Over the five years that I have been writing Perspectives and/or Editorials for the Bulletin, I often have been asked by physician friends from where I get my ideas for my columns. My long medical career, that spans nearly 60 years (including medical school), has allowed me to see the many aspects of our profession. In some columns, I shared events in which I participated (gorilla barium enema1); in others, I indulged my urge to comment on things that I thought needed to be changed. And on occasion, another Editorial or Perspective will stimulate me to express my opinion(s) on the subject (Mentoring2).

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“The dress code is at least business casual. Make sure that your earrings aren’t too big, and your makeup is not too loud.” These were the instructions I received from a young production assistant during a mandatory audio-visual check. I was presenting as an expert at a virtual national medical conference – and I was taken aback by these details. I politely thanked the representative, and proceeded back to my day of patient encounters and virtual meetings.

Patients and colleagues comment to me frequently on my clothing; to my great relief, it is mostly complimentary. I take careful note of the fact that people not only notice my sartorial choices, but feel the need or desire to comment on them as well.… Read more

When I was a child, my summers were spent in a magical land by the sea in the care of my grandmother and uncle. At that time, the city was known as Bombay, and we lived in a flat in a seaside suburb of Old Bombay. The sun beat down hard on the stone and concrete buildings from the early hours of the morning, and it was far too hot to venture out during most of the day. During the monsoon, the rains poured down relentlessly for days on end, pausing briefly now and then for a day or so of oppressively humid but sunny respite before the faucet reopened.… Read more

Last summer, in the throes of pandemic angst, I asked my good friend (an endocrinologist who radiates calm, love and compassion) how she was keeping her sanity and balance. Her answer astonished me because it was unexpected – I always pictured her as more of a town mouse rather than a country mouse, like myself.

“We’ve been hiking!” Every weekend, she and her family had been exploring the great outdoors as long as the weather cooperated. She excitedly told me of exploring Ohiopyle and various state parks with her family and bubblemates, and of the profound peace and joy it had brought her. … Read more

“Oh, the Noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!”
– Dr. Seuss, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 1957

“Before the Industrial Revolution, the principle sources of noise were thunder, church bells, and cannon fire.”

New York Times, Jan. 1, 2021

We are surrounded by noise. Noise can rob us of sleep; it can hinder our ability to concentrate; it also can affect our hearing. I first became aware of noise-induced hearing loss when I was in the Air Force. One day, one of the enlisted men who was assigned to the base carpentry shop came to see me because of hearing loss.… Read more

My father, a salesman, liked to tell this joke to his customers: 

At the inauguration of a U.S. president, a man in the audience turns to the man next to him and starts a conversation: 

“You see the man up there?”

“Yes, that’s the next president.”

“Well, he is my son!”

“You must be very proud”

“Well course, I am, his brother is A DOCTOR!”

My mother took a more somber view of my accomplishment. She was born in Vienna in the 1930s, and her hope for a career in medicine ended as a consequence of World War II. Instead, she passed on her passion for medicine to myself who became a psychiatrist and my brother who entered neurology.Read more

Most of us are comfortable living in the present time despite the threat of the pandemic. Many people talk about “the good old days” when life was perceived as simpler. Sometimes, however, a life-altering event invites us to think about how that event would have been managed in the past. This past July, I suddenly awoke at 3 a.m. with a burning sensation in the middle of my chest. My first impression was that it was gastrointestinal reflux. However, as I became fully awake, I realized that the burning sensation was accompanied by severe substernal chest pain. I also was aware that I had broken out in a cold sweat.Read more

Because I wanted to be a doctor, my mother made sure I had books with female role models in medicine. As a girl, I read about “Molly Pitcher” giving Revolutionary War soldiers water to drink. I knew that Florence Nightingale was “the lady with the lamp” during the Crimean War and that Clara Barton was “the angel of the battlefield” during the American Civil War. I revered Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell for being the first and third women to earn allopathic medical degrees. But I didn’t know about Dr. James McCune Smith.

Growing up in Baltimore City Public Schools, I learned about the Rev.Read more

Allegheny County Medical Society

Patricia L. Bononi, MD, FACP, has been named 2021 ACMS president, becoming the 155th president and the fifth woman to hold that position. A native of Greensburg, Dr. Bononi knew at an early age that she wanted to be a physician, and found inspiration from her mother, a registered nurse, and from Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive an MD degree in the United States, in 1849. “I liked to read a lot, and I read a biography of Blackwell when I was nine,” she recalls. “It made a strong impression on me.”

Dr. Bononi attended undergraduate school at Georgetown University, where she became acquainted with the Ignatian-Jesuit principle known as “curae personalis” – a Latin phrase that translates as “care for the entire person.”

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Patricia L. Bononi, MD, FACP
2021 ACMS president

Dr. Bononi received her bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes Mellitus.

Dr. Bononi is the medical director of the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Center for Diabetes since 2013. She has been site Principal Investigator for more than 20 clinical trials testing medications for diabetes mellitus.

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