I’ve written before about various forms of complementary and alternative medicine -- most recently about the use of essential oils for serious medical conditions. I’m planning to dive deeper into that topic in an upcoming post. But before I do, I want to take some time to reframe how we think about alternative therapies. And I want to make it clear from the beginning that doctors don’t get paid for prescribing ...

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shutterstock_178235516 I sometimes think doctors forget what it’s like to be patients. But I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating and scary it can be. I remember one night, I was lying in a hospital bed, resting peacefully. I heard a noise and opened my eyes to a room full of chaos. Nurses everywhere. A crash cart. Someone holding paddles. I tried to speak, but couldn’t. ...

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In a recent post ("Dear Anti-Vax Parents: We’re Not Mad At You"), I wrote about the critical need for better education and communication between doctors and vaccine-hesitant parents. It was far more popular than I would have imagined, and I appreciate all of you who shared it. And in the spirit of providing reliable information about vaccine-preventable ...

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shutterstock_153687275 My friend, Trent, is an auto mechanic. When he was growing up, he loved to work on old cars. He rebuilt his first one when he was fourteen -- and drove it for 11 years. He loved finding problems and figuring out how to fix them. He never cared about getting rich; his goal was to make a decent living doing ...

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shutterstock_92569954 Dear anti-vax parents, In the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak, there’s been a lot of heated talk about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. It seems like the medical community is now protesting even louder than the anti-vax groups were a couple years ago. But I want to take a moment and apologize for the harsh tone some of ...

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There have been countless instances in which the traditional practice of medicine has been disproved when someone actually took the time to perform a study. But who cares if a treatment doesn’t work -- why does it really matter? Let me walk you through why it’s important, starting with the Hippocratic oath. As physicians, our top priority is to “do no harm.” But this priority often clashes with the patient’s reason for ...

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Ear infections (or, what we like to call “acute otitis media”) are one of the staple diagnoses of pediatrics. Most kids have at least one before their third birthday.  And most pediatricians see at least one every day by 11. You would think we would always get it right. But I have a confession -- we don’t. In fact, children are misdiagnosed and over-treated at an alarming rate. There are several reasons for ...

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seagull The day before I began my second year of medical school, I spent the day at the beach with my daughter, who had just celebrated her third birthday. Most of my classmates had spent their “last summer ever” traveling or doing research, but I had chosen to take the time off to make up for some of the family time I ...

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