Dead babies aren’t something anybody likes to talk about. But while it may be an uncomfortable topic, it’s also an important one -- because there are things we can do to make it happen less frequently. The loss of an infant is something parents never really get over, and something that no parent should have to experience. Here’s a look at the most common causes of infant mortality and some things you ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man sustains a laceration on his left index finger while preparing chicken. He immediately washes the area and applies neomycin and an occlusive bandage. He changes the bandage and reapplies the medication twice daily. Two days later, he develops itching and redness at the wound site. He has had no ...

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Some maladies that attract psychiatric attention are unequivocally brain diseases.  Huntington’s disease.  Brain tumors.  Lead poisoning.  However, these are not psychiatric diseases.  Huntington’s is a genetic abnormality diagnosed and treated by neurologists.  Brain tumors are managed by neurosurgeons and oncologists.  Lead toxicity is treated by internal medicine.  Indeed, a long list of medical and surgical diseases include psychiatric features: stroke, anoxic brain injury, meningitis, lupus, diabetic ketoacidosis, and febrile delirium to name a few.  One important ...

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A JAMA Surgery Viewpoint recently suggested that because of the findings of a Finnish randomized trial, surgeons now should give patients with appendicitis a choice between an appendectomy or treatment with antibiotics. The paper acknowledged my criticisms of the Finnish study that found that simple appendicitis could be treated successfully with antibiotics in almost 75 percent of patients. I respect the authors of the JAMA Surgery article and am happy they ...

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Recently, during a typical day as a developmental pediatrician, I walked down the hall to schedule an ophthalmology appointment for a toddler. As I spoke with the secretary, I saw a thin “new patient” chart on her desk for another patient. I recognized the name at once and was immediately transported back 25 years ago, to when I was a fellow in training at the center and learned a very ...

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Recently, another study was published showing that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased rates of autism in the children.  By my count, this is now the tenth study on this topic -- all of which found links between SSRI antidepressant use in pregnancy and autism in the offspring.  Most of these studies were recently reviewed, and also concluded that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 48-year-old man with newly diagnosed hypertension is referred for an echocardiogram to assess findings of left ventricular hypertrophy noted on the electrocardiogram. He is asymptomatic, and his medical history is unremarkable other than hypertension. His only medication is chlorthalidone. On physical examination, blood pressure is 128/70 mm Hg, pulse rate is 60/min ...

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Marijuana use today is not limited to the poor, the marginalized among us; nor is it kept in the inner city, as it pretty much was when I was a kid.  Now it is widespread, even legal in some states.  One might even make the argument it has become a substantial part of the life of the elite, the affluent of America.  And when we think of elite and powerful ...

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To many, the extent to which Charlie Sheen tried to keep his HIV status from becoming public knowledge came as a surprise -- and suggests that HIV-related stigma and discrimination remains pervasive despite strides that have been made in fighting the disease. Diagnosed nearly four years ago, Sheen reported paying more than $10 million in bribes to keep his HIV status secret. Sheen decided to go public, he told Matt Lauer ...

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An excerpt from Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body. Linda Buonanno hugs me as soon as we meet, and shows me upstairs to her small, first-floor apartment in a housing block just off the freeway in Methuen, Massachusetts. Her living space is tidy but densely packed ...

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