It was a cold winter day in 2009 when my life changed forever, however, it would be months before I figured that out.  On that fateful day, a drug-addicted surgical scrub tech assigned to my operating room stole syringes of fentanyl, a potent intravenous narcotic, from my anesthesia cart.  According to news reports, investigative summaries, and the scrub tech’s confession, once she took the syringes, she used them on herself. It’s ...

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It’s National Primary Care Week, an annual celebration when members of the primary care community come together across the country in events largely organized by trainees to celebrate, promote and advance primary care. So what makes this year different? Put simply, the momentum for advancing primary care in the US has never been stronger. Those of us who believe that a robust foundation of primary care is essential to the health ...

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For some of my patients, going to college is especially nerve-wracking because it will be their first time living away from home with a chronic disease. I deal with teen health daily. I care for a lot of adolescents and young adults with chronic disease, everything from asthma to diabetes to congenital heart defects. As my patients grow up they have a lot to deal with because of medical issues: taking ...

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Why Lance Armstrong will always be a heroLike many of you, I have been reading the various news stories about Lance Armstrong, especially one recently in a major newspaper, which went into great detail about the allegations surrounding Lance Armstrong’s cycling career. But what I didn’t see in all of that coverage was much mention of the other side of the man, the side that I ...

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When I walked into the exam room, the mom was almost crying because her son’s fever wouldn’t go down. I already knew that this was a simple virus – the kind that gives a high fever for a few days and then a rash. This mom was from Brazil, however, where this sort of infection is barely seen. In Brazil, a high fever that won’t go down equals a good chance ...

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It was Trevor's first weekend to relax since moving to Seattle.  He was out in a park walking Bailey, his year old lab, when his pager unexpectedly beeped.  He called in to the operating room office, where the frantic head nurse told him he had to come in.  The scheduled anesthesiologist was very ill with the flu, and no one else was available.  He had to come in for at ...

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My mother is stubborn. She occasionally approaches me for medical advice and, since I owe her more than words can adequately describe, I am happy to do what I can. Unfortunately, she is a stoic. She is also no fan of pharmaceuticals. She believes in baptism by fire, that pain purifies the soul, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So while she sometimes wants my medical advice, she ...

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1. You will have to move a lot. I went to medical school in Cleveland and did my pathology residency in San Francisco at UCSF.  I was on the medical school faculty at UCSF, Iowa, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, and Michigan State. Since leaving academic medicine, I have worked at a bio-tech start up in Cambridge, an educational and research institute in Grand Rapids, a $2 billion integrated delivery system ...

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Have you ever worried about how you’re going to get healthy these days? Has your doctor recommended diet and exercise? Well, if you’re like millions who are struggling to find health, you’re going to need a lot more than just diet and exercise. You’re going to have to fight like crazy against a mind-set of disease that’s paradoxically disguised as health care. America’s healthcare system – health insurance companies, government health ...

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The popularity of plastic surgery today is no secret; 13.8 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2011 alone. Unfortunately, however, an increasing (and unsettling) number of people in the United States are undergoing procedures conducted by unlicensed, so-called “underground,” individuals these days—individuals who have no business billing themselves as plastic surgeons. The primary factor leading people to the doors of these backdoor doctors is, of course, cost. There’s no way around ...

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