Winter break back at home with my family may as well have counted as a preceptorship session or two. Ear infections, the common cold, the flu -- if you can name it, there's a good chance someone in my family caught it. We have never collectively consumed as much cough syrup, pain relievers, and antibiotics as we did over these last two weeks. Seriously, the quantity was awe-inspiring. Even though each ...

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Much of the discussion surrounding the presidential election this year focused on fake news.  There were countless stories in newspapers and on television news shows about these obviously biased and fictitious posts that might have affected the outcome of the election. I could not help thinking during this campaign season that if you think fake news is bad for politics, you should try being a physician. As physicians, we are on the ...

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Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures bill with an overwhelming vote of 95-4 and was approved by President Obama. Yet, the controversy continues. Some people worry that this act is destroying our scientific process and sacrificing patient safety issues. Others proclaim that this is a win for the big pharmaceutical companies, who are already winning by a landslide. And then, there are the voices shouting out with ...

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Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures, known simply as the Cures Act. This is thought to be the largest and most powerful health care-related law since the passage of the Affordable Care Act during Obama’s first term. The Cures Act provides for a large increase in funds for boosting biomedical research and also takes aim at speeding up drug and medical device approvals through the ...

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The blood thinner heparin is not a 21st-century cure. It was discovered 100 years ago by a scientist looking for something else entirely, and is one of the oldest drugs still in regular use. After my daughter was diagnosed with a potentially fatal blood disorder, heparin played a key daily role in her treatment. We’d wash our hands meticulously, lay out gloves and antiseptic wipes, saline flushes for the access lines ...

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It is truly unfortunate that Daniel Neides used his platform, and the reputation of a world-renowned institution like the Cleveland Clinic, to propagate fake health news. In this case, he fails to dispel the false connection between vaccines and autism: "Make 2017 the year to avoid toxins (good luck) and master your domain: Words on Wellness." As director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, Dr. Neides ...

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I spent one year working full-time as a pharmacy technician at a high-volume community pharmacy prior to entering medical school. Besides learning the intricacies of billing and the dispensing process, I was granted personal access into a world nearly all patients, but few providers are aware of.  At the time my job was just that: a job. There were fun perks like counting pills in multiples of five and visualizing ...

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When you hear people say, “I don’t want to vaccinate my kid. Why would I give them autism?” It’s hard not to get upset and meet your patients with some judgment. John and Carly were middle-class Americans that had a lot of misconceptions about vaccines — mostly from the media. They loved their two-year-old daughter Leslie and wanted the best for her. They didn’t understand that we wanted the same thing. ...

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As I sit behind a computer in my office today at the physician’s workstation, I am baffled at the steady flow of pharmaceutical representatives that flow into our office on a daily basis. Each rep comes in with a fancy glossy print detailing the data concerning their particular drug. My office is busy; patients are coming in and out, and medical assistants are busy checking vitals and verifying medications (and of ...

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The patient’s heart was beating dangerously slowly, and his EKG showed third-degree AV block: His heart’s electrical system had completely shut down in the middle.  If this were TV, the doctors would have started shouting “Epi!” and “Get the pads!” immediately.  This was real life, though, so his team decided to briefly sit down with him to try to determine why his heartbeat had slowed so dramatically.  Was it something ...

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