Paul Gross

An Editor’s Invitation: Eating

Dear Pulse readers,
My mother used to make me finish everything on my plate.
That may not seem so terrible to many people, but I was pretty scrawny as a child, didn’t have a big appetite, and the list of foods I disliked or absolutely detested was long and included:

A New Pulse Feature: New Voices

Dear Pulse readers,
I have exciting news to share.
Events of the recent past have prompted national soul-searching about the impact of racism and other systemic and unconscious biases upon ourselves, our society and our global community. We at Pulse have always invited minority viewpoints, but we know that there’s more to be done–like making that invitation more clear and consistent, and making sure that our staff reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

An Editor’s Invitation: Gratitude

Dear Pulse readers,
November’s More Voices theme is Gratitude.
I know that many individuals have a gratitude practice, where they–and sometimes their children–take time each day to enumerate things they’re grateful for. I’m not one of those people, even though it seems like a worthy, fortifying thing to do.

An Editor’s Invitation: Code Red–Our Changing Climate

Dear Pulse readers,
Early this past month, more than 200 medical journals collaborated in publishing an editorial that cited a rise in global temperatures as the “greatest threat to global public health.” It called on governments to cooperate and to combat climate change with the same urgency and vigor that they’ve used to fight COVID.
Pulse would like to lend our voices–yours and mine–to this critical conversation.

An Editor’s Invitation: Unvaccinated

Dear Pulse readers,
Over the last few days, I’ve had two conversations with individuals who have decided not to get vaccinated against the COVID virus. In both of those conversations, I struggled.
The first was with a patient whose wife is battling cancer, is receiving chemotherapy and is also unvaccinated.

An Editor’s Invitation: Cancer

Dear Pulse readers,
I don’t have to go far to find a personal connection to cancer.
As I write this letter, I have friends battling brain cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Other friends have fought off breast cancer, oral cancer and colon cancer.

An Editor’s Invitation: Being in the Minority

Dear Pulse readers,
In this country one associates the word “minority” with a skin color that’s different from some shade of pale.
Recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement have underscored the fact that being a Black, brown or Asian person in the US entails more risk, more hurdles, and more daily affronts and assaults than had been previously acknowledged.

An Editor’s Invitation: Behind Closed Doors

Dear Pulse readers,
To me, there is something sacred about closing the door to an exam room. In my time as a physician, the exam rooms I’ve worked in have never been luxurious. But even under shabby or cramped conditions, there is always something powerful and symbolic about closing the exam room door.
Now you have my full attention, the gesture says. Tell me things that need to be said in private.

An Editor’s Invitation: Silver Linings

Dear Pulse readers,

I’d like to think that every cloud has a silver lining, and every unfortunate occurrence brings moments of grace.

That’s sometimes true with illness.

When my Belgian mother became ill with Alzheimer’s, it brought headaches and heartaches. After every fall or episode of getting lost, we’d try to talk with her about the future. Her answer was always the same: “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

An Editor’s Invitation: Healing

Dear Pulse readers,
I spent most of my boyhood with a scab on one knee or the other. There were two reasons: First, I must have fallen down a lot; and second, it was hard to resist picking the scab that formed over a bad scrape.
Picking at or pulling off the scab meant fresh bleeding, a brand-new scab and delayed healing. But it was hard to leave well enough alone and have the patience to let nature do its required work at its own pace.
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