Top stories in health and medicine, June 16, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. The Hobby Lobby Case: The Stakes for Birth Control. One of the most watched issues before the Supreme Court this term may turn on the question of religious freedom. But it will also likely determine how women will be able to access a key provision of the Affordable Care Act -- ...

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After decades of bravely keeping them at bay, health care is beginning to be overwhelmed by “fast, cheap, and out of control” new technologies, from BYOD (“bring your own device”) tablets in the operating room, to apps and dongles that turn your smart phone into a Star Trek tricorder, to 3-D printed skulls. (No, not a souvenir of the Grateful Dead, a Harley decoration or a pastry for the Mexican Dia de ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 10, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. AMA Mulls Gun Violence CME. As the AMA's House of Delegates was meeting in a downtown hotel here, 29 local residents were shot and four killed within a 10-mile radius.
  2. Most Breast Ca Patients Fall Short on Exercise. Two-thirds of breast cancer patients reported lower levels of physical activity ...

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Cardiovascular disease still remains the number one cause of death in women.  Heart attacks account for 24% and strokes 7% of all deaths.  Among minority women, these numbers are even higher.  The challenge remains that doctors traditionally have not identified women at high risk of stroke.  Internists and cardiologists do not routinely think of stroke prevention in women, and neurologists have been busy treating stroke victims and have had no ...

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“I don’t like taking medicines.” All physicians hear some form of this opinion very frequently. Even more frequently, patients don’t state this view outright but rely on it to completely subvert their doctor’s plans. When I was new to practice such an utterance would shock and confuse me. “I don’t want to take any medicines,” a patient would declare. “That’s fine,” I would reassure my interlocutor. “It’s a free country. No one is going ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 5, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Higher Breast Ca Risk for Childhood Cancer Survivors. Women who survived a childhood cancer were at elevated risk for breast cancer even if they were never exposed to chest radiation during their initial therapy.
  2. Off-Pump CABG: No Lasting Renal Benefit. Performing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) without cardiopulmonary bypass ...

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When I first learned to take care of patients in the hospital, as a third-year medical student, we used a mnemonic to help us remember what to order when a patient was first admitted. Patients would come in to the hospital from a doctor's office or from the emergency room and the nurses needed a set of orders to know what to do for the patient. The mnemonic we used ...

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I recently got back from a brief trip to Florida. I went down there to celebrate my mother’s 85th birthday. As you might expect, her social circle has shrunk in recent years, but she did get a number of cards and calls from friends and family members. The cards were on display in her kitchen, and a few calls came in while I was there. One in particular pointed out some ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 3, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. A 'Home Run' in Prostate Cancer Tx. Overall survival in metastatic prostate cancer improved by more than a year when patients received docetaxel at the start of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to trial results that oncologists here called "unprecedented."
  2. Early Palliation in Ca Patients Eases Caregiver Burden. Early ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Unique Solutions for MS Gait Problems. With impaired walking ability generally considered the number one functional problem for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, new approaches to assistive devices were described here, ranging from the mechanical to the furry.
  2. OK to Stop Statins in Terminal Illness. Stopping statins for terminal patients doesn't hasten death and may improve their quality of life.

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