A New Year

January 2, 2018

Leaping into 20182018 has arrived. For me it is hard to imagine that 2017 is actually finished. To use a medical metaphor, the many outrageous developments of 2017 have been hard to digest. Is truth really not important anymore? Is the press, historically the fourth estate, appropriate to malign and dismiss, or necessary for our very survival? Is our environment, indeed our planet, important to preserve and cherish, or appropriate to exploit and poison? Should our federal government continue to increase the disparity between the rich and the poor, and encourage less rather than more of our citizens to have health care? These are some of the big questions to wonder about as we leave 2017 and begin 2018. These and other major issues obviously affect the health and well being of us all.

Immigration, the Holocaust and Xenophobia

December 13, 2017

Among the Reeds by Dr. Tammy BottnerI attended a talk this morning by Dr. Tammy Bottner about the struggle of her grandparents and family in surviving the Holocaust. Dr. Bottner, a pediatrician from Newburyport, discussed her grandparent’s horrific ordeal of escaping the Nazi regime in Belgium during World War II. 

Thanksgiving - a Favorite Holiday of Mine

November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine, a time of thanks for health and happiness, for gratitude for what I have and compassion and caring for those folks who are less fortunate.  No gifts or cards, just good times with family and friends and lots of food, many favorites and so much to choose from.

It is a time for us to be grateful for all we have.  Yet, I’m always aware that many have so much less.  In the Seacoast this Thanksgiving season, the Portsmouth Herald has run many moving articles on the homeless in New Hampshire, stories of individuals who are struggling without the comforts of home and family, often in tents in the woods as homeless shelters are filled to capacity.  Estimates are that the number of individuals who are homeless has increased this year in NH.  High rents, low-paying jobs (if you have one), health problems and family problems make so many people vulnerable to the possibility of losing their home. 

Recap of 2017 NHMS Conference

November 14, 2017

As a continuation of my first blog post, I wanted to discuss the experience of attending our yearly annual scientific meetings.  Firstly, the settings we choose are always so beautiful.  This year we met at the Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith.  What a spectacular setting.  In particular I recall walking to our early yoga experience “Stretch Yourself Techniques for Physicians” led by Michelle Mancherje, MD, at 7:00 AM this past Saturday with the sun rising over the water.  Forty members shared this incredible way to start our day of scientific presentations.



On Saturday, November 4, 2017, Leonard Korn, MD, was inaugurated as the 186th president of the New Hampshire Medical Society.

Dr. Korn is a psychiatrist in private practice in Portsmouth and has been on the medical staff of Portsmouth Regional Hospital since 1974.  For many years, Dr. Korn was a member of the hospital’s ethics committee, including five years as chair.

Since 2003, he has served on the executive council of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society and served as its president from 2007-2011.

Dr. Korn graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and did his residency in psychiatry at Maine Medical Center in Portland and University of Wisconsin in Madison.  He is board certified in general psychiatry, and was board certified in forensic psychiatry from 1999-2009.

Focusing on the Year

November 8, 2017

This past Saturday, I had the honor to be inaugurated as president of your New Hampshire Medical Society.  What an awesome experience being with such a supportive crowd at our Annual Scientific Meeting in lovely Meredith, NH. As noted in my inaugural address, I hope I carry this august responsibility with grace, dignity and competence, as have so many before me.

The speech outlined my theme for the coming year as “the many points of intersection between mental health and medicine in general.” It is certainly an area of particular interest for me as a psychiatrist, but also for the Medical Society as well. Indeed, mental health issues were rated the number one issue in our 2017 survey of New Hampshire physicians.

Talk About It

            November 1, 2017

Thank you for an incredible year as your president.  As I look back on the successes and challenges of the year, I think the Medical Society is headed in the right direction with our advocacy, CME accreditation program, our relationships with other state stakeholders and with our progress toward development of a New Hampshire Physician Leadership program.

I think our biggest challenge is finding an effective way to communicate our strengths with members and non-members.  We need to rely on word of mouth and direct invitation.  Do you know if the other doctors in your group are members?  If they aren't, why not?  Could you ask them to join?  Our strength is our members.

I met a doctor from our state recently at an out of state conference.  I asked him if he was a member and he wasn't.  He had been a member, but felt that because he is employed that he could cancel his membership as the hospital would advocate for him.


October 18, 2017

Woodman Museum Voices from the Past Living History TourI enjoyed being a tour guide at the Voices from the Past living history cemetery tours sponsored by the Woodman Institute this past weekend. There were 40 volunteers who made the event possible. It was a good time and approximately 500 community members toured the cemetery. In comparison to my professional volunteering, my civic volunteering has been limited. I have many reasons - work, family, work, family. Although this effort was not humanitarian or grand, it was a fun, good time.

Las Vegas

October 4, 2017

#VegasStrongYesterday morning I arrived at the gym and the TV was showing the horror from Sunday night. I thought, “Again? The worst ever?” Unbelievable. Unexplainable intent and unexplainable process that someone could get that many weapons to carry out such a despicable crime.

Then I started to feel rather useless and futile. I thought, here we go again, trying to lobby the lawmakers to have sensible restrictions on ownership to limit military grade weapons for personal use, waiting periods for gun ownership, and training/testing/licensure for gun ownership. It seems that each horrific incident brings this issue to the front, but then it fades away over time as other pressing issues like the opioid epidemic retake their position on center stage.  

Take the Call

September 13, 2017

"Take the Call"How do you respond when calling another physician to discuss a patient and the office staff asks, “Do you want me to interrupt him/her?” 

How do you feel when someone does request to have you interrupted and when you get to the phone the caller’s office staff says, “Oh, let me get him,” while you now wait for the caller to begin the call?

Each of these situations makes me frustrated and contributes to my sense of depersonalization in medicine. Communication is key to professional behavior.