Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who am I? Why am I here?!?!

Anyone remember this guy?

In case you've forgotten, this is the great Admiral James Stockdale, one of the most highly-decorated officers in the history of the US Navy, with 26 personal combat decorations including the Medal of Honor and 4 Silver Stars.

But chances are, if you remember him, it's for being Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. And chances are, if you remember him, it's for opening the Vice Presidential debate that year by staring into the camera with a crazed, far-off, cross-eyed look and uttering those famous words: "Who am I? Why am I here?!?!" If that doesn't do it for you, go to youtube and type in "Phil Hartman and Stockdale." Hilarity is sure to ensue.

The point is: at this very moment I feel a little like Admiral Stockdale stepping into the limelight. I know very well that outside of my parents, wife, and some wonderful families who have stayed very loyal to me as I have gone from a Pediatric Endocrine fellow at Johns Hopkins to opening my own practice in Chevy Chase... no one will probably lead this. So why should I have stagefright at this moment?

Probably because when it comes to blogging, I have no clue what I'm doing.

But here's what I'd like to do.

I would like to use this space to discuss some of the fascinating things I see in my office -- talk about some of the really interesting conditions that I am fortunate to encounter on a daily basis and why I consider it so stimulating to have the privilege to "do what I do" for work.

On the one hand, it's really intellectally rewarding to do the detective work necessary to make a diagnosis, as well as to come up with a plan for treatment. But even moreso, it is rewarding to have the opportunity to sit down with an entire family, talk through the science of it all and better yet hear firsthand from the patient and his/her parents how living with a chronic illness affects them all. The strength of the family bond and the resilience of children never cease to amaze me.

In return, all I ask is for each of you to be my muse. Please chime in and respond to my posts (even if only to tell me how I just wasted five minutes of your life that you will never get back...) Feel free to ask questions and provide your own personal viewpoints. In turn, I will use your thoughts and ideas to craft a blog that I hope becomes a dialogue between you and I.

If I can't see you in the office once a week, at least we can play "internet tag" through this blog.

And if not, I'll just ride off into the sunset like good old Admiral Stockdale. Whatever happened to that guy anyway?

Be Well,


  1. Ali,
    Congratulations on starting the practice! We are having a journal club on the following article on Friday and I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. It was written by Paul McHugh, an esteemed Hopkins psychiatrist.

  2. Kudos!

    I see wonderful blogging adventures in your future, in the future's of your patients & your readers!

    Happy Blogging!