As most everyone knows, medicine is not an exact science. Every patient and every family must be treated individually. We all recognize that many things have the possibility of not going perfectly, especially when an ill child presents to the hospital. I am lucky enough to be a part of many families’ experiences at the hospital that go so well that you want to tell people about them. Goodness knows, there ...

Read more...

I want to commend Mark Bittman on the underlying message in his recent editorial in the New York Times, "What Causes Weight Gain." Bittman suggests that as much as we need research to "determine precisely what causes diet related chronic illnesses," we also need a program that will get this "single, simple message across: eat real food." While we have yet to isolate what in our diet is contributing to ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 65-year-old woman is evaluated for a prodrome of pain on tip of the nose followed by a painful eruption involving the right periorbital tissue. On physical examination, all vital signs are normal. There are grouped vesicles on an erythematous base on the tip of the nose and about the right eye. Which of ...

Read more...

You’d think, being land-based mammals, we’d all be able to agree on the basic fact that humans breathe air, and that newborn human babies ought to be born into the air.  You know, so they can breathe. That’s how human babies have always been born, and that’s how all other primates are born, and that’s how all other land mammals are born. (Hats off to our cetacean cousins for their ...

Read more...

A recent meta-analysis by an accomplished international team of researchers, published in a prestigious medical journal, shows that high intake of saturated fat is exactly as bad for health as a high intake of sugar and refined starch. The study also suggests there is something far worse. The study, which pooled data from prior research and in the process aggregated findings for over 500,000 people, compared the rates of coronary ...

Read more...

A couple of weeks ago, my family was traveling out of town. I was driving and my wife and almost 2-year-old daughter were buckled up in the back seat playing with some toys. My wife pulled out a brand new container of Play-Doh. As my daughter was preparing to pull the lid off to see what was inside, I drove through a section on the interstate where there was a ...

Read more...

“Is it weird that I cut myself on purpose?” A 14-year-old girl from a local middle school asked me this question at work last week. In my years as a Teen Xpress counselor, I have been asked about self-injurious behaviors many times. They ask: “What is it about?” “Isn’t it just a way to get attention?” “Why would someone do that?” “Are they trying to kill themselves?” It’s not only teens that ask about self-injury. I’ve ...

Read more...

Only in America can we find a way to scare the bejesus out of a woman with normal breasts and a normal mammogram. Because that’s exactly what happened when New York Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin read her entirely normal mammogram results letter: "A sentence in the fourth paragraph grabbed me by the throat. 'Your breast tissue is dense.'" I can’t really blame Rabin for being afraid. The information about breast density in ...

Read more...

Recently, in front of my family, friends, colleagues, and teachers, I accepted my diploma during the graduation ceremony for the UCLA psychiatry residency program. While it wasn’t my real diploma -- it’s been months since I’ve been able to work, so when I’m better I need to go back and finish some requirements -- my residency program coordinator put together an awesome fake diploma so I would have something to pick ...

Read more...

With advanced cancer, there are no guarantees"I just want to know that she'll be able to travel," my patient's husband said. Stan and Jane Jackson (names changed) sat side-by-side on the mauve loveseat in the exam room. A binder filled with sheaths of paper -- copies of Jane's lab reports, CT scan reports, discharge papers, and chemotherapy information handouts -- sat open on his lap. On top ...

Read more...

Most Popular