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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The high cost of health care in the United States in part relates to how clinicians are paid. Performing expensive and often risky procedures simply pays better than engaging patients in a shared decision-making conversation. Shared decision-making (SDM) is a process where clinicians and patients educate each other about treatment options, risks and benefits, and preferences, and then they decide on the best approach together. Patient decision aids can assist ...

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As medical librarians, we’re certainly the first to say that PubMed is a superb database, elegantly crafted at the National Library of Medicine to do fast and efficient searches for almost all medical and health subjects. Much of the power of PubMed is that it makes it possible to search broad subjects easily. When the user searches “cancer,” for example, PubMed quickly finds thousands of citations on all types of ...

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I sometimes think doctors forget what it’s like to be patients. But I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating and scary it can be. I remember one night, I was lying in a hospital bed, resting peacefully. I heard a noise and opened my eyes to a room full of chaos. Nurses everywhere. A crash cart. Someone holding paddles. I tried to speak, but couldn’t. And then I got it out: “Please don’t.” Here’s my story: Before ...

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“I had no idea how much cancer sucks.” My patient’s observation seems silly, basic.  Of course, cancer sucks.  It maims, humiliates and kills.  It takes.  What made the statement remarkable was its source.  This is not a medically naïve person, waiting to die. Rather it was spoken by a patient in complete remission, likely cured, who is an expert in cancer care.   To her amazement, it changed life forever. I think that ...

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The president's proposed Precision Medicine Initiative, as mentioned in his recent State of the Union address suggests it's probably time to get ready for some changes in our daily routines as health professionals. I'm not talking about the incredible information that has already been produced by researchers examining the human genome. Nor am I referring to the work that is going on in major cancer centers and elsewhere exploring how to better ...

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Cases of measles linked to an exposure at Disneyland continue to spread, not just in California, but in several other states and in Mexico. The numbers of cases are climbing -- and so are the number of exposed people who might get sick -- and expose more people before they realize they are sick. Measles is extremely contagious; if someone has it, they will infect 90 percent of the people ...

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A cartoon of an angry looking physician, a spotted boy, and some anxious parents in The New Yorker reads, “If you connect the measles, it spells out, ‘My parents are idiots’.”

A facetious article in GomerBlog announces, “Big Pharma Admits They’re Just Trying to Kill Everyone with Vaccines.”

Even television host Stephen Colbert gets in on the make-fun-of-anti-vaxxers act, recently declaring, ...

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Many parents around the U.S. are asking what to do about a possible measles exposure with a baby at home who is too young to be immunized. Should they stay home? Can they travel? Should they cancel that trip to Utah or to Vermont or even to Disney next month? Can they head out to the store without worry? Are they “safe"? I hate that I can’t completely say they are ...

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