An excerpt from Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine. by Marcello Pennacchio, PhD Few plants have generated as much debate and controversy as cannabis (Cannabis sativa). Throughout the ages, it has been labelled both a dangerous drug and potent medicine. Where the former is concerned, law-enforcement agents and governments spend millions ...

Read more...

Doctors are now incentivized to convert antiquated paper charts to electronic medical records. Despite a few doctors who love their EMR, most readers here at KevinMD.com are skeptical, as the difficulties in transitioning, along with questionable benefits, have been well chronicled. Recently, the Washington ...

Read more...

Have you ever opened a prescription bottle to find the wrong pills inside? If so, you may have found it to be an expensive mistake. Whatever the reason for the error (and there are numerous possible causes), here is how to best handle the situation. Of course, it is always smart to confirm the medications, quantities and dosages at the pharmacy checkout.  A mistake recognized at the time of purchase can be easily ...

Read more...

by Sharolyn Rhees Medina, MD It’s no secret that healthcare’s inevitable move toward accountable care organizations (ACOs) has many physicians feeling a bit …nervous. Admittedly, most physicians are creatures of habit who fiercely defend their individual approach to patient care, focus on cures not cost, and dread the concept of "cookbook medicine." And under the ACO model, physicians ...

Read more...

Americans typically rely on elected officials to uphold the will of the people. Now physicians—traditionally confined to exam rooms—are taking direct action to fulfill community needs. In 2004 I decided to meet face to face with citizens in my hometown. I thought, "Why wait for legislation? I'm a board-certified physician. What's stopping me from serving the public?" So I led town hall meetings and invited ordinary citizens to create the clinic of ...

Read more...

(Editor's note: reader discretion advised) Recently I was involved in a discussion with a guy that was explaining how we should understand criminals. The emphasis was on farm murders but we touched on murderers in general, rapists and child molesters. My point of view was that I did not understand them and felt that he was justifying their actions. In the end I was informed that I was smug. Apparently that ...

Read more...

One of the ugliest incidents in my career occurred during my faculty development fellowship year, when I spent two days each week seeing patients at several federally qualified community health centers in inner city Washington, DC. Midway through the year, I was transferred from a health center that served an African-American population to one serving a mostly Spanish-speaking clientele. Nearly all of the permanent Read more...

Recently, I attended a scientific symposium on addictions. One of the books I picked up at that conference, and read on my flight to Montreal, is A. J. Adams’ Undrunk: A Skeptic’s Guide to AA. While this book is a very quick and highly readable introduction to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), about which I knew very little, today’s post is not about this book. The definition reads as follows:

Alcoholism is a primary chronic disease ...

Read more...

What makes a great surgeon or doctor? Or for that matter, a great violinist? As many psychologists suggest (regardless of whether one is talking about sports, music, painting, astronomy, physics, etc), it entails:

  • Focused practice (at least 10,000 hours according to many)
  • Good coaching
  • Great role model to provide motivation
Does this apply to surgeons or doctors? I believe it absolutely does. Any person who puts in enough ...

Read more...

by Dan Zenka As a patient, I feel for anyone who is given a diagnosis of prostate cancer.  Hearing the "Big-C" word can be upsetting enough. But the complexity of the disease—diagnosing it, trying to characterize it and selecting the appropriate treatment—can feel like insult upon injury.  We need to talk about prostate cancers. With 24 known sub-types of this cancer—from ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Join 141,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 141,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image