Many of our patients are besieged with unsolicited Internet advertisements offering them unbelievable solutions and cures to most of mankind’s medical maladies.  Patients come to and ask for advice about these promises to magically restore their health. Since I receive so many requests from patients to evaluate these offerings, I have put together five questions that patients should ask themselves before proceeding to buy from websites offering outlandish claims, including restoring ...

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I see nearly 100 patients a week.  Of these, easily 35% are overweight and 15-20% are obese with a BMI greater than 30.  I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, which along with Mississippi has the highest rate of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and other diseases commonly associated with obesity.  There are many explanations for the obesity academic in America but certainly poor nutrition and lack of exercise are at the ...

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As a medical student I was in awe when a professor looked at a patient’s hands or nail beds and described their medical condition without taking a history.  I was also enthralled by a TED talk by the best selling author, Abraham Verghese, where he described a lesson that Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, learned as a medical student at the medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland from the famous physician ...

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Doctors: 10 lessons from the humble bumblebee Practice medicine like the bumblebee. We also know the basics of the beehive containing a single queen bee, hundreds of worker bees, and several hundred to several thousand drones with their only function is to mate with the queen (and after they perform this function they die!), each with their own degree of specialization and place in the honeybee society. However, there is ...

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Americans are notoriously generous and good tippers.  However, there are some servers who get “over the top” gratuities.  How do they do it? 1. They make a concerted effort to reach out and touch someone.  How many physicians enter a room and never touch a patient?  They are touching more keyboards than hearts.  I have learned from complementary healthcare providers that there’s a medicinal value of touching the patient.  Every chiropractor, ...

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Several years ago I wrote an article for physicians on the topic of balance, and one of the suggestions was to place family first.  There are two stories that I have learned since the publication of that article that I would like to pass along. Balance in a doctor’s life is best achieved if there is balance between family and work.  One of the best suggestions is to place family ...

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As a little boy I had a dream that I have always wanted to join the circus.  I thought for sure I could be a clown or even the ringmaster.  At age 34 a friend who did public relations for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus gave me the opportunity to make my dream come true and I was invited to be a clown in the circus. The show was to ...

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Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non–skin cancer among U.S. men. It can be life-threatening, and many men have cancer without knowing it. For those reasons, doctors sometimes look for prostate cancer in healthy men (screen for cancer) by measuring blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein secreted by the prostate gland. High PSA levels can be caused by cancer and may lead a doctor to take a ...

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There is a strong relationship comparing sports to the military, business, and also to medicine.  Young athletes, in their late teens and early 20s, are mostly brawn and use their strength and speed to achieve success early in their professional careers.  As the athlete matures in their late 20s and early 30s, the physiologic processes slowly decrease and efficiency and maturity and other cerebral skills emerge. There are 2 rainbow arcs ...

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In my medical practice, I've used note writing extensively, to communicate with patients, with families of patients and with referring physicians.  And yet, when I received a note, which is not related to patient care, it is always a little surprising and uplifting, and emphasizes why note writing (and note receiving) is so appealing. In this Internet age and the age of information, we are bombarded with electronically conveyed messages, television ...

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