In March of last year I began and quickly ended a cycling career. In my first race of the weekend I placed second, and in a moment of hubris felt emboldened to reach for more. In the second race, the very next day, I signed up for a higher category. The race was tougher, and I got stuck behind the pack, which slowed immensely around turns. In an effort to advance, ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Statins Get High Marks in New Cardiac Prevention Guidelines. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) released four new guidelines dealing with the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by better assessing risk and by managing cholesterol, lifestyle, and weight.
  2. Mutation Linked to Resistance in Breast Cancer. A mutation on the estrogen receptor altered tamoxifen bindings and conferred ...

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My daughter loves her career as a probation officer. She is very good at what she does, and finds the work both challenging and rewarding. Yet her client case load includes some of the most unsavory of individuals, found guilty by the courts of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault or worse, many of them  living with added complexities like addictions or mental health issues. She’s been insulted and screamed at by ...

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Sometimes it’s difficult to practice what I preach. But I try. A couple of weeks ago, I spent the evening in the emergency room with our youngest son (don’t worry – he’s fine). I hate going to the ER, but every once in a while circumstances necessitate it. I called doctor friends in the relevant specialty, as well as our son’s pediatrician, to confirm the need for the trip. They said to ...

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Our health care system is broken and in dire need of reform. We all know the statistics: the U.S. spends $2.7 trillion on healthcare30% of which is waste in the form of unnecessary tests and unnecessary treatments. Conflicts of interest are rampant, with 94% of doctors reporting an affiliation with a pharmaceutical or device manufacturing company, and many more insidious influences including salaries being tied to productivity. Dozens of studies have shown ...

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Ask physicians if our messed up malpractice system causes them to practice “defensive medicine,” and most will probably say yes --  hard not to be paranoid with so many lawsuits affecting so many physicians. Some experts even contend that major reforms of our malpractice system could go a long way towards controlling spiraling healthcare costs. On the other hand, if you ask physicians whether they ever order unnecessary ...

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He looked ahead, seeing his feet on the hearth. There was smoke rising from one of the three logs, and he marveled at the small flicker of flame that stretched up and ignited the smoke that swirled above the log, dancing briefly somewhat joyously, then gone again, smoke returning. "You can't say you weren't warned," she said. He sat, reflecting on her words. So much years of work, so much effort, breadwinner, ...

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Sometimes I need to clear away the chaos and confusion of medicine, so I walk down the worn path in our backyard (also trod frequently by children, dogs, cats, and deer). Sitting at the end of the path is the shop, which the kids and I helped a friend build. We helped set the foundations and nail the floor; we raised walls and put in roof trusses. The shop sits in ...

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Former South Carolina Senator, and current Heritage Foundation president, Jim DeMint recently angered supporters of the Affordable Care Act by stating that uninsured patients will "get better healthcare just going to the emergency room," than they will receive through Obamacare. That’s a sweeping assertion.  However, the ACA supporters offended by Sen. DeMint need to understand the supreme irony that without America’s emergency departments and their dedicated personnel, the ACA will fall ...

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What ever happened to courage? Jim came through the cholecystectomy beautifully. In fact, he did so well that in no time he was back on the basketball court. Three weeks later he was in my office with a sore, swollen leg. He thought it was from twisting his ankle the day before. And indeed, it had all the appearances of a sports injury. I examined the extremity carefully, and decided to get ...

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