Early in our careers, few of us imagined a vaccine could one day prevent cancer. Now there is a vaccine that keeps the risk of developing six Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers at bay, but adoption of it has been slow and surprising low. Although it’s been available for more than a decade, as of 2014 only 40 percent of girls had received the full three doses of the vaccine, ...

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I am a new mom to a beautiful 8-month-old girl, and I am breastfeeding. I am also a doctor at a large, well-known academic institution. The hospital where I work delivers several thousand babies a year, and highly encourages their new moms to breastfeed. They offer a postpartum consultation with a lactation consultant, keep the baby in the mom's room 24/7 while in the hospital, and provide several other pro-breastfeeding ...

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A fairly recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics is both intriguing and sobering. It is intriguing because it lays bare something we don’t talk much about or teach our students. It is sobering because it describes the potential harm that can come from it — harm I have personally witnessed. The issue is overdiagnosis, and it’s related to our relentless quest to explain everything. "Overdiagnosis" is the term the authors ...

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We do many things in medicine to patients that are either not helpful or have the potential to harm. If you take the long view of medical history, this should not be surprising. After all less than a century ago, physicians were still giving toxic mercury compounds to people in the form of calomel. And a century before that, physicians were bleeding people because they thought that was a good ...

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A concussion is a brain injury. A mild one, yes, but one that can lead to longstanding symptoms. What you do after a concussion, immediately and in the weeks that follow, can make a big difference in how your child recovers. Though it’s a mild injury -- there’s nothing to see on a CT, X-ray, or MRI -- the effects of a concussion can be significant and uncomfortable for a child ...

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William Osler once said, “Listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.”  Anybody who practices medicine knows that is easier said than done. The ability to take a skillful history takes years to develop. There are many nuances in a medical history and physicians must know the right questions to ask. The next step is to avoid asking the wrong questions and the wrong wording of the right ...

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One evening this past week, after my wife finished feeding our 5-week-old daughter, I took over baby duty. I sat her up on my lap and gave her a few thumps on the back. Not hard enough to hurt, obviously, but just to make her burp. She didn’t burp. So I gave her a couple more gentle-but-firm whacks, still without a result. And then I remembered the phone call I got a ...

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On the eve of President Trump signing an executive order on immigration, I lay here awake, silently screaming for the Syrian children. What will become of the hundreds of children I met recently at the Zaatari camp in Jordan whose hopeful eyes searched my own for answers? Unable to return home because of a war that has stretched more than 5 years, where will they go if we turn our ...

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Should school boards discontinue support for high school football? That’s the provocative title of a recent article in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The background to this controversy is the increasing recognition that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a severe and debilitating brain problem first identified in former professional football players, can have its beginnings in college or even high school football ...

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Bringing a child into the world is nothing short of a miracle. It’s not comforting to think about, but even if you do everything “right,” there can always be circumstances beyond your control. Whether you have been told to plan for a stay in the NICU or it’s unexpected, here are survival tips from nurses for orienting yourself to the NICU. 1. Try to see your baby as soon as possible. It ...

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