Prevailing wisdom states that more is better — and it is no different when it comes to our expectation of medical treatments. With the help of the internet, patients and their families have come to expect intensive tests, treatments and therapies at every life stage. But sometimes, too much treatment can do more harm than good. This is true in all ages but is especially relevant for older adults living with ...

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It was my first day of orientation at medical school. In a hallway stood a coat rack overflowing with white garments. I set down my accumulated papers, reached for a hanger and — for the first time ever — shrugged first one arm and then the other into a white coat. It was too large, but I had no other options. The unisex coats ran from XXS to XXL, but the ...

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I like to think of myself as a relatively optimistic person.  If you have ever met me in person, you might think that I have a pretty sunny disposition on life.  And for the most part, I do.  Since I write every day, however, there are times when my posts may start going negative.  Not for an extended period, but long enough for my readers to wonder if am just a touch ...

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She had everything she needed.  Her husband had died long ago.  But the fortune he left her would suffice.  She had given up on mansions long ago.  There were no children, so who needed the space?  She was happy as can be in her little condo in the city.  The building had the most lavish pool, exercise room, and views.  She absolutely adored the doormen.  They would let ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. An 82-year-old woman is evaluated for a 1-week history of urinary incontinence with lower abdominal discomfort. She reports no dysuria, fever, or back pain. Medical history is significant for hypertension and allergic reaction to sulfa drugs, which cause a generalized rash. Her only medication is amlodipine. On physical examination, temperature ...

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When I finished my training, I was taught that the vast majority of dementia was Alzheimer's disease, with occasional cases of multi-infarct dementia as well as odd syndromes such as Kreutzfeld-Jacob disease and genetic, traumatic, toxic and tumor-related syndromes. Parkinson's disease, we were taught, caused a tremor and freezing up of a person's movements and only very rarely was associated with any kind of memory loss. These teachings helped us modern ...

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There is a man. He is in my house. I don’t know where he came from. But he just came into my house. And now he is living there. And I am afraid of him. I do not know who he is. There is a man in my house. I am so scared. I don’t know why he came. But he is there. And he tells people he is my ...

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The topic of paying for long-term care is an overlooked issue in health care. None of us want to think about living our final days in the nursing home, but statistically speaking, many of us will. How will you pay for it? What are the options? Long-term care in this country can be divided into two general classes based on funding: governmental and private payers. In terms of government programs, Medicaid will ...

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Because of my father When you lose a parent during childhood, it effects just about everything you become.  Decisions about life naturally stem from enduring this trauma.  Some try to form families early and replace that which they feel has been lost.  Others spurn close connections and create a wall so firm that no one else can encroach.  An attempt to protect against pain.  Because of my father I ...

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On a curiously warm morning last February, the minister arrived at my childhood home to guide my father to the other side. When he approached the bedside where all of us were gathered around with the Eagles Pandora radio humming in the background, my dad emerged from a semi-conscious state and sat up as best as he could. “Listen. I am not dying,” he declared. As an early-career researcher focused ...

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