February is American Heart Month, and the Go Red For Women campaign reminds us to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease in women all month long.  Today in the U.S., nearly 44 million women are living with heart disease.  Even though heart disease is quite prevalent in women, only 1 in 5 women are aware that they are at risk for developing a cardiovascular problem in their lifetime. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 ...

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With the Supreme Court in the balance, every aspect of the unexpected demise of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has received intense scrutiny, from the cause of his recent death to the politically charged choice of his successor. An autopsy was not performed on the 79-year-old jurist, who was found dead in his room in a West Texas hunting resort, and that too has become a lightning rod for ...

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I was a bit nervous as I had never done this before.  I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do once I saw him.  The only certainty in my mind at that time was that this was not the Norman Rockwell image of the physician-patient encounter that I proudly displayed in my office.  He was my age, 40 years old, living on Nantucket with his wife and two ...

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When I started my first internship, back in Sweden in 1979, I worked under a fifty-something cardiologist who spoke slowly with a southern drawl -- yes, there is a southern drawl there, too, slightly reminiscent of Danish, spoken not far from where my supervisor grew up. He epitomized the old school of cardiology, before it became a procedural specialty. He diagnosed heart murmurs by auscultation with his stethoscope, and he even ...

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Most physicians will be thrust into the role of patient or caregiver at some point during their careers. Unfortunately, it’s not until this occurs that many become fully aware of the finer points of excellent care and communication. Take, for example, the simple act of reporting test results to a patient. We do this every day, but may not realize that how we frame the information is as important as ...

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In honor of Black History Month, the folks at Diverse Medicine created a new documentary series, Black Men in White Coats.  In this installment, we meet Dr. Curtiss Moore, a cardiology fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 59-year-old woman is evaluated for continued substernal chest pain. She presented with exertional chest pain 6 months ago that occurred with minimal ambulation. She was evaluated with a stress nuclear medicine myocardial perfusion study that showed no ST-segment changes but a small area of inducible ischemia in the lateral area of ...

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A few months ago, I came across a young man who had come in with increasing fatigue and shortness of breath that was limiting his quality of life. As a barber, he looked forward to cutting hair and talking with his clients about the events that were happening in their lives. On the surface, it appeared that things were going well for him overall, but people were not aware that ...

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When I was a new attending, an older man came to see me as a new patient.  He had not seen a doctor in over thirty years and was experiencing worsening chest pain that first occurred when he walked upstairs but had progressed to pain at rest.  An electrocardiogram in the office showed signs of ischemia, and I advised him that I wanted to call an ambulance to take him ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 48-year-old man with newly diagnosed hypertension is referred for an echocardiogram to assess findings of left ventricular hypertrophy noted on the electrocardiogram. He is asymptomatic, and his medical history is unremarkable other than hypertension. His only medication is chlorthalidone. On physical examination, blood pressure is 128/70 mm Hg, pulse rate is 60/min ...

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