Read. Watch. Listen. with Ken Milne

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor Ken Milne is the Chief of Staff at South Huron Hospital Association in Exeter, Ont. He is the creator of the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine podcast/blog.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul. Batman is my favourite superhero. Like many epic stories, he was orphaned after witnessing his parent being shot. However, Batman did not get his superpowers from a radioactive spider bite like Spider-Man or exposed to gamma radiation like the Hulk. Batman trained his mind and body very hard to have his skills and abilities. It certainly helped that Bruce Wayne was super rich. This book explores whether or not Gotham would be a better without Batman. Discusses the ethical and moral choices of the Dark Knight and compares them to the teachings of some of the world’s most famous philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu).


The COVID19 pandemic has given me the opportunity to watch some of the classic 80s movies with my youngest daughter. Maybe know she will understand when I say they are only “mostly dead” (Princess Bride) or “Anyone? Bueller.” (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

One of my all-time favourites is The Breakfast Club. It looks at five teenagers in detention on a Saturday morning. We find that everyone has a story to tell and there are many layers to consider. It shows that spending time with people that are different than your ‘tribe’ you can discover we have much more in common. It encourages us to listen, learn and connect with those in other social groups. Great message for young people not to let the previous generation define who you are as summarized in the last moment of the movie:

“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal … Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”


It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M. It has been a challenge keeping a positive attitude during this global pandemic. This song helps me cope with the stress of working in the emergency department over the last few months.

It is the end of the world as we know it … and I do feel fine.

We will come through this together as a society. It has exposed some very serious weaknesses in our healthcare system (ex. nursing homes). We need to address these problems and get to a new (better) normal. I feel fine because this is what I was trained to do.

Give me the right equipment to be on the front lines of COVID19. The emergency department is open for anyone, anytime for anything and it is safe to come in for assessment.

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