When it comes to public-private partnerships between health organizations and the food industry, there are many shades of grey — but Cheetos orange isn’t one of them.  On September 9th of this year, however, the American Heart Association (AHA) Dallas Heart Walk saw Frito-Lay’s Chester the Cheetah riling up the crowd and helping to associate Frito-Lay and Cheetos with the emotions of the day —  joy, hope, charity, happiness, spirit, camaraderie, health, ...

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From the moment I first stepped into a restaurant kitchen, it felt like home; even though for the past eight years my real home has been an operating room, as I am a surgeon. Though many on the outside may not realize it, the chef and the surgeon have much in common. Both profess modest beginnings. Cooks were slaves and surgeons were barbers. Those who did the cutting were not even ...

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A patient I'll call Mildred came to her appointment and handed me a report from a medical screening fair at her church. She wanted to know what to do about it. The print-out said that she had a "mild" blockage in her carotid artery. They told her to discuss it with her primary care doctor (me). You may have seen the advertisements in your local paper, or even on your local ...

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Earlier this May, nurses around the country were acknowledged on a countrywide scale for their hard work and dedication to patient care during National Nurses Week.  Unfortunately, as with most national appreciation days that I cannot personally be recognized for, I failed to take much notice. Now that new doctors around the country, including myself, are in the process of growing into our roles as team-based healthcare providers, we are in ...

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We recently spoke with Nayan Kothari, MD, associate dean for education, chair and program director of the department of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine/Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He is 74 years old with long-standing spinal stenosis. He told us that his condition did not prevent him from biking and hiking regularly, and he was otherwise in good health. His medications included baby aspirin, atorvastatin ...

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Mommy wars aside, I think you’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard the enormous and real benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is awesome on so many levels. Health of baby and mom alike. Both physical and emotional. But, what if it doesn’t work? What if you’re a mom (like me) who couldn’t produce enough milk? Hardly any in my case. What if you’re an adoptive parent or your baby ...

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A very insightful editorial appeared recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The article gave several examples of overdiagnosis in medicine, but I thought the authors did a particularly good job explaining the false hope of CT scanning to detect pulmonary emboli. Emboli occur most often when a blood clot in the veins of the legs breaks off, travels through the right side of the heart, and gets stuck ...

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When I was a resident physician, I had the coolest classmates ever.  We worked together, laughed together, learned together and many of us stay in touch to this day.  Our practices have crossed the gamut of emergency medicine, with some in academics, some in private practice, some administrators, two involved in auto-racing medicine, one a bush-pilot/fishing guide and one an amateur mountaineer. But one of the things that united us, one ...

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The only religion that my patients see me practice is medicine When I was the director of undergraduate medical education for OB/GYN at a Midwestern university (a state school), it came to my attention that a medical student was refusing to have anything to do with contraception as it was against her religion. So I spoke with her. I explained that over the course of her career she would undoubtedly see people from ...

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There is a broad consensus among healthcare policy wonks that the 800 pound gorilla in the healthcare cost debate is that a big chunk of the medical care we provide — some say as much as a third — does not help. It may even make things worse for patients.  Aside from the ethical issue of doing things that don’t help, and may hurt, this useless and dangerous care is ...

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