Studies have shown that video games and other addictions, such as alcohol and nicotine, affect neural pathways in similar ways: They all lead to an increase in dopamine levels in specific pleasure centers of the brain. While drugs increase dopamine levels far more than video games, gaming can have a similar deleterious effect of “taking over” a person’s life. One of the key ways that gaming addiction differs from other addictions is ...

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Did you feel a pop? It is a simple question that we rattle off to complete our musculoskeletal history. The answer may or may not give higher suspicion for a diagnosis of tear over sprains. But have you — the provider — ever felt a pop? Like any good physiatrist, I try to fill my extracurricular time with physical activity. This inevitably led to the formation of a residency street hockey team. Ten minutes ...

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“I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did.” Alcohol has become constitutional to American culture: “grabbing a drink” after work, happy hour, cheers before meals, on New Year’s, or just because. Our society’s normalization of drinking creates a slippery slope toward excessive alcohol use. Unhealthy alcohol use is rampant: one in six Americans drinks excessively four times a month, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Almost thirty percent ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 32-year-old man is evaluated for an intermittent pruritic rash of 8 years' duration. Medical history is significant for mild persistent asthma. His only medications are an albuterol inhaler and an inhaled glucocorticoid. On physical examination, vital signs are normal. There is mild xerosis with erythematous plaques on the bilateral ...

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Love avocados, but hate cutting them. They are slippery little rascals and are responsible for many nasty hand injuries. Stab wounds from using knives in the kitchen are not fun but are reported daily. Accidental self-inflicted knife injuries to digits are a common cause of tendon and nerve injury requiring hand surgery. Many of us do not think about how much you use "your hands for your senses." Until you lose that ability ...

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I met a young man in my clinic recently, who came for treatment of obesity. He was only 26, yet suffered from obesity throughout his life — now reaching a debilitating 420 pounds. His explanation for how he developed obesity was a reflection of the issues surrounding nutrition health policy in the U.S. He said that “it would have been easier to not put the weight on to begin with,” that ...

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Perhaps the most important aspect of a physician’s role is our diagnostic capabilities. Truly, if we cannot identify and diagnose a patient’s pathology with reasonable accuracy, we cannot effectively treat them and may even cause greater harm. Let’s look back. The year is 1816, and you are a physician evaluating a patient with shortness of breath. The common practice of the time was direct auscultation by placement of the practitioner’s ear ...

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During my third year of medical school, I completed a clinical rotation in surgery. I was certain that it would be horrible. I envisioned myself in the OR, getting lightheaded, passing out onto the sterile field and being yelled at by my attending physician. I worried that the medical knowledge I'd worked so hard to learn would be neglected in favor of memorizing the steps of surgical procedures. My parents, ...

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A rapidly escalating measles outbreak near Portland, OR has led local health officials to declare a public health emergency, with 44 confirmed cases, almost all in unimmunized children. Meanwhile, New York and New Jersey have been facing a similar crisis over the past few months, with over 200 confirmed cases of the measles tearing through the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities in the area, where individuals ...

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In 1741, a French physician named Nicolas Andre coined a new word, Orthopédie, and published a book on the topic. Andry described how physicians and families could correct or prevent skeletal abnormalities in children. At that time, the treatment methods were entirely non-operative because the development of general anesthesia and the concept of non-emergency surgery were still a century away. So Andry stressed the importance of his message in two ways. ...

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