The other day, I happened across a YouTube video called the “Try Not to Look Away Challenge.” There were some obvious video clips, such as a person vomiting, a spider, and a spooky video game. What struck me was a clip from a movie in which a middle-aged woman forgets where the restroom in her house is located. After letting her husband know that she was headed to the restroom, ...

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How do you respond when patients with a good prognosis want to delay chemotherapy to try an anticancer diet for a few months or visit an unregulated clinic for unproven therapies? I’m asking because of an alarming finding of ASCO’s 2018 National Cancer Opinion Survey: “Nearly 4 in 10 Americans believe cancer can be cured solely through alternative therapies ...” Clearly, we have a problem in today’s discussion about cancer treatments. ...

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An excerpt from My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful. Managing chronic illness can leave a person susceptible to emotional and mental health issues that can further exacerbate their physical symptoms.  Post-traumatic stress disorder can often accompany managing a physical illness, and often is the illness that ...

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An excerpt from What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying. People who are diagnosed with a fatal disease sometimes do more than cope. They grow. They repair or strengthen relationships. They find a deeper spirituality or meaning in the life that remains ...

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An excerpt from the Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child. If you look it up in the dictionary, you might see the term resilience explained as having the ability to bounce or spring back into shape after being compressed, stretched or bent. Trees are resilient to wind and ...

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After finishing the pitch for my book at a recent Harvard Writers’ Conference in Boston, I felt relieved and encouraged by the judges’ comments. As I waited for my turn at the podium, I glanced above my notes over the faces of 300 of my fellow attendees who had accomplished so much in their respective fields of medicine, nursing, and counseling. The pitches made by these would-be authors revealed an amazing ...

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As I age, the probability of acquiring yet another health condition seems to, unfortunately, increase. There's always one test or another that is on my to-do list, be it bloodwork, X-ray, MRI, or maybe a CT scan thrown in for good measure. I comply usually with a sense that it is for the benefit of my health, i.e., to enable my doctors to determine the best mode of treatment for ...

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I am a mid-40s female rheumatologist. Fortunately, I consider myself to be fairly healthy; my diet and weight are OK, I run 30 to 35 miles per week, and my only medication is a low-estrogen oral contraceptive that I have been self-prescribing for years. Work and life are busy, and my health maintenance could be better. I have been getting regular mammograms since age 40 (some self-prescribed), maybe I see ...

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I recently graduated from residency and fellowship. The last week in-house was a second adolescence. My moods have been up and down. I’d giddily return a parking pass, then surrender IT access in tears. No one could feel this — my — moment as deeply, specifically, or correctly as I could. What word is there for that? There’s song. Influenced by the new film Yesterday, I melodramatically equated my break-up with ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old woman undergoes follow-up evaluation in the office. She was evaluated in the emergency department 3 nights ago with fever and flank pain following 2 days of dysuria. A urine culture and two sets of blood cultures were collected. She was given intravenous ceftriaxone and discharged with a 7-day ...

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