Shakespeare said that brevity is the soul of wit. I say brevity is the soul of a good note. As a resident back in the early 90s I would look at office notes written by older, near-retiring physicians. I’d read these one or two lines written on 3 1/2-inch note cards, turn to my fellow residents and ask, “How can someone possibly document this way?” Years later, I realize the genius, ...

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I get asked a lot about essential oils.  I answer very little. Why? The answer is simply that we don’t know much about how or if they work.  Except from stories about how they have helped certain people in certain situations, no one has done a large studies to truly evaluate their effectiveness or safety. The main explanation for why they are used is that people (parents) are simply looking for something that’s an alternative to ...

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As I look back, I remember teachers.  One taught to be compulsive and complete.  Another, calm and humor in the face of chaos.  Another believed in me and thereby taught me to believe in myself.  One made me write and rewrite.  Above all, there was a mentor who opened my heart and eyes to the need for compassion.  That special teacher was Dr. Black. Tuesday afternoon, 8:30am, July 12, 1966:  Dr. ...

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It’s coming up on that time of year again. Spring break is here, next comes school assemblies leading up to the end of the school year. It’s that inevitable time of year where I see news story after news story where children are rewarded Oprah-style for their awesome record of perfect attendance: “You get a bike and you get a bike and you get a bike.” Yeah! It’s pretty heart-warming and exciting, right? There ...

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Stephanie wrote in about a very common problem:

My daughter is 4 years old. She isn’t the tallest cat in town (she is about the 15th-25th percentile for height), and her BMI always ends up being in the high range (like over 85%). I worry about it. I am very health conscious for myself and my family. We live by all of the "rules." And yet. The family doctor doesn’t worry -- ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. B-Cell Targeting Has Benefit in Severe Lupus. Although an inhibitor of B-cell activating factor failed to meet the primary endpoint in a phase II trial for lupus, beneficial effects were seen in patients with severe disease at baseline.
  2. Birth Weight, Breastfeeding Flag CVD Risk. Low birth weight (2.8 kg or smaller) and being breastfed for less than 3 months may increase ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Benzos Equal for Kids With Status Epilepticus. A randomized trial showed diazepam to be as safe and effective as lorazepam in treating children with status epilepticus (SE) -- a result likely to surprise many in the field.
  2. Hypoglycemia at Night Tied to Arrhythmias. Nocturnal hypoglycemia was a major risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias in type 2 diabetes patients who were already ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Muscle Pain in the ED. Patients presenting to the emergency department with widespread muscle pain may have very low levels of vitamin D.
  2. Care of Cancer Survivors Often Falls Short. Most cancer patients enter survivorship with little direction from oncologists or primary care providers.
  3. MERS Cases Still Climbing. The number of cases of Middle East coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has topped ...

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Something is in the air right now. There’s a strange mix of vaccine-preventable illness sweeping the country (measles) and a strange bump in media coverage for celebrities and vocal opponents to tested and recommended vaccine schedules. Part of me thought we might be done with that but pageviews, clicks, and views all sell. My hope is the coincidence of coverage and outbreaks is just that, a coincidence. But as a mom, ...

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News broke recently that Daniel Murphy, second baseman for the New York Mets, recently took two days off for paternity leave, causing him to miss Major League Baseball’s opening day and the season’s second game to be with his wife and child. Mike Francesa, a popular New York sports radio personality, devoted about 20 minutes of his Wednesday broadcast on WFAN to a rant against paternity leave. According to him, a ...

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