This is based on a true story. The name and some details of the events have been changed.  She was the smarter nurse who floated to ICU, to CVRU, to CCU. She could handle any crisis: balloon pumps, CRRT, open-heart patients, respiratory distress, code blues — anything. Sandy was quiet. She didn’t really have any nurse friends. She was a loner. But we could depend on her to take the most difficult assignments. She ...

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The headline scrolling across the bottom of an evening news show certainly grabbed my attention: a new blood test had the possibility of detecting early melanoma and saving thousands of lives. And then there were more reports elevating this early research report to a point that I became quite interested -- and frankly concerned. News flash: The research is far from being shown to have proven value in the early diagnosis of ...

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Urgent care centers are way ahead in prescribing unnecessary, potentially harmful antibiotics that are doing no one any good – at least no patients any good. The owners of the urgent care centers are the ones who are benefitting. And you and your family are being bilked, misled, and harmed. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at the proportion of antibiotic prescriptions that were made for viral respiratory ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman is evaluated for severe cramps associated with her menstrual periods. The cramps have worsened over the past year, and the discomfort is severe enough that she has periodically missed work. She reports no abnormal vaginal discharge. Menses are unchanged from her baseline pattern. She has tried ...

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Anyone who has worked in medicine for a long time well understands the power of the statement coming from an experienced person: “This kid looks sick.” That person could be a physician or nurse. Years of experience does tend to give one a sort of sixth sense for when to worry something serious is going on that just hasn’t shown itself fully yet. Seasoned parents can often provide the same ...

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The face of a 2-year-old Honduran girl, dwarfed by the adults who only appear as legs in the photo, communicates undeniable anguish. Used to represent the horror of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, the photo became a lightning rod for controversy when it turned out that this particular child was not actually separated from her mother. In an interview for CBS News the border patrol officer involved ...

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One of the most contentious areas of health policy over the past two decades has been the safety of vaccination. Vaccines prevent the outbreak of diseases that used to be widespread, like polio, and scientific consensus strongly supports their safety. Yet many Americans refuse or delay the vaccination of their children out of fear that it could lead ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 46-year-old man is evaluated for intermittent rectal bleeding of 3 months' duration. He is otherwise well and takes no medications. His father had a few polyps removed from the colon when he was 71 years old, but no other details are known about his father's medical history. The ...

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When did it become a bragging right to say that you only get four or five hours of sleep a night? We would think it is ridiculous for someone to brag that their labs came back with only half the normal hemoglobin level as we would recognize that as clearly unhealthy. So when did we start equating sleep-deprivation with some kind of superpower? Does it make sense for our society ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old woman is evaluated for a new-patient visit. Medical history is significant for an eating disorder. Although she has maintained a normal weight for the past 20 years, she notes that prior to that time her weight would fluctuate in a range correlating with BMIs of 17 to ...

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