The Lumberjack World Championships, coming up for those interested in Hayward, Wisconsin in late July 2015, appear to be very impressive. Contestants are judged on a diverse array of aptitudes, from chopping and sawing to pole climbing and log rolling. One presumes the criteria for winning each of these are clear and as objective as possible. There is a panel of master lumberjacks to help oversee the judging. In short, as a ...

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No pain no gain. Pain is weakness leaving your body. What’s your excuse? Have you seen these? The ubiquitous fitness themed motivational memes foisted upon us by corporations and Internet bloggers alike. You know what these all have in common? Aside from the fact that they typically aren’t associated with the funny cat videos that comprise roughly 94 percent of Internet traffic, they all do one thing: They make you feel more inadequate ...

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NPR recently reported, “Measles makes an unwelcome visit to Disneyland.” Nine people who visited Disneyland theme parks in California over winter break had caught measles, almost all of them unvaccinated children. The next day, ABC reported that the number of cases has grown to 19. Of these, only two had been fully vaccinated. Some of the cases were too young to receive vaccines, others apparently chose not to get ...

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Influenza has arrived refusing to be ignored or be the ugly step-virus to Ebola any longer. This influenza season is officially an epidemic. The Washington Post's Wonkblog reported earlier this month that December 2014 was “one of the worst flu months in years.”  In fact, they found that it was “the worst December since the polling organization started tracking flu season in 2008.” As of January 3rd, the CDC reported widespread ...

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BottnerWeightLoss I am a recovering addict. My compulsion started when I was 10-years-old. I remember thinking about when I would get my next fix. These feelings got in the way of my ability to perform scholastically and socially. I yearned not for marijuana, cocaine or heroin, but for something with much easier access and profound availability. My drug was food. By the time I was ...

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Ear infections (or, what we like to call “acute otitis media”) are one of the staple diagnoses of pediatrics. Most kids have at least one before their third birthday.  And most pediatricians see at least one every day by 11. You would think we would always get it right. But I have a confession -- we don’t. In fact, children are misdiagnosed and over-treated at an alarming rate. There are several reasons for ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 74-year-old man is evaluated in the emergency department for a 3-day history of fever and chills as well as confusion. He has a 5-week history of a nonhealing ulcer on the plantar surface of his left foot. He has diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease for which he takes metformin, ...

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As part of a plan to improve our practice's quality of care for patients with high blood pressure, my office's nurse announces at every morning huddle which patients on that day's schedule had a blood pressure measurement of greater than 140/90 at their last visit. Most of these patients have measurements consistent with mild hypertension (systolic blood pressure less than 160 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure less than 100 ...

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The case of Cassandra C., a 17-year-old in Connecticut who refused to continue receiving chemotherapy to treat her Hodgkin’s lymphoma, poses a genuine ethical dilemma. The dilemma stems from a conflict between two leading ethical principles. One principle, respect for autonomy, calls for respecting individuals’ right to self-determination. In the medical context, that means allowing people to refuse medical treatment, even lifesaving therapy. The other ethical principle, beneficence, directs physicians and hospitals to ...

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For years, my husband and I have argued about how to dress the kids for cold weather (given that we have five kids ranging in age from 23 to 9, this argument truly has been going on for a while). He says I don't dress them warmly enough. I say he overdoes it. After all these years, I still think I'm right. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the way ...

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