There’s been an ongoing court battle here in the state of Florida over whether physicians have the right to ask families about gun ownership in their home. The Florida Privacy of Firearm Owners Act was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott in 2011. This law prevents pediatricians from inquiring about gun ownership and discussing relevant safety information regarding how guns are stored and how to protect children from accidental injury. ...

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At the critical time when our nation has made meaningful and measurable progress against colorectal cancer incidence, threats to reimbursement for colonoscopy screening for Medicare beneficiaries are looming, which may jeopardize the effectiveness of public health strategies to increase screening and prevention of colorectal cancer in the U.S. New data from the American Cancer Society indicate that colorectal cancer has declined by 30% in just the last decade among those aged 50 ...

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Today its time to say, Ultraviolet bad“Ultraviolet bad.” That was the core message that came out of the introduction this morning of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer at a meeting held at the National Press Club in Washington DC. There were some other messages that now raise skin cancer awareness and prevention high on the public health awareness list, such as ...

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At the recent gubernatorial candidates forum on mental health, Martha Coakley repeated the oft-heard phrase that depression is like diabetes. Her motivation was good, the idea being to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to offer "parity" or equal insurance coverage, for mental and physical illness. However, I am concerned that this phrase, and its companion, "ADHD is like diabetes," will, in fact, have the exact opposite effect. A ...

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The deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa is the worst on record, with over 603 deaths reported as of July, 2014 (according to the CDC Ebola outbreak update). The virus is confirmed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- and the crisis appears to be far from over. The geographical complexity of the current crisis highlights one of the most crucial obstacles to successfully ...

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Recent research finds that many internists do not feel comfortable or prepared to care for survivors of childhood cancer. Although the rarity of childhood cancer may explain this, the fact remains that as more and more pediatric cancer patients survive into adulthood busy internists often have some survivors in their practices. These patients would have been treated during the last decades of the 20th century or the beginning of ...

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Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis or flight fatigue, is defined as “extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones.” Besides insomnia, symptoms of jet lag include weakness, fatigue, dehydration, body aches, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, irritability, and memory loss. Jet lag is one of the circadian rhythm disorders; others include shift work disorder, sleep phase disorder, and irregular sleep-wake rhythm. Symptoms ...

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Recently, I realized that patients coming to my office seeking vasectomies required an additional piece in their counseling. What led to this change? Earlier this month a study out of Harvard University suggested an association between vasectomy and lethal prostate cancer. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers found that “men with a history of vasectomy had a 10% increased risk of prostate cancer, with a ...

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It was with much distress that I read a New York Times front page article by Benedict Carey about the heart wrenching plight of the Serpico family in their journey to get proper psychiatric treatment for their two sons. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has served children and families for more than 30 years, trained many child psychiatrists, and served as president of the American Academy of ...

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The first lecture in a radiation oncology residency program is “Radiation Oncology Emergencies,” to educate the new residents how to manage inpatient consultations and emergencies. While preparing my lecture this year, it occurred to me how useful this basic information would be to the physicians calling for the consultation. Sharing our thought process in triaging patient explains why we don’t rush to utilize radiation, even in cases of a cord ...

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