Physician, Cancer Survivor, Author
Exploring the journey from doctor to patient…and back
As a practicing physician, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44, and abruptly entered the health care system for (almost) the first time as a patient. Despite my medical background, it was still quite a journey, and so I began to write about it.
Soon the story expanded beyond my health situation to include how it changed me as a doctor, a parent, a spouse, a friend, and a teacher of medical students and residents at the University of Minnesota. My writing also contains a fair amount of humor, hence “Mirth” in both titles.
Ultimately, my purpose is to bring hope and encouragement as well as practical advice and perspective to others who find themselves facing a health crisis. I also strive to capture and share the joy in medicine in an era of rising burnout, by including patient stories and teaching scenarios that inspire us all.
“From her own encounter with breast cancer, Dr. Thompson fashions a heartfelt, sharply-observed account of how her life changed for the better. She’s a beacon to her practice, her students, and her family. A vibrant, touching, honest work.”
–Samuel Shem, M.D., Professor of Medicine at NYU and author of The House of God and Man’s Fourth Best Hospital
Latest Blog Posts
In medical school, I learned a five step model on how to deliver bad news to a patient. I still fall back on this method, time and again, in my primary care clinic; I’ve even used it when giving really tough feedback to a learner who is struggling in some aspect of their performance. ButContinue reading “Breaking Bad”
On a family vacation road trip last month, I read “Man’s Fourth Best Hospital” by Samuel Shem, the sequel to “The House of God.” Most physicians have read The House of God, including me back in college, which chronicles the grueling nature of residency training, with equal parts satire, dark humor, and poignant humanity. ItContinue reading “The New Laws of the House of God”
As a primary care physician, I have observed a record number of cases flooding into our clinic system in the past month, and they have nothing to do with the virus. Well, I guess indirectly, they do. It’s a phenomenon I see time and again and it plays out something like this: A 53 yearContinue reading “The Next Covid “Surge””