Rachel had a fair question, and I really haven’t answered it yet:

My daughter and I were talking the other day and saying we would like to ask a doctor what his thoughts are about all these "natural" remedies that are available. Recently a friend made the remark, "I do everything I can to avoid a doctor." I lean more toward the medical system and the knowledge they have acquired over ...

Read more...

We are currently in the midst of the worst drug crisis in American history. A crisis that killed more than 33,000 people in 2015. Currently, an estimated 2.6 million people are addicted to opioids. As an internal medicine doctor, I deal with pain, addiction and opioid overdoses on a routine basis. The current epidemic that is sweeping across our nation, is deeply concerning. The U.S. Surgeon General recently spoke about the epidemic ...

Read more...

As an infectious diseases specialist married to a pediatrician, I am going to propose, in most unhumble fashion, that I have the ideal perspective to assess the worthiness of vaccines. So when Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a notorious anti-vaccine crusader, announced that he was under consideration to head a government commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, and is planning to step away from his environmental job to take that post, I ...

Read more...

I spent many sleepless nights in the months after my son’s autism diagnosis fretting whether I could have done something to prevent it. I recounted, in obsessive detail, the course of my pregnancy, the birth, and the two years of child-rearing that led to the moment when our pediatrician confirmed my fears -- and life as I’d known it tilted off its axis. In my spare waking hours, I pored ...

Read more...

The health care system has been devastated by the opioid epidemic. Addictive opiate medications have not been shown to benefit patients with chronic pain, yet they are the most prescribed pills in the United States. As a pain management physician, I have seen opiates, when in the wrong hands, destroy lives. As doctors and health care organizations scramble to treat more than 2 million Americans suffering from opioid addiction, drug companies ...

Read more...

He came in for his routine yearly visit with me, stable for the most part in that he was living with his chronic psychotic illness and moving through the world in a fairly normal, logical way most days. He was in his mid-twenties, neat and clean. He was attending to his personal hygiene and wearing rumpled but passable casual clothes. His hair was combed, but it had not been cut ...

Read more...

On June 30, 2015, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277 (SB277), which tightened requirements so that parents could no longer opt out of vaccinating their children if they were attending state licensed schools, daycares, and nurseries. Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, sponsored the legislation, which quickly became a nationwide litmus test on the debate over personal liberty versus public health in the aftermath of the large, ...

Read more...

Winter break back at home with my family may as well have counted as a preceptorship session or two. Ear infections, the common cold, the flu -- if you can name it, there's a good chance someone in my family caught it. We have never collectively consumed as much cough syrup, pain relievers, and antibiotics as we did over these last two weeks. Seriously, the quantity was awe-inspiring. Even though each ...

Read more...

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures bill with an overwhelming vote of 95-4 and was approved by President Obama. Yet, the controversy continues. Some people worry that this act is destroying our scientific process and sacrificing patient safety issues. Others proclaim that this is a win for the big pharmaceutical companies, who are already winning by a landslide. And then, there are the voices shouting out with ...

Read more...

A couple of weeks ago I started taking medicine to lower my blood pressure and another to reduce my cholesterol. This was a controversial move, given my deep distrust of the practice of medicine, when it is practiced on me, and especially regarding pharmaceuticals. I know that, as a woman of 55 with a very active and healthy lifestyle, no chronic diseases and, most importantly, as a nonsmoker, I am at ...

Read more...