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Articles By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD

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Remembering the Names of Drugs

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
25 July 2019

Knowing the names of the agents in today’s armamentarium should be simple. But, the nomenclature is notoriously confusing. The names of monoclonal antibodies can stretch to five syllables which defy easy pronunciation beyond the “mab” at the end. Who comes up with these names anyway?

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The Rheumatologist’s Rubaiyat: A Mug of Coffee, a Loaf of Bread and Thou Beside Me (Part 2)

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
06 December 2016

In my last article, I said that coffee, not wine, would be the libation of choice for rheumatologists. Why coffee? you may ask. After all, the language of coffee is not dissimilar to that of wine and writers of coffee (as well as the label descriptions) use the same vocabulary and analogies as does the writing about wine. Often, from the description-with words like spice, cocoa or nuts-it is not clear whether the beverage is a Cotes-de-Rhone or an Americano. Certainly coffee is better hot than cold and appropriate for all meals although some argue that champagne can be quaffed all day long.

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The Rheumatologist’s Rubaiyat: A Mug of Coffee, a Loaf of Bread and Thou Beside Me (Part 1)

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
05 December 2016

In my experience, rheumatologists are very fine people. Since they are cognitive specialists, they are scholarly, thoughtful and prudent. Furthermore, they are sensitive to the vicissitudes of human existence. Rheumatology is probably the first subspecialty to consider the impact of a chronic painful illness on the spirit and soul and emphasize quality of life as an outcome. Seeking wisdom and knowledge from great minds, rheumatologists are also interested in culture, mindful that masters like Renoir and Klee were among their patients.

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EULAR 2016: Name that Country Part II

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
25 August 2016

Like the EULAR Congress of 2010, the 2016 version was in the giant ExCel center out in the Docklands area. The meeting rooms are cavernous, big as some basketball stadiums. The ExCel is so big that it is served by two stations of the DLR railroad and it is probably long enough to function as a runway with planes that fly overhead on the way to London City Airport. Ed Sullivan would have called the ExCel “really, really big.” Donald Trump would say it is “yuge.”

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EULAR 2016: Name that Country - Part I

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
24 August 2016

When I was just a lad in the 1950s, I used to enjoy a television quiz show called “Name that Tune.” This popular show, which was hosted by an amiable singer and comedian named George DeWitt, had a premise that was simple but appealing. The studio orchestra would start playing the notes of a song and the two contestants would compete to see who could identify the song first, running across the stage “to ring a bell and name that tune.”

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A New Look at Old Pictures

By David Pisetsky, MD, PhD
18 April 2016

Google Images is a treasure trove of photos and drawings about medicine. The pictures of RA, though, look as if nothing happened in the last 90 years: the field stagnant, gold the gold standard, biologicals never invented, ulnar deviation rampant and joint destruction inevitable. If early recognition of inflammatory disease is at the crux of modern treatment, why show end-stage disease except as a warning?

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