shutterstock_146442830 For many women, pregnancy is a wonderful experience. There are, however, many changes and challenges the mom-to-be can expect, and back pain is one of them. The good news for pregnant women is that the development of severe or debilitating low back pain is very rare. The incidence of symptomatic low back pain that is severe is about 1 to 2 percent. ...

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shutterstock_173706362 With the flurry of Twitter posts about Maureen Dowd’s article “Stroke of Fate” in the New York Times, it almost seems as if the subject is already stale. Maureen Dowd is the Pulitzer Prize-winning op-ed columnist for the New York Times who tells a compelling story about a young patient who suffered from a stroke. The patient was healthy triathlete, ...

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Can beliefs make you fat? The answer to this question might seem pretty obvious. If I believe that the best way to lose weight is to super-size five meals a day at McDonald’s, while consuming bags of Doritos to tide me over between meals, that belief is probably going to make me fat. If I believe that the best way to get in shape is to watch other people exercise, I’m ...

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2015-04-20-1429540034-576455-analcancerscreening About 17 years ago, Jeff Taylor, an AIDS advocate, became worried he might have anal cancer. Through his work, Taylor knew that anal cancer rates had risen steeply among people with HIV. He was having discomfort, and he knew that there was a simple screening test: a swab that is processed just like a routine Pap smear. His doctor knew about the ...

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Patients are gradually becoming more aware of the value of second opinions on their pathology slides. When there is a significant change in the diagnosis, the decision to get a second opinion can be life altering and even life-saving. A recent example is the case of Rita Wilson, where the self-initiated second opinion of her breast biopsy resulted in a change in diagnosis from a non-invasive lesion ...

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I walk into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) each morning and see as many as 15 tiny patients. Some born just a few weeks premature, but others born so early they could fit into the palm of my hand, weighing as little as a pound. And I can’t help but think that there should be better communication about how to reduce the risk of preterm labor. Even if we ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 30-year-old woman is evaluated for a 1-year history of fatigue, headaches, poor sleep, depression, intermittently blurred vision, and weakness when climbing stairs. She takes no medication. Following a physical exam and lab studies, what diagnostic tests should be performed next? On physical examination, vital signs are normal. Bilateral ptosis and diplopia are ...

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The medical field, more so than many other professional arenas, is continuously struggling to balance the concepts of increasing quality metrics, decreasing overall expenditure, and riding the crest of the current technological and scientific expansion wave. Within the past half century, our profession has borne witness to an explosion of advancement, and with this has come a contemporaneous increase in both the need for sub-specialization and, bluntly, the associated cost of ...

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I see some odd things in my clinic. One recent diagnostic dilemma was a man in his late fifties with shortness of breath. He had been born with a ventricular septal defect and had undergone surgery for this in his infancy. During his lifetime, he had seldom gone to doctors and always thought he was in fairly good health, maybe just of a weak constitution. A smoker since age 13, he ...

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A variety of factors contributes to the challenge. First, even in this era, in which autism is a household word, it is not unusual for me to give the diagnosis to parents who have not considered the possibility that their child has autism. Statistically speaking, the children we see at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center for these initial evaluations are very young -- on average, 24 months ...

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