Patient

How comfortable are compression stockings for post-surgical thromboprophylaxis?

by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today

“Every 10 years a doctor should be the patient,” said my doctor, squeezing me into pair of compression stockings that would make a sausage casing seem spacious by comparison.

medpage-today “Seems like a good idea,” I thought, as I lay there on the table feeling optimistic about the opportunity for first-hand experience.

It was my first minor …

Read more…

Does counseling kids to lose weight and increase exercise work?

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, …

Read more…

The ultrasound that saved a baby girl’s life

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 …

Read more…

Should patients bear some responsibility when doctors miss a diagnosis?

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 …

Read more…

How a wealth of information takes attention away from the patient

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 …

Read more…

Poll: How should doctors make patients responsible for their own health?

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 …

Read more…

Can stealing in childhood be normal, and when should parents worry?

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 …

Read more…

Op-ed: Wikipedia isn’t really the patient’s friend

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 …

Read more…

Doctors take risks by treating celebrity patients

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 …

Read more…

Should movies receive an R-rating for having smoking scenes?

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 …

Read more…

Do canes and walkers prevent falls in the elderly?

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. …

Read more…

When fat doctors talk to obese patients

How can doctors counsel obese patients why they themselves struggle with their own weight?

That’s the question pediatrician Perri Klass discusses in a recent New York Times column. On one hand, doctors who are obese may better connect with patients when they “understand their frailties.”

But on the other, patients also ignore advice from physicians who can’t follow it themselves. Indeed, that’s what pediatrician Julie C. Lumeng, an expert …

Read more…

We should not care about Regina Benjamin’s weight

Regina Benjamin has impressive qualifications to become our next Surgeon General. She’s a primary care physician in Alabama who has spent considerable time treating the poor. Certainly a better choice than celebrity neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta.

regina-benjamin But it’s unfortunate that there has been so much controversy about her weight.

Rob Lamberts has the best take I’ve read on the issue, and he …

Read more…

Cursing can kill pain, I swear

Maybe those who scream obscenities while in pain are onto something.

MedPage Today writes about a study showing that those who swore had an increased pain tolerance, along with an increased heart rate. This is similar to the proverbial “fight or flight” response that can help mitigate actual pain.

Researchers asked a group of undergraduate college students submerge one of their hands in freezing cold water. One group was …

Read more…

Will this picture prevent you from buying cigarettes?

A display of attention-getting cancer artwork to potentially deter smokers from buying cigarette packs. Will something like this work in real life?

(via Street Anatomy)

Rahul Parikh on the KevinMD Live Q&A: Tuesday, July 21st at 10:30pm Eastern

Pediatrician Rahul Parikh will be my next guest on the Live Q&A.

Dr. Parikh blogs at sWell at Open Salon, and is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. He touches upon a wide variety of issues, including, health care reform, educating the public on the mythical link between vaccines and autism, and commenting on Oprah’s medical endorsements. In fact, his opinion on Oprah …

Read more…

Why are hospitals offering nurses free plastic surgery?

Is there pressure for nurses to look more like models?

The answer appears to be yes, in Prague. Citing an article in The New York Times, plastic surgeon Chris Hess (via Better Health) notes that nurses in that region are “under enormous pressure to look good in a society where attractiveness is often as highly prized as clinical skills.”

And according to this Czech nurse, “We were always taught that …

Read more…

Why is it so difficult to get an appointment with your doctor?

Most patients complain about the time they have to wait to see a physician.

Not only the time between an appointment and the office visit, but once there, the time it takes to actually see someone.

After internist Jan Gurley breaks down the numbers, it’s easy to see why. Primary care doctors, on average, have patient panels averaging 2,500 patients or so. Assuming full-time working doctor who only takes …

Read more…

Reader take: Moral hazard, and whether patients should consider cost in their health care decisions

The following is a reader take by an anonymous medical student.

One of the ideas that comes up in the search for explanations of high healthcare costs is the so-called “Moral Hazard”—the idea that insured patients are more likely to agree to unnecessary procedures because they don’t pay for them directly. Not everyone thinks it is real—does a patient have the medical knowledge to make an informed decision? …

Read more…

63
pages

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories