Over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain such as spinal disorders (lower back pain, disc disease, pinched nerves and neck pain), complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and headaches. The cost of chronic pain in human suffering, lost worker productivity and in health care dollars is counted in the billions. Yet despite newer, expensive and invasive treatments like spinal fusions and disc surgery, spinal cord stimulators, steroid and painkiller injections, nerve  "burning" and ...

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My father’s sister Mary died from measles when she was six years old. Her death haunted my grandparents for the rest of their lives. She was one of the thousands who died each year from measles before there was a vaccine to prevent this life-threatening disease. Her story has always stayed with me -- from my days as a child to my years in medical school. And once again I’m reminded of ...

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There’s been a lot written about the measles outbreak and antivaccine parents. Fact is, the current situation is a direct and predictable result of many social/political trends that have emerged in America over the last generation. I am sharing five easy steps to take if you want to create an epidemic just like this. 1. Raise a generation ignorant about science. The majority of Americans are 
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shutterstock_122870008 On Valentine’s Day weekend last year I found myself at Paddles, the local dungeon in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, for the first time. I was perched at the alcohol-free bar when a man politely introduced himself as a human carpet. He asked that I tread on him and lay on the floor to demonstrate. A professional dominatrix-in-training stepped onto his ...

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March is colon cancer awareness month.  We have made tremendous strides in the fight against cancer especially colon cancer. Between 1991 and 2011, U.S. cancer death rate decreased by 22 percent (1.5 million lives saved), and colon cancer death rate decreased by almost 50 percent. This decrease coincides with widespread adoption of colorectal cancer screening particularly colonoscopy. Despite this progress, colon cancer is still the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 23-year-old woman is evaluated for a 1-year history of morning stiffness and achiness of the hands as well as Raynaud phenomenon. Two months ago, she experienced a sun-induced rash on the chest and back and patches of discoloration on the hands. On physical examination, temperature is 36.4 °C (97.5 °F), blood pressure ...

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Cancer patients depend on denial.  Without its protection, we would be overwhelmed by terror.  Denial filters and slows bad news, so we can digest reality in the merciful morsels; thus, we cope.  Without denial, we would shut down, withdraw, and lose hope; healing would not be possible.  However, if we do not move beyond denial, accept the diagnosis and loss, make a plan, we die. Allen, a 43-year-old man, came to ...

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blueandblackdress2-770x457 My mother-in-law texted me about The Dress, random friends are blowing up my inbox, and the nurses in the emergency department were huddled around the computer at 2 a.m. debating the color of the dress. Everyone in the world seems to be wondering what color the dress really is and why. The best way to find the answer to such questions is to find ...

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Some people who argue against vaccinations claim that vaccine policies infringe on their “rights” -- their rights, as parents, to make medical decisions for their children. It’s a scary, misleading, and chilling message. We need to be careful about where one person’s rights end and the next person’s rights begin. We need to remember that children (their children, and your children too) have rights of their own. For example, Dr. Bob ...

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Recently, Ohio became the 20th state to pass a law mandating that hospitals and clinics performing mammography screening to notify a patient in writing if results suggest something known as "dense breast tissue."   Standard mammography creates a 2-D image of breast tissue.  In general, this is sufficient for screening purposes.  However, especially in younger patients, the presence of dense breast parenchyma can lead to higher false negative readings and ...

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