Recently I reviewed my son's high school essay on To Kill A Mockingbird. I was surprised and pleased to rediscover, or perhaps discover for the first time now that I was viewing it from the perspective of over 50 years of life experience, the profound wisdom of the book. In one of the novel's most famous quotes, Atticus tell his daughter Scout, "you never really understand a person until you consider things ...

Read more...

Why doctors commit suicide I’ve been a doctor for twenty years. I’ve not lost a single patient to suicide. I’ve lost only colleagues, friends, lovers -- all male physicians -- to suicide. Why? Here’s what I know: A physician’s greatest joy is the patient relationship. Assembly-line medicine undermines the patient-physician relationship. Most doctors are burned out, overworked, or exhausted. Many doctors spend little time with their families. Workaholics are admired in medicine. Medicine values ...

Read more...

Two big studies have been published in the last few weeks, both of which have confirmed previous data: home birth is not as safe as hospital birth. These studies show that having a baby at home increases the risk of your baby dying by about 4 times. That really is a big increased risk -- especially considering that most home births are supposedly low-risk pregnancies. Those babies should be less likely ...

Read more...

Alzheimer’s disease is the uninvited guest that crashes all of my family gatherings. It relentlessly pursues my grandfather’s brain, unraveling more threads from the tapestry of his memory each year. Although it causes him no physical pain, it sows guilt, sorrow, frustration, and a sense of deep loss in all of us. Like all diseases, this one seems entirely unfair. My grandfather was a sharp attorney, a witty, silly champion of ...

Read more...

There are few professional careers centered around protecting and caring for others that garner so much verbal and physical abuse than a career in emergency medicine.  Mental health workers, police, fire, and EMS personnel are the other fields that come to mind when I think of a service that "helps" people yet gets abuse dished upon them on nearly a daily basis. A 2006 survey of emergency nurses showed that 25% ...

Read more...

The joy of creating smiles As I finished surgery on a beautiful 10-year-old girl from a local orphanage with a secondary cleft lip deformity, I did not realize how this tiny little Filipino girl was about to humanize me and my entire team involved in her care.  When I met her the day before with her caretaker from the orphanage, it was obvious that she had ...

Read more...

10 things to know about anesthesia and heart surgeryA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. February is American Heart Month. Unfortunately, heart disease is a major problem in the United States that can result in surgery. In addition to discussing your procedure with your surgeon, you want to be sure to discuss your anesthesia care with your physician anesthesiologist. Here are 10 key ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 50-year-old man is evaluated for persistent heartburn and regurgitation despite taking a high-dose proton-pump inhibitor twice a day for 6 months. His symptoms have improved, but he continues to have symptoms many times a week. He has not had dysphagia, chest pain or weight loss. He has significantly modified his diet. ...

Read more...

paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) highlights the importance of nutrient fortification to the diets of our children. The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the sources of micronutrients in the diets of over 7,000 kids ages 2 to 18, and assessed overall dietary intake in this cohort assembled to represent the population ...

Read more...

In the medical world, when a physician, a scientist, a hospital, a drug company or a panel of experts issues a report, the games begin. If one agrees with the statement or benefits from it, then the report is heralded as breakthrough brilliance. If, however, the report suggests a new medical pathway that diminishes your relevance or reimbursement, then the report and its authors are regarded as misguided. Yes, I am ...

Read more...

Most Popular