Carrie Fisher’s sad, premature death is an occasion to reflect upon the poor job the news media does in reporting medical news. The initial report from TMZ had the headline “Carrie Fisher Massive Heart Attack on Plane.” If one equates “heart attack” to the more precise medical term “myocardial infarction,” as is usually done, then this is certainly diagnostic overreach on the part of TMZ. From their report, ...

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Thirteen years ago, I received a call from the mother of a college freshman who was concerned because her son had been diagnosed with mononucleosis during finals week.  She felt something was not quite right and asked me for advice. “Trust your instinct, go get him, and bring him home.” She brought him to my clinic the following day.  He looked mildly ill.  His vitals were stable; he was fatigued, slightly dehydrated, ...

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One of the most common questions that I receive from patients diagnosed with celiac disease is if they should take a probiotic. The only available treatment for celiac disease, an autoimmune disease characterized by destruction of the absorptive surface of the small intestine which develops in genetically compatible individuals, is a gluten free diet. However, patients and providers often question whether supplementation with probiotics may hasten the healing process. Probiotics are ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 68-year-old man is evaluated in the hospital for a right intertrochanteric fracture sustained in a mechanical fall. He reports right hip pain but no other symptoms. He has hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus and was in his usual state of health prior to the fall. He checks his blood glucose ...

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If you Google “misophonia” you might be shocked to find numerous articles discussing the tragic suicide of 52-year-old Russian-born scholar, Dr. Michelle Lamarche Marrese. Journalist Joyce Cohen was the first to report Marrese’s suicide in the New York Post piece “She could hear everything and it cost her her life.” Cohen explains that she and Marrese had been corresponding about Marrese’s struggles with misophonia for over 14 months, and that ...

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Coughing is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to see me. And I can understand why. Coughing is noisy and uncomfortable and gets kids dirty looks in schools and subways. Even worse, coughing keeps kids and their parents awake. We’ve all been there, and no one likes to cough. But coughing is there, usually, for a reason. Almost all coughs are from upper respiratory infections (that’s fancy ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman undergoes routine evaluation. She is pregnant at 12 weeks' gestation. Medical history is notable for homozygous sickle cell anemia (Hb SS). She has had multiple uncomplicated painful crises treated at home with hydration, nonopioid analgesia, and incentive spirometry. She requires hospital management for these episodes approximately twice per year. ...

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An excerpt from The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive In Your Work. Do you ever feel panic at the end of a long weekend or vacation, wondering where the time went? Do your days, weeks, and months blend into one another, each ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 26-year-old man is evaluated for a 3-month history of depressed mood, poor concentration, decreased energy, increased sleep, and weight gain. He reports missing many days at work and that his work performance has lagged. He has no suicidal ideation. He states that his current symptoms differ markedly from his usual state ...

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Anyone who knows me, knows I have long been skeptical of the safety of pubic hair removal. We evolved to have pubic hair, and we have no data to say that we have outgrown that need as we have wisdom teeth. The current thinking is that pubic hair plays a role in protecting the more delicate/sensitive tissues of the labia and the vaginal opening. Basically, pubic hair is a mechanical ...

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