“I want to hurt myself.”

That was the only thing written on an otherwise blank page. The other day, the mother of a bright second grader, showed me that alarming note.  Apparently the boy wrote it at his school. She went on to tearfully explain that her child has constantly been bullied ever since joining the institution. Sadly, it is not uncommon to encounter such stories when your profession is ...

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It’s hard to miss the headlines and breaking news feeds on the latest medical studies showing the health benefits of plant-based eating patterns: Vegetarian diets lower the risk or colorectal cancer. Dementia can be delayed through a healthful diet, cognitive training, and physical exercise. Folic acid -- a plant-based product of foliage, or leafy greens -- boosts heart health. And that’s just in the past few days. As a primary care specialist ...

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Peanut allergy is a worldwide concern, but especially in Western countries, in which prevalence has doubled in the last ten years, to a rate of 1.4 to 3.0 percent of children.  To prevent the development of peanut allergy, national guidelines have attempted to keep pace with this crisis, with recommendations, at first, of delayed exposure to peanut and, more recently, of earlier exposure.  But a universally accepted and research-supported approach ...

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A drug company recently received FDA approval to peddle its speed-like pill for "binge eating disorder" (the very same pill that is already widely overused for ADHD). And it is sparing no expense pushing the drug -- a former world tennis champ is the shill and commercials are everywhere. Five years ago, I predicted binge eating disorder (BED) would become a new fad diagnosis and a wonderful target for pharma disease ...

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Alarming headlines, based on a recent study, declare that diagnosis with ADHD doubles the risk of early death. Psychiatrist Stephen Faraone, commenting on the original study published in the Lancet, concludes that: “for clinicians early diagnosis and treatment should become the rule rather than the exception.” This conclusion represents a false assumption that the deaths occurred in cases that were not treated. The large cohort study in Denmark, that looked at records of ...

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If it weren’t for the coming together of people from all over the globe, the influenza pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu, would not have had the devastating effect that it did. It is estimated that at one point this deadly strain infected one out of every five people on earth and ended up claiming the lives of approximately fifty million people (in comparison, nine million combatants ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-year history of typical gastroesophageal reflux symptoms treated on an as-needed basis with a proton pump inhibitor. However, the frequency of his reflux symptoms has recently increased and his episodes do not respond to treatment as completely as in the past. An upper endoscopy is ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 44-year-old man is evaluated during a routine examination. He is concerned about his general health and risk of diabetes mellitus. He has no medical problems. Both parents and his sister have type 2 diabetes mellitus. On physical examination, temperature is normal, blood pressure is 130/79 mm Hg, pulse rate is 66/min, and ...

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The sun rises and the sun sets. It seems like the sun rotates around the Earth. Cancer cells rise and are killed by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. It seems like cancer is a disease. But the sun does not rotate around the Earth, and cancer is not a disease. The many kinds of cancer cells are the products of the disease neoplasia that can emerge in our bodies’ organs and tissues. Strange ...

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Several years ago, a few colleagues and I performed a systematic evidence review to help update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations on screening for prostate cancer. One of our key questions asked about the harms associated with prostate cancer screening, other than the overdiagnosis (and resulting unnecessary treatment) of clinically insignificant tumors. Since routine prostate-specific antigen screening had been going on for nearly two decades by then, we expected to ...

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