You may have seen advertising for stem cell facelifts and breast augmentation.  Some cosmetic and plastic surgeons are touting these treatments as cutting edge procedures that promise results far greater than anything we’ve ever seen in plastic surgery.  So what is the truth behind stem cell cosmetic surgery? Stem cells are definitely the future of medicine and plastic surgery.  But the truth is, the claims of today’s marketing have pushed ...

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Hospital care for people with hearing loss can be ineffective when people cannot communicate.  Most hard-of-hearing people do not know sign language because they lost hearing later in life and remain in the oral culture.    Without effective communication, quality of care is impaired and patient compliance is often reduced. The patient’s bed needs to have proper signage and chart records to alert staff of special communication needs. Ironically, many hard-of-hearing people ...

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"More than half of all Americans may develop diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020, unless prevention strategies aimed at weight loss and increased physical activity are widely implemented, according to a new analysis.  Diabetes is an epidemic, " according to Denise Mann in WebMD Health News. At 14 months old, the doctor told my parents that the disease would ultimately take my life.  The doctor motioned my father into the hallway of ...

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Lately when I ask my son to make a choice or do anything he considers difficult, he says, "Bus number twenty three.  Number twenty three.  Bus number seventy nine.  Number seventy nine." He memorized not only the words but the exact cadence of how buses are announced at his school and recites this script instead of screaming.  If you know David, this avoidance tactic is creative, a little annoying, and downright ...

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"Mom's been writing goofy checks..." "Dad stopped paying his bills...." "Grandma wired her savings to Nigeria..." Have you heard these phrases from the family caregivers of your elderly patients?  Have you ever been concerned that your patient may lack capacity for financial decision making?  How do you decide if they lack capacity?  What is the clinician's role in making these decisions?  What is their responsibility? These important questions are addressed in a terrific new article in ...

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The HIV pandemic in the US has developed a stable appearance over the last few years, and that appearance is notably non-white and non-wealthy.  When the pandemic was discovered nearly thirty years ago, it was---in the US---primarily a disease of gay men.  In Africa, the disease is everyone's.  Women make up significantly more than half of HIV cases in Africa, and tens of thousands of children are infected during ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 64-year-old man is evaluated for a 3-month history of abdominal bloating and mid-epigastric discomfort associated with a 6.8-kg (15-lb) weight loss. The patient has no significant medical history and takes no medications. On physical examination, vital signs are normal, and the only significant finding is ...

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I've been sick since 2001 when I failed to recover from what appeared to be an acute viral infection. It has left me mostly house-bound, often bed-bound. In effect, I've had the flu without the fever for almost ten years: the aches and pains, the dazed sick feeling, the low grade headache, the severe fatigue. It cost me my career as a law professor; it cost me the ability to ...

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Doctors use laboratory values to interpret your medical condition.  With respect to kidney disease, the BUN and the creatinine help your nephrologist (as well as your internist and family physician) determine if your kidneys are working correctly. These two tests are commonly ordered for many reasons and are invaluable tools to help your doctor assess your condition. Let's define what BUN (pronounced by spelling out the letters "B", "U", ...

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For most women, a couple of irregular menstrual cycles or an occasional yeast infection are just a part of life -- nothing that time or simple treatment won’t cure. However, there are a few symptoms that warrant a call to the doctor.  This article will cover when you should call your doctor for problems "down there"? 1. Pelvic pain. Pain at the time of ovulation is referred to as Mittelschmerz.  However, if ...

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