Stuart Kells, wherein the writer cleverly weaves stories and reflections on libraries (past and present), book printing, binding, collecting, censorship (burning) and cataloging.  

Books come and go, some are preserved, many are lost, some are read, others are simply admired, all are part of the rich cultural fabric of human ingenuity, reflection and creativity.

This book on books is a masterful summary of books and library, a true catalog of wonders. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Back on Campus: Colgate University

I am back on campus at Colgate University ('93). Images from my snowy walk, a trip down memory lane.

I am looking forward to my invited science seminar lecture tomorrow: COVID-19, From Pandemic to Endemic, What Happens Next. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Experiencing the Moment: Snowy Day in Richmond, Virginia, Images From My Walk to Work

Experiencing the moment: Images from my walk to work and back, on a lovely winter day, Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Miller Collection: Antiquarian Medical Books, A Visual and Historical Feast, Back Home at VCU


In 1926 Dr. Joseph Lyon Miller, an alumnus of the Medical College of Virginia and a practicing physician in West Virginia, offered to the Richmond Academy of Medicine a valuable collection of old medical books. Dr. Miller was both a renaissance man and antiquarian book collector.

The Miller Collection includes rare portraits, prints, letters, and silhouettes of medical significance besides its 1600 volumes. Among the important items are Andreas Vesalius's De Fabrica Humāni Corporis , second edition, Guy de Chauliac's Chirurgia Magna,1499; Aureolus Paracelsus's Chirurgia Magna & Minor, 1573, a rare first English edition of Ambrose Paré's Works, 1634; Carbon's Libro del Arte; Pratis's De Pariente et Partu and the first English edition of William Harvey's Anatomical Exercitations,1653.

The Miller Collection is now formally and finally back at The Medical College of Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth University Health Sciences Library- as part of the permanent archive.