4293345633_d5e13e2927_o Cynicism appears to have replaced idealism as America’s defining characteristic.  So many of us just don’t trust the government, scientists, the clergy, journalists, business CEOs, labor unions, lawyers, or just about anyone for that matter, to say or do the right thing. Two years ago, the National Journal reported that as a consequence of the Great Recession, “Americans are losing faith in ...

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Remember when we were trying not to panic about Ebola? Seems like that was only yesterday. Oh wait -- it was only yesterday. But it already seems as if we are trying to remember that we were trying not to panic. I listened to my favorite news radio station out of New York City while driving to the office recently. They address all of the major news stories in the first eight ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Ebola: Signs of Progress, CDC says. The response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia is showing encouraging signs of progress, with downward trends in new cases especially in two regions of the country that had been hot spots.
  2. Millions Of Medicaid Kids Missing Regular Checkups. Millions of low-income children ...

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As we learn of new suspected cases of Ebola infection in the United States, causing worries among the population and renewed efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the epidemic. A student in the postgraduate course in research ethics that I teach at Albert Einstein College of Medicine recently asked whether we could discuss the Ebola epidemic in class. Because I had prepared the syllabus for the course months ago, I hadn’t ...

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I was recently injecting anesthetic into a boil for incision and drainage. The abscess swelled and returned an arcing spray of lidocaine laden with blood and pus, soaking the thigh of my cotton scrub pants. A cheap plastic gown would have protected me -- I usually wear one. But I couldn’t find one and had other tasks waiting. My mind went to Ebola and exposed nurse necks. What if this were ...

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“If I get a call about smallpox from the ER I’m not coming in,” an infectious disease doctor said to a colleague in the hospital where I was working.  It was the early days of 9/11 and anything seemed possible. “Are you all OK with providing care for Ebola patients?” our section chief asked.  Our ICU is the designated unit to care for all adult patients suspected of having Ebola in our system.  We ...

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According to IBM, there are 2.5 exabytes of data created every day, and most of it is unstructured. Imagine receiving all the words ever spoken by human beings on your doorstep each and every day. Now, imagine consuming that, making sense of it and trying to keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of data creation each day. As a physician, I experienced firsthand the angst that comes with trying to keep up ...

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The largest challenge facing the infectious disease community in the 21st century is the increasing number of resistant organisms found in various disease processes.  The reason is much more complex than the over prescribing of oral antibiotics for sore throats.  This is not to say that good antibiotic stewardship is an important concept because it is but it must be recognized that the medical challenges of the human population today is ...

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The tragic case of Thomas Eric Duncan represents a failure of communication with consequences that extend well beyond the current Ebola crisis. When Mr. Duncan first presented at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, his recent travel history from Liberia was reportedly ascertained and entered into the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system. Somehow, this critical piece of information never registered with the physician who diagnosed Mr. Duncan, and in ...

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Whatever our individual belief systems, here is a cause that can unite us. Whatever our party affiliations, this can cause us to "reach across the aisle." Whether or not we are religious, or believe in this life only or the next, this is a cause we can agree on, here and now. Conservative or liberal, right or left, theist or atheist, libertarian or green, male, female, gay, straight, we must ...

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