Potential patients -- usually parents -- occasionally ask me if I am "vaccine-friendly." After having this question posed to me numerous times, I’m prepared for the conversation that follows. I’ve tried to ease into it in various ways, but none has proven universally comfortable. The question's phrasing is telling about a person's perspective. It implies that their previous experiences with physicians were perceived as "unfriendly." Also, my defensive side infers it ...

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It is easy to lose oneself while swimming in a sea of medical facts surrounded by overburdened physicians and high-acuity cases. Initially, it is difficult taking care of one patient, much less a whole service. The transition from student to student-doctor is not as homophonic as the semantics would suggest -- and this transition affects the mental health of thousands of medical students each year. Medicine is less a profession and ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 42-year-old woman is evaluated for episodes of palpitations that last several seconds in duration. They occur once or twice a month and are accompanied by lightheadedness and mild dyspnea. She has not experienced loss of consciousness. The episodes are not precipitated by any particular activity, including exercise. She takes no medications. On ...

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Disclaimer: I have never had cancer. Therefore, at the most basic level, I do not have the right to pontificate about dealing with the dread disease. Rather, I have been the servant and support of those that struggle with cancer. I thought it might be of some assistance to share my observations from the other side of the bed rail. Perhaps, their secrets of survival may help you. Cancer is a ...

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I recently told you of my admiration for Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Michigan pediatrician and epidemiologist whose strong research and advocacy was able to finally bring a shining light to the problem of lead in the water supply of Flint. Continuing with a theme, I now bring you the story of Dr. Adriana Melo of Campina Grande, Brazil. Dr. Melo is an OB-GYN who subspecializes in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), the branch ...

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February is American Heart Month, and the Go Red For Women campaign reminds us to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease in women all month long.  Today in the U.S., nearly 44 million women are living with heart disease.  Even though heart disease is quite prevalent in women, only 1 in 5 women are aware that they are at risk for developing a cardiovascular problem in their lifetime. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 ...

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With the Supreme Court in the balance, every aspect of the unexpected demise of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has received intense scrutiny, from the cause of his recent death to the politically charged choice of his successor. An autopsy was not performed on the 79-year-old jurist, who was found dead in his room in a West Texas hunting resort, and that too has become a lightning rod for ...

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Your primary care doctor has been nagging you for years. Your wife and brother seem to be in on the scheme too. Every once and a while one of your coworkers even says (with a chuckle) “C’mon Bob, you’re fifty-seven, you really need to get it done!” “OK, enough,” you finally say, “I’ll go for a colonoscopy!” So at your next visit you ask your primary doctor how to set it ...

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1. Zika is an infectious disease caused by a virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. It is one of four worrisome viral infections that have spread rapidly across the world recently including dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile virus, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. The most dangerous mosquito type is the one that spreads yellow fever (Aedes). 2. Though Zika is mostly spread by mosquito bites, there is emerging ...

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It’s hard to eat less when there is too much on your plate. That’s the major reason why America is in the throes of an obesity epidemic, abetted by the aggressive marketing of all things edible. More esoteric-sounding reasons for this epidemic -- such as fat-favoring microbes in your body or hormone-laden foods -- shouldn’t even be part of the discussion, because how much we consume largely explains why we’ve put on ...

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