Photo Friday: National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human

Visible Human - National Library of Medicine

I’ll be honest, the first thing that went through my mind when I saw the Visible Human, and the caption (in another display) that said, “A 39 year old convict, executed by lethal injection,” was “that’s my age.” It was a little flash of the reminder of my mortality. I usually use these to think about what I am dedicating myself to, as I have done here and here.

One of the blogs I enjoy following, Health Care Renewal, had this quote in one of the posts:

Please acknowledge that medicine has a 100% failure rate at keeping people alive for their desired lifespan.

In that context, the donation of his body to science is a great gift to maximize the lifespan of others.

National Library of Medicine

I also visited the Library of Medicine itself this week twice, the second time to meet with Clement McDonald, MD, Assistant Director for Program Development in the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications. As his biography says, he’s an international expert in electronic health record systems, and I consider him one of the parents of the field of Informatics. Needless to say, it was great to talk with Clem and share ideas about patient centered health information technology. Many of the ideas in place in today’s health information technology efforts come from his work.

Ted Eytan, MD