“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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The health care industrial complex is stronger than ever Walking to the 2014 Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Scientific Sessions recently, I couldn't help but marvel how beautiful San Francisco was. The weather was perfect, the streets bustling, the quaint shops and eateries doing brisk business in a very hip metropolitan city with a distinctive West Coast vibe. As I walked up to the Moscone Conference Center, I was struck by ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Primary Pain Points: 'Messing With the Computer'. "Messing with the computer takes the physician's head out of the exam," Jordan Grumet, MD, a primary care clinician in a small practice in Northbrook, Ill., told MedPage Today in response to the question "What frustrates you?"
  2. No Link Seen Between Vaccines and Lupus. Recent vaccination was not associated with an increased risk for the development ...

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It’s a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., leading to hundreds of thousands of preventable heart attacks, strokes and failed kidneys each year. About one-third of all American adults have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and it costs the nation about $50 billion annually to treat it and its complications. “It” is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. It is a symptomless, silent killer. There are ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Medicaid Directors Question Need for $1,000 HCV Pill. The evidence base for one of the star hepatitis C drugs is poor and the guidelines for its use are flawed, according to a report prepared for the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
  2. YouTube Not Ideal for BP. Patients with hypertension might want to be careful about trusting health information from the Internet, ...

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