Measuring metrics is a common catch-phrase in health care. The goal of capturing certain data is to improve patient outcomes. But, as doctors, we were taught to treat the patient and not the numbers. While optimizing clinical outcomes is a needed goal with all the complexities in medical treatment currently, the system seems to have gone too far in its quest for targeted numbers. If, for example, a patient suffers metastatic ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 45-year-old man is evaluated during an annual routine health maintenance visit. History is notable for type 2 diabetes mellitus (diet controlled) diagnosed 3 months ago. Family history is significant for his father who developed end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes at age 68 years. He reports ...

Read more...

I ran a 5K last weekend. I succumbed to peer pressure. The more others talked about running it, I decided I could be a runner too. My patients describe their HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training, for those of you not in-the-know), PiYo classes (Pilates-Yoga combination), increasing mileage for an upcoming duathlon/triathlon/marathon, and now I can proudly share my measly 5K experience with them. Of course, I will leave out the small ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 49-year-old man seeks advice on ways to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus because of a strong family history (mother, sister, and brother) of the disease. History is significant for hypertension, for which he takes losartan and amlodipine in the morning. On physical examination, temperature ...

Read more...

In a recent Vox interview, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced his plans to allow individuals without insurance to buy Medicaid coverage. As a family doctor caring for patients on Medicaid in Senator Schatz’s home state, I cannot support such a plan. Medicare continues to be run by the federal government. In contrast, Medicaid programs are run by states. The trend in recent decades is for ...

Read more...

When Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas, devastating millions of people, I was lucky to be in an area of Houston where the flooding did nothing more than confine me to my apartment for a few days. It hurt to see so many people suffering after reading the news and social media posts about people losing their homes, many of their belongings, and in some cases, their lives. As the flooding ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old woman is evaluated after laboratory study results show an HbA1c value of 9.1%. Her HbA1c goal is less than 7% because she has high function, long life expectancy, few comorbidities, good support, health literacy, and access to care. Medical history is significant for morbid obesity, ...

Read more...

I was browsing the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, as I often do, and an article by one Andy Slavitt, MBA, and Gail Wilensky, PhD, titled “Reforming Medicaid,” caught my eye. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Slavitt served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In that role, he oversaw the government’s awful Meaningful Use EHR program, and helped ...

Read more...

Medicine is a lot like grade school mathematics. The days are long gone when instantly knowing or quickly arriving at the right answer was enough. Now it’s all about showing your calculations. Process is everything. It’s almost like having the right answer doesn’t matter anymore. If you ask a patient with a given symptom, like tremor, lameness or a skin eruption, only a few questions and then conclude that they have ...

Read more...

My 74-year old obese, poorly controlled diabetic patient with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea has been difficult to motivate to improve his lifestyle and his health. He is bright, sweet and caring but just not very disciplined. At each office visit, we review his medications, review his dietary habits and go through the check list of check-ups for diabetic complications including regular ophthalmology exams ...

Read more...

An article in Newsweek magazine says, “Artificial intelligence will cure America’s sick health care system” using data and automation to “drive down the costs of health care while increasing effectiveness.” According to Newsweek, it will work like this for diabetes. A company called Virta Health has come up with a smartphone app that is like “a live-in doctor and diabetes coach.” Type 2 diabetics who enroll will enter data such as blood sugar ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 25-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes presents to clinic requesting more information about use of a closed-loop insulin-delivery system (artificial beta cell). Although her HbA1c is at goal, she notes frequent hypoglycemia as an issue. In addition, she would like to further improve her glycemic control in anticipation of ...

Read more...

Attendees at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in San Diego this year — many of them young researchers who are active on social media — were surprised to be greeted with the following: “Thanks for joining us at #2017ADA! Photography isn’t allowed during presentations — we’d appreciate it if you’d delete this tweet.” For many, the essence of gathering at conferences is the sharing of scientific information, a peek at ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 56-year-old woman presents to the office to discuss management of her type 2 diabetes mellitus. She is unhappy with her recent HbA1c value. She adheres to the maximum dose metformin monotherapy, which she has been taking for 1 year. Additionally, she has been working toward weight ...

Read more...

When people ask me why I, an applied mathematician, study diabetes, I tell them that I am motivated for both scientific and human reasons. The Conversation Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. My grandfather died of complications related to the condition. My mother was diagnosed with the disease when I was 10 years old, and my Aunt Zacharoula suffered from it. I myself am pre-diabetic. As ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 74-year-old woman is evaluated in the emergency department for several hours of altered mental status. She is from out-of-state and is visiting with relatives. One of her young relatives was recently ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. The patient developed anorexia 3 days ago and vomiting 2 days ago. She has been ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 68-year-old man is evaluated in the hospital for a right intertrochanteric fracture sustained in a mechanical fall. He reports right hip pain but no other symptoms. He has hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus and was in his usual state of health prior to the fall. He checks his blood glucose ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 40-year-old man with type 1 diabetes mellitus presents to the office. He seeks advice on his diabetes management as he intensifies his exercise routine in preparation for participation in a 10-K race. He reports prolonged hypoglycemia during intense exercise, despite eating a meal prior to the activity. His insulin regimen ...

Read more...

A 21-year-old woman is evaluated for management of type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed 3 months ago after presenting to the emergency department with diabetic ketoacidosis. Her HbA1c level at the time of diagnosis was 15.2%. She was discharged from the hospital on a basal and prandial insulin regimen with minor adjustments required as an outpatient. Her blood glucose log demonstrates a recent change manifesting as frequent symptomatic episodes of ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 51-year-old man is evaluated during a follow-up visit for management of newly diagnosed hypertension and diabetes mellitus. He has started a program of lifestyle modification for his diabetes but has not yet started antihypertensive therapy. He is currently taking no medications. On physical examination, blood pressure is 148/92 mm Hg, and ...

Read more...

Most Popular

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