STAT_Logo My grandmother was filled with grief as she told me by phone about life on the island of St. Thomas after Hurricanes Irma and Maria had blasted through it. “Tears keep running from my eyes uncontrollably because everyone on the island is suffering,” she lamented, then paused, too sad to continue. I could picture her in her ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 35-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-month history of upper abdominal discomfort after eating. He has recently returned from working in a rural area of a developing country. He takes no medications. There is no family history of esophageal or gastric cancer. On physical examination, vital signs ...

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How would you like to double your chances of winning the lottery? Just buy two tickets! Statistically, this is true, but is that a reason to spend more money on something that most likely offers no return on investment? Yet, in medical research, study after study shows impressive improvement in relative risk for this, that and the other intervention but a small or even negligible effect on absolute risk. For example, I just ...

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As a practicing OB/GYN, I feel lucky to be working in a field so full of promise and with space for advancement of medical technology. Although prospects of improved fetal imaging, cervical cancer prevention, and techniques of minimally invasive surgery are game-changing, new discoveries in the genetics arena of our field strike me as simply incredible. Prenatal genetic testing has only been reasonably available to mothers since about 1970, and at ...

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Diverticulitis is a common and sometimes serious problem that affects several hundred thousand people each year. Diverticulitis is the condition where small outpouchings or “pockets” in the wall of the large intestine called diverticula become inflamed and infected, and typically presents as a constant lower abdominal pain, associated with fever or chills, and often bloating or constipation symptoms. Despite becoming even more common in recent years, not much is understood ...

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Part of a series. Cognitive decline is a normal process of aging; Alzheimer’s is a disease. Cognitive decline due to aging can be slowed but not halted with appropriate lifestyle approaches. The "big four" are equally important to slow cognitive decline: Don’t smoke. Reduce stress. Exercise often. And eat a quality diet in moderation. Good sleep and brain stimulation need to be added for maintaining good cognition. Some form of ...

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It’s no secret that the United States is in the midst of an opiate epidemic. Almost 60,000 people died last year from overdoses, and overdose deaths are now the most common killer of Americans under the age of 50. Physicians and our patients have finally started the difficult conversation about what it will take to stop the suffering. But what’s been missing from this conversation is that this is not ...

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 9.8 million adults (or 4 percent of all adults) over the age of 18 years suffered a serious mental illness in 2015. A serious mental illness is one that affects a patient’s daily functioning. Considering all mental illness in adults in the same time period, 43.4 million adults (or 17.9 percent) who met the criteria for a ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man is evaluated during a routine examination. He has no symptoms or significant medical history. He is active and exercises regularly. He does not take any medications. On physical examination, blood pressure is 135/70 mm Hg, pulse rate is 82/min, and respiration rate is 17/min. Cardiac ...

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If any reader has heard of C. difficile, affectionately known as C. diff, then I presume you have had closer contact with this germ than you would have liked.  It’s an infection of the colon that can be serious, or even fatal.  There isn’t a hospital in the country that isn’t battling against the infection. We are not winning the war against this crafty and cunning adversary. While the infection is not ...

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