Before becoming a physician doorknobs did not mean much. We use them to open rooms. But as a physician we use them to leave a room. Doorknobs often make us think of entering. Entering a world or a home or somewhere you have never been before. In my job it means so much more.

I spend my days trying to listen to patients. Get a complete history. Then examine. Followed by the creation of hopefully a thoughtful assessment and plan. All of this mixed in with clicking and pointing on a computer. Then the visit ends and on to the next patient. Most times I try and complete my note before I leave the room. Until I reach for the doorknob.

As my hand firmly grips the doorknob to leave often there is one last complaint. Often it is a more worrisome complaint than anything we had discussed during the visit. Why did it wait until I was leaving? Do I now have to sit back down and start over? How far behind am I currently?

But do not worry. Either way I will get comfy again and make sure that nothing important gets missed. But please to patients of the world when doctors say “what brings you in for a visit today?” Let me have it. Do not wait until I can hear the wheezing of a patient in the next room to pull me back in.

Yet it goes differently when men have a question as I finally have my hand on the doorknob. I already know your questions. No – We do not have any Viagra samples. Yes – I will send a prescription over to your pharmacy. Maybe – Will it be covered? No – I have not had any recent patients with erections lasting longer than 4 hours.

Doorknobs are dangerous. Whether you are culturing whatever virus/bacteria live on the ones in my office or if as a physician you rush out as a final question is being asked.

The Doc is In


June is Pride month, where around the country events take place to honor the LGBT community. It is an opportunity to celebrate their dignity and equality while bringing awareness to issues that they face daily.
How does “The Church” or Faith community measure up in how we love our LGBT friend?
Five years ago I had the honor of supporting one of my closest friends as the best man when she married her wife. There was a ton of support from Christians I spoke with but it also prompted plenty of pushback. I prayed and wrestled with this choice earnestly and in the end I have peace that love and Jesus won that day.
I am not writing this blog to defend my choice or to rewrite theology. I have been taking a course put together by The Center for Faith Sexuality and Gender and I feel very encouraged by the approach of Pastor Preston Sprinkle, I promise that is his real name. He says that as a church leader it is more important for me to know and lover real LGBT people and pour into their lives, than it is for me to know every verse in the Bible that mentions same sex relationships. Amen brother.
Do you know how many LGBT people had a connection to the church at some point in their lives? Can you guess how many of them have stories of being hurt, mistreated or outright abandoned by that same church? That’s rhetorical … my favorite viewpoint that Pastor Sprinkle offers is that it is not “the churches theology that needs to change, it’s their posture.”
I believe that we can walk hand in hand with people as they experience life, which includes sexual orientation. The church should be a safe and compassionate place for the LGBT community, not one of torment.
See even though my BFF lights the menorah it’s not our theology that has hurt her, but words from actual Christians that have made her feel like the church doesn’t want her there. I argue that not only do we want her, we need her there. She has loved me when I was most unlovable, and forgiven me at my most unforgivable. Called me out when I was wrong and humbled me in life’s greatest victories. She is a caring, compassionate friend and doting Aunt to my girls. She has shown me the kind of love the Bible says we should show each other.

I challenge fellow Christ followers to pray earnestly to have a heart that honors God and loves people, just like Jesus did.
Love you Bone!
The Deacon Speaks

Mom Guilt

We all feel some guilt in our lives at one point or another. Maybe it’s because you haven’t been to the gym in a while, or because you had two pieces of pie instead of one, or maybe you’re a mom like me an you suffer from “mom guilt.” Mom guilt is BRUTAL! If you are a working mom like me, I’m sure you are always wondering if you’re doing enough for your kids, if you’re giving enough at work, or to your spouse. It is a constant struggle and not easy to find balance.
This afternoon my youngest came home from school and asked my why I wasn’t at her play today. I stared blankly into her big brown eyes and silently wondered, “what play?” Suddenly images of the flyer on the fridge that read “Kinder Play – 2 pm” flashed into my brain. OMG. I missed it. How could I possibly forget? I am the worst mom on the face of the earth. I was immediately consumed by guilt and convinced myself she would be scarred for life. I quickly said “oh honey, I am so sorry I missed it. I had a meeting and I could not make it.” LIES, total LIES. Truth is, I didn’t have the courage to tell her I forgot. What would she think of me??
But, we often underestimate our kids. My sweet 5 year old little girl looked up at me and said “it’s ok mommy, you were at the other 2 plays and I know you love me, I forgive you”
She hugged me and skipped out singing Old Town Road…I stood there speechless.
Forgive me? How can she forgive me? I can barely forgive myself. The fact is, she already knew everything I needed her to know. she knew hos much I loved her, and without and without her even asking she forgave me. She showed me the grace that I could not show myself. Maybe instead of beating myself up, I could learn something from her. Even as a Christian who knows God’s grace, it’s often easier said than done.

We all try to be the best parents we can be, but we will undoubtedly fail at times. Instead of carrying around the guilt, let’s remind ourselves it is OK to fail, especially when we learn from it. I’m learning to give myself a break once in a while and I hope you can too.

Let’s go have a second piece of pie.

Mrs. Deacon

Fat Fit

Do you remember when Seinfeld was talking about working out? He was like, “What’s the point? You workout so you can get to the next workout.” I have never had a job that required me to run miles at a time, do burpees, contort my body into a wheel or ride a stationary bike while dancing. Yet, I find myself working out 3-4 times per week. The Deacon is genetically predisposed to not be what you would call “ripped.” In fact, I refer to myself as “fat fit.” I am on a journey to lose a few pounds, look less like the Michelin man on the beach and be able to wear skinny jeans. Well maybe not that …But I also want to be around for my kids and show them that fitness is not just about your reflection in the mirror, it’s that space between your ears. Mine has more space than most, but when I feel good physically, I certainly respond better emotionally. And when I am emotionally healthy, I am more present and engaged with the people in my life. It is a personal journey and I hope you find perspective and give yourself a break. The Bible says your body is a temple and you have to train it. I agree. I may never have a 6 pack, but I can still bench press a keg …so I guess I am living my best life. Cheers to your health…inside and out.
The Deacon Speaks


I realized today that I am a middle aged. While at the playground with my daughter. I got on the swings. And started swinging. I could feel nausea rise and my bowels spinning. This could cure any constipation. I could feel my Eustachian tubes vibrating with each swing. Not a pleasant sensation for a 40 year old man. Then I got stuck in the slide due to my size. Yes I am middle aged. And I have embraced it. No more swings for me. Except for my patients mood swings. They are safer.
The Doc is In


I do not know about many things. But I do know medicine. My 3 year old daughter does not necessarily agree. She has a limited scope of medical knowledge at this time. She knows where her belly is located and that she need nail polish on her toes and earrings in her ears. That is the extent of her anatomy. The only other things she knows that if she gets a boo-boo it should be covered with a Band-Aid. How to apply band-aids is not something that is a focus in either medical school or residency. Thankfully nurses and medical assistants have had this skill. I realize today I do not apply them to her liking. I actually do not always agree that they are needed. Yet she wants one. All the time. She wants me to wear them. Her favorite rapper is likely Nelly. But I want to make her proud. She does not care that I could suture her skin back together she wants me to perfectly align a Frozen Band-Aid on her mildly scraped knees. So I will learn. I want her to be proud. Band-Aids for all.
The Doc is In


What do patients want from their doctor? We know they want us to have adequate knowledge. But most of us do. They want to know we care. So we listen and try to be understanding. Over the past few years I have been trying to improve the overall patient interaction.

Medical school is filled with lectures. Yes there is some small part of the curriculum focused on learning to interact with patients. There was a class for a few hours every other week called Physician and Patient. But that is not necessary to graduate. The main thing that lead to my M.D. was answering multiple choice questions.

But I have learned the key. I know what connects with patients the most. It is a simple thing that I put in my medical record notes. The patient’s dogs name. You may not remember the date of their colonoscopy or when they have a right total knee replacement. But if when they walk in you ask them how Sadie their bijon is they will love you forever. You are behind an hour just ask them if they have been taking Max the family pit bull for walks in the neighborhood. Hopefully if it is a pit bull it is not your neighborhood as well. Forget everything else but find a spot to list the name of the family dog. It works every time.

Unless they have cats. Then I have no advice. And the answer is 3. More than three cats officially makes you a cat lady. Even if you are a man.

Listen to your patients. They love their dogs. Often more than they love their family.

The Doc is In

The Chreasters

We spend a lot of time in the Church celebrating Christmas and Easter. Why not, it’s like Christianity’s Super Bowl twice a year. Lots of people only come in those days, the Chreasters or Cafeteria Christians. You know how the gym is at New Years? All these people you have never seen before sweating all over your equipment, there is no where to park and forget showing up late. Same thing happens at Church, except for more “Christiany” and I mean you can get really upset. It is not some guy working off his Dad Bod, it’s someone else getting to hear the good news about a personal relationship with Jesus. So I guess we should be a little more forgiving, and say some extra prayers that whatever they are looking for they mind find it on that day. As long as they do not take my seat.
The Deacon Speaks


Running is good for you. Most of the time. It is finally warm out again in the northeast. It is time to get out there and run. It is one of the quickest way to exercise. I work long hours and have 2 children so I do not have much time to exercise. So I run. Pollen has been quite high. Today my nose was running faster than my legs. My wife likes her eggs runny. I need Flonase for my runny nose. At least I do not have runny bowels. Run for your lives.
The Doc is In

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