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Category Archives : General


Are You a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

  • October 17, 2021
  • General
  • John M. Oldham, M.D., & Lois B. Morris

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, MD Do cat people and dog people have distinctly different personality styles?   There’s a lot of opinion out there about this—there’s even a Wikipedia site called “Cat people and dog people.”  Then there’s our much-viewed blog from early 2019, “Are You a Cat Person?” I’ve been mulling this over since last […]

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Personality and the Radical Stress of Social Isolation

  • May 10, 2021
  • General
  • John M. Oldham, M.D., & Lois B. Morris

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. & LOIS B. MORRIS No matter how resilient our personality styles may be, we are all susceptible to the radical stress of a year of social isolation.  We humans are social animals.  Whether we’re naturally outgoing or reserved, we need to be with each other.  Adjusting to constraint is hard […]

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Attention!

  • March 01, 2021
  • General
  • Lois Morris

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D., & LOIS B. MORRIS “Attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention,” said the writer Howard Rheingold. This maxim is a favorite of a theoretical physicist named Michael Goldhaber. He is “the internet prophet you’ve never heard of,” according to New York Times Opinion  writer […]

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Do You Know How to Listen?

  • January 21, 2020
  • General
  • John M. Oldham, M.D.

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, MD How to be a good leader: Learn by listening. That struck me as the main message of a small book sent to department chairs throughout the country some time ago by the American Association of Medical Schools. I’ve tried to do just that throughout my career, sometimes more successfully than […]

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Holiday Harmony with Difficult People

  • December 10, 2019
  • Dr. Oldham
  • John M. Oldham, M.D.

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. If you are expecting holiday harmony, you may have to think twice. The family gathering just may not turn out like the Norman Rockwell images of perfect family bliss. Instead, as a Thanksgiving-day op-ed in the New York Times put it, “Make Room at the Table for Difficult People.” Grumble, […]

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The Power of Humility

  • November 08, 2019
  • General
  • John M. Oldham, M.D.

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. “Humility Is Something to Boast About.” That was the headline on a recent article in the print edition of The New York Times.  Benedict Carey reports on a recent review of studies of people with a personality trait characterized by an ability to perceive one’s own flaws and strengths, and […]

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Personality and Power

  • October 18, 2019
  • General
  • John M. Oldham, M.D.

BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, M.D. Personality influences behavior. No doubt about it, certainly for someone in my field.  So information about someone’s personality should help make sense of how–and how successfully–that person acts at school, in the workplace, at home, in social relationships, and in the world of politics. The New York Times recently reported […]

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