I have a new favorite doctor show, “The Knick” on Cinemax, airing on Friday nights.   The show stars Clive Owen as the charismatic cocaine-addicted chief of surgery Dr. John Thackery at a fictitious New York City hospital called The Kickerbocker at a time when surgery was one foot out of the barbershop.  The tagline is, as they say, priceless: “Modern medicine had to start somewhere.” On the third episode, last Friday ...

Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, September 2, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Reflections on Effect of Stand Up To Cancer. The week before Stand Up To Cancer's (SU2C) fourth-biennial live 1-hour commercial-free prime time roadblock telecast on Sept. 5, Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, shared his views about the efficacy of this mass media approach to educating the public about cancer and ...

    Read more...

The electronic medical record that my office uses features a clinical protocol button that we are encouraged to click during patient visits to remind us about potentially indicated preventive services, such as obesity and tobacco counseling and cancer screenings. I once tried it out while seeing a 90-year-old with four chronic health problems. The computer suggested breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer screenings: three totally inappropriate tests for the ...

Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, September 1, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. ZMapp Ebola Drug Effective in Macaques. A controversial cocktail of Ebola antibodies was safe and highly effective in saving the lives of rhesus macaques, even as the animals neared death from the virus.
  2. Depression in Cancer Common But Untreated. The vast majority of clinically depressed cancer patients receive no ...

    Read more...

Oh yeah.  Hot dang.  All right.  Groovy. Boom goes the dynamite. I had a very great day yesterday. I saw three patients who had recent diagnoses of cancer.  Yeah, those two statements seem to contradict.  They don't.  Each person I saw gave me a clear view of how the practice I've been building over the past 18 months is making a difference.  A big, big difference. The first patient was a guy who is ...

Read more...

Delivering bad news: Dont pass the buckWhen I was a fellow, part of our training involved doing consults for patients, most of whom had just learned they had cancer or recurrence of disease. These consults were never easy, but the importance of sitting with someone who had just learned of their diagnosis was an integral part of learning the medicine and art of oncology. Even after many ...

Read more...

Last week a patient said to me, "You live your whole life thinking you're going to have time to enjoy life later on, and then this happens." Then he started to cry because we had just reviewed his recent CT scans and some of his lab results and he had a new diagnosis of a type and stage of cancer that meant he likely had about eight months to live. ...

Read more...

A baby’s smile reflects the purity in their heart.   An infant’s world is a marvelous place of possibility and love.   Children see themselves as special, capable, even omnipotent.   Time teaches failure, loss, and mortality.  How much we lose of that original perfection, that first excitement, that natural confidence, determines how we face the challenges and tragedies of life; whether we will be happy.  It may even determine how we cope ...

Read more...

Today’s article highlights the lingering problem of physicians buying and selling prescription medications to patients -- at a profit. The medical profession has struggled with this controversial practice  for more than 150 years. In George Eliot’s 1874 novel “Middlemarch,” an idealistic young doctor named Tertius Lydgate questions the ethics of fellow physicians who make handsome profits prescribing and dispensing their own remedies to the townsfolk. His medical colleagues shun him for it. Around ...

Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, August 15, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. NSAIDs May Slow Breast Ca in Obese Women. Obese women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer had a 52% lower risk of recurrence when they regularly used aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  2. Mix of Kudos and Caution for Fecal DNA Test. Approval and imminent Medicare coverage of a ...

    Read more...

Most Popular