Mural Dyslexia: Failure to Read the Writing on the Wall - KarazwLaimoon

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Mural Dyslexia: Failure to Read the Writing on the Wall

Monday Talks > 2014 Winter (Season 6)

Monday 7 April 2014 (7:00 - 8:15 pm - Open to all)
Language: English
Dr. Salah Salman, M.D.


Health care is a neglected human right, even in the US that champions human rights. When I entered the world of Medicine, more than half a century ago, first as a student, a trainee, then a professor, naïve me was surprised to discover too many problems and imperfections. Why? I kept asking myself. The medical profession usually attracts the cream of the students, so why are these allowed to occur? There are many possible answers.

After much thought and deliberations, I convinced myself that the most important of all the possible answers should be "mural dyslexia." This composite cynical term refers to the inability and/or unwillingness to read even obvious writings on the wall, perceive them well, and try to do something about them.

Over the years, I have toyed mentally with this hypothesis, and decided to add three more answers: poor leaderships, the dominant political correctness and the absence of moral courage (whistle blowing equated with snitching), and the arrogance of power even in democracies.
I developed and tried to defend these apparently simplistic theories in a book, SCRUBBED OUT-Reviving the Doctor’s Role in Patient Care, published in the USA, in 2011.

The fact that the media are very interested in health care in the US provided me with lots of information that I quoted to support my observations and experience.

I meant to be candid and therefore did not adopt any political correctness in the process. Criticizing one’s colleagues is no casual undertaking among medical doctors. But in the final analysis, my loyalty to the profession and society in general proved stronger than that to my colleagues and employers.

Please note that the book was published after my retirement!

I have spent all my professional life in academic medicine, in Lebanon then in the USA. My public service in 2 Lebanese governments was incidental, grueling, but both costly and enriching. Politicians also suffer from "mural dyslexia." This is another story waiting to be told.  Food for Thought

Download the following articles:
Boomer Times (Click Here)
Boston Globe 26 December 2011 (Click Here)
Book Cover (Click Here)

Dr. Salah D. Salman MD is an ENT specialist. He finished his training at the American University of Beirut and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, in 1968. His 42 years of full time academic medicine were spent at the American University of Beirut, the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School. In 1986 he immigrated to the USA. He retired in 2010 and returned to Beirut.
He served in the Lebanese Government twice: once as Minister of Health in 1972 and again as Minister of Interior in 1976 to 1979.
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