medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Trends in Teen, Young Adult Suicide Differ by Gender. Patterns of suicides among adolescents and young adults changed dramatically from 1994 to 2012, with major gender differences in these 19-year trends.
  2. Early Hot Flashes May Predict Heart Disease. Early-onset and frequent hot flashes and night sweats in women were ...

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There are many good reasons for Congress to enact President Obama’s proposal to raise the Federal minimum wage to $9 per hour.  Many of these reasons, from economic stimulus to possible reductions in gaping income inequality to much-needed financial relief for working families, have been extensively discussed in the public sphere.  However, one important benefit of increasing wages has not received enough attention: improving mental health. Numerous studies show that poverty ...

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When we perceive any object of a familiar kind, much of what appears subjectively to be immediately given is really derived from past experience. - Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind I’ve learned a few more things about Stephen Pasceri, the man who murdered a cardiovascular surgeon in Boston recently.  He had money troubles involving credit card debt.   He declared bankruptcy at one point.  He tried to get John Kerry, the senator, ...

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Michael Davidson’s death was the result of a senseless act, and it has shaken our community to its core. We physicians are part of a profession that prides itself on healing and restoring lives, and it is difficult to accept an untimely and unjust death in any context. It is all the more incomprehensible that such tragic circumstances could exist as to result in such an irrevocable end to one ...

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As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as a forest: beautiful, scenic and picturesque from afar but ...

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Doctors prescribe way too many medicines for patients who don't really need them. A lot of the pressure comes from intense drug company marketing. Some comes from patients who aren't happy leaving the office without a pill. And doctors have too little time with each patient to explain non-pill solutions to problems. Wild prescribing is not new. For thousands of years, doctors have given patients useless (and often quite harmful) ...

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This past week I spoke with a patient who noted that since his wife’s death six months ago, he had lost 40 pounds, slept a maximum of four hours nightly, and stopped enjoying activities he used to take pleasure in. He found it difficult to concentrate at work, and getting out of bed each morning was described as his greatest struggle. While relaying this story, the man was on the ...

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There’s a great song by Don McLean called "American Pie.” The chorus talks about “the day the music died.” I thought about that song in my hospital a couple years ago, when the music died there, too. I’ve noticed that our physician burnout and nurse frustration have increased in the years since the music died. Could it be a coincidence? McLean’s song was about a plane crash in 1959 that claimed ...

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DeathByDespair-640x385 A friend just got back from a big medical conference at a fancy hotel. The cleaning ladies actually pulled her aside to ask, “What’s with all the grim faces and sad eyes?” Do doctors realize medical conferences look like funerals? That’s what the cleaning ladies think. I bet they’re not the only ones. Why do medical conferences feel like funerals? Maybe because doctors ...

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It has been fourteen years since I graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. I have journeyed far from the field of medicine, and yet my heart keeps hearing the call to return to my physician communities and share what I have learned. I simply cannot ignore my sense that the pain within our health care system - now felt at every level, including patients, physicians, and payors -- ...

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