Twelve years ago on August 29th, Hurricane Katrina ruined our childhood home in New Orleans. My parents evacuated last minute and were not allowed back for an entire month while standing water remained in our house, rotting away all our childhood memories. They rebuilt, sold the house and eventually moved to Texas. This year on August 27th, Hurricane Harvey destroyed my husband and our young girls’ family home and cars and ...

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In order to fully understand the issues surrounding opioid prescribing practices, it is important to review a brief history of how these drugs came to market. Opium was the first opioid, derived from the sap of opium poppies whose growth and cultivation dates back to 3,400 BC. In the 18th century, physicians in the U.S. used opium for multiple ailments. Towards the end of the 18th century, the addictive qualities of ...

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After three months of using hot compresses to shrink the stye on my daughter’s eyelid, it wasn’t getting any smaller. My daughter is prone to this sort of growth, called a chalazion. This one would have to be removed surgically, like the one she had removed from the same eyelid two years earlier. But there was one ...

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It’s 8:45 p.m. in rural Chiapas, Mexico. A cool blanket wraps around the previously warm day in the small farming town of Honduras. With a syringe of medicine in his front pocket pasante, Dr. Ivan Martinez does a steady jog up a steep hill to see about a patient’s chronic pain. Nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains, there are few flat places. At the door, he’s immediately and warmly greeted by multiple ...

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There is a 4,300-strong grassroots movement known as “Save Our Hospital” gaining notoriety in Albert Lea, Minnesota. This story is symptomatic of the fact that hospital consolidation has slowly become a national pastime. With declining revenue under the Affordable Care Act, mergers increased by 70 percent, leaving small communities scrambling for health care access. The latest casualty in the “hospital-consolidation-for-sport” trend is Albert Lea, a small ...

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Most parents have been deeply distressed by the rising violence and streams of hate as a keynote in our national discourse. For a constructive response, I encourage parents to write to their school administrators and partner with the adults in their children’s community to stem the tide of vitriol that has engulfed our views on race, religion, and the study of history in our everyday lives. Here is an edited ...

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We tend to like threes. Hendriasis, in Greek — one through three, is a figure of speech used for emphasis in which three words are used to express one idea. For example: Veni vidi, vici. Location, location, location. Or one of the anthems of my youth — sex drugs and rock n' roll. Monty Hall had three doors on "Let’s Make a Deal." Even Uncle Junior, the patriarch in the “Sopranos,” ...

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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 ...

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Despite what the textbooks say or how much research is devoted to substance use disorder, I still meet people who feel that addiction is a "choice," and that these patients don't need "treatment" (you made your bed, and now you can just lay in it). To a certain degree, this is true. Like Little Debbie cakes and type 2 diabetes, cigarettes and lung cancer, lack of exercise and essential hypertension, addiction ...

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I used to practice locums medicine; which for the lay person means traveling to different jobs, sometimes several states at a time.   During that time I stayed in a lot of hotels.  But, occasionally, I had more unique accomodations.  Obviously, if you travel enough, you’ll sleep in an airport here and there. No big deal.  I actually like sleeping in airports occasionally.  When you’re stuck, you’re stuck.  Weather or ...

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