Janelle had overdosed 32 times. Fentanyl coursed through her veins as she was given naloxone (Narcan) for the 32nd time in the ER, from the police, from a bystander. She could never get off of fentanyl. It had made her feel warm and numbed her from the trauma and horrors she had grown accustomed to. When she would wake up in the hospital, sore and discombobulated, she would beg for help. She ...

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An excerpt from With Mirth and Laughter: Finding Joy in Medicine After Cancer. I am sitting in the waiting area for the one year follow up appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Anne Blaes. Using the handy phone app, “How Long Ago,” I see it’s been eleven months, nine days, five ...

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Who remembers Jack Kevorkian, Doctor Death? He was found guilty in 1998 of second-degree murder. Still, it was because of his advocacy that the terminally ill patient's right to die by physician-assisted suicide was propelled into the public arena. And who can forget Brittany Maynard? It was her advocacy for physician-assisted suicide that reignited the debate on its legality in 2014 — but this ...

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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 is evaluated during a follow-up visit for primary membranous glomerulopathy. Diagnosis was made by kidney biopsy 4 months ago, and she was found to be positive for anti–phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) antibodies. Medications are furosemide, losartan, and simvastatin. Recent age- and sex-appropriate cancer screening tests were ...

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You’ve probably heard this one in one format or another: kid gets wisdom teeth yanked, dentist prescribes a handful of Vicodin, next thing you know, he’s on the street busking for change to pay the man for the big H. Meanwhile, the dentist is on cruises paid by Big Pharma and taking kickbacks from his local drug dealers. This author is here to tell you that such yarns have probably been verified, ...

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A 69-year-old man with a medical history of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity with a body mass index of 33 was admitted with altered mental status. He and his wife were returning from a 14-day Alaskan cruise. On their return, the wife started noticing that her husband was behaving strangely and acting forgetful and had short-term memory loss. This gradually progressed to generalized confusion and altered mental status leading him to ...

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This eating contest season, there was only one death this year, as far as I can determine. A 41-year-old California man died in August while participating in a taco eating contest at a minor league baseball game. The coroner said he choked to death. In case you were wondering, the Associated Press thoughtfully stated: “It was not immediately known how many tacos the ...

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What is the unspoken fatal epidemic of our time? And the greatest predictor of overall health, happiness, job satisfaction, and resiliency? Loneliness. As a clinical cardiologist, I am committed to the health and well-being of my patients. As a recovering burned-out physician who suffered in silence for years while hiding this so well from others, I am committed to finding solutions to help my partners suffering so often in silence. As a husband, ...

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I was a brand-new intern in the intensive care unit, and Cassandra was the very first patient I saw there. A petite, slender woman, she was rolled in on a stretcher, accompanied by her tall, athletic husband, Jack. Cassandra was in her 20s, like me — but mortally ill. That grabbed my attention from the start. But the biggest lesson she taught me came about because we got her prognosis all ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 19-year-old man is hospitalized with a 6-day history of lightheadedness and nightly fevers. He also reports sore throat, headache, joint and muscle aches, and a dry cough. He recalls a blotchy rash on his trunk and arms, which has resolved. He returned home 12 days ago from a ...

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