by Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Overweight and obese children who received counseling from a family doctor did not lose more weight or get more exercise than youngsters who did not receive counseling, Melissa Wake, MD, of Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, and colleagues reported online in the British Medical Journal. medpage-today Because the screening and counseling are so expensive, ...

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by Linda Lee, MD Bob Hebert, in his column in The New York Times, recently wrote that, "Life in the United States is mind-bogglingly violent. But we should take particular notice of the staggering amounts of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are. They are attacked because they are female." As a family physician I can ...

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Missing a diagnosis is, obviously, something both doctors and patients continually want to avoid. But when it happens, is it completely the doctor's fault? That's a question Pauline Chen addresses in a recent column. When it pertains to primary care, it all comes down to followup. She cites a recent study looking at breast cancer diagnoses and found that, "roughly a quarter of patients had experienced process ...

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by Abraham Verghese, MD This month I am the attending physician overseeing an internal medicine team, one of four such teams that admit patients to my teaching hospital. It's a great time to be an attending physician. I have seasoned interns who in just a few weeks will be junior residents, and I have even more seasoned senior residents on their way to entering practice or entering subspecialty training. The team ...

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The current health reform proposals do not make enough of an effort to encourage patients to take care of themselves. After all, the frequency of two leading causes of death, diabetes and heart disease, can be markedly reduced with lifestyle changes. What is the best way to encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health? Rewards or penalties can indeed motivate change. Several years ago, West Virginia's Medicaid program asked ...

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Parents are often worried when they catch their children stealing, or worse, shoplifting. When it occurs in toddlers, it's often phrased as "a child who doesn't want to share." But, if the behavior continues, when should parents start to worry? That's the subject of a recent article by pediatrician Perri Klass. She talks with a variety of child experts, who all say that most children under the age of ...

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The following op-ed was published on July 15th, 2009 in the USA Today. "I researched my condition on Wikipedia." That's what more doctors, myself included, are hearing from patients every day. Wikipedia is the Web's most popular online encyclopedia. Its more than 13 million articles cover almost every topic imaginable. It is among the most visited sites primarily because its articles routinely show up near the top of search engine results, like ...

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Treating a celebrity may not be all that it's cracked up to be. In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, a recent piece from American Medical News summarizes some of the dangers physicians face by taking on celebrities. The piece cites a study which concluded that "celebrities were an average 17% more narcissistic than the general public," and perhaps because of this, some "are extremely manipulative, and there is a lot of ...

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Extreme?  Perhaps not. Over at Better Health, Jonathan Foulds at first dismisses the somewhat radical suggestion that all movies that include smoking scenes should be slapped with an R-rating. But after thinking about it, he realizes it's not as extreme as it appears. He cites the work of anti-smoking crusader Stan Glantz, who reasons that, "movies made to be viewed by kids do not need to include smoking, and therefore should be given ...

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Not always. Although when used correctly they can help maintain mobility, MedPage Today reports a study showing that they are associated with an increase in falls when used improperly. According to the study, it's "estimated that 47,312 fall injuries associated with walking aids are treated each year among older Americans." And worse, falls associated with canes and walkers resulted in more severe injuries, with a third of these cases requiring hospitalization. ...

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