All patients should be treated with professionalism and respect.  We all want our patients leaving our care happy, healthy and satisfied, if at all possible.  However, sometimes patients don’t leave an emergency department very happy or satisfied.  Sometimes the doctor could have prevented it, but many if not most times, such dissatisfaction has little if anything to do with what the treating physician did, or didn’t, do. The reasons for a ...

Read more...

Consider this scenario. Your clunker is on its last legs, and it’s time to get a new car. Most likely, you’ll search product reviews to help you decide which make and model is best -- best according to people who’ve driven them and kicked the tires a bit, not based on company accolades. You’ll want to know what drivers think. Amazon.com does the same thing for books (and every other ...

Read more...

Boxer at Rest: A physicians interpretation Recently, an ancient sculptural masterpiece has been on temporary display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman halls. On loan from Rome’s Museo Nazionale Romano, “Boxer at Rest” depicts a battered pugilist immediately after a fight. His face bears evidence of broken nasal bones, swelling and hematoma under his right eye, and multiple lacerations and abrasions to his nose, cheeks, and forehead. One secret ...

Read more...

I was saddened earlier this week to read, first on Facebook as posted by his son Daniel, that Michael Palmer had passed away after suffering a heart attack and then a stroke, while going through customs in New York on the way back from a trip to Africa.  Many of you know Dr. Palmer as the bestselling author who wrote medical mystery thrillers like “The Sisterhood” in 1982, ...

Read more...

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, ...

Read more...

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 ...

    Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...