If you throw a pebble today, it's likely to land on an article that talks about how artificial intelligence and its brother — machine learning — are changing health care. Yes, I get it broadly. But I was curious to explore how exactly health care's trends are shaping a single medical specialty. I chose gastroenterology (GI) because I'm most familiar with the space. And here's what I found. Trend #1: Manipulating bacteria ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 75-year-old man is evaluated for progressive dysphagia of 8 months' duration for both solid food and water, and the necessity to induce vomiting several times each month to relieve his symptoms. He also has experienced chest pain and heartburn symptoms. He has lost approximately 6 kg (13 lb) ...

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Here’s what most medical experts agree on: People 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. Here’s what is more controversial: Whether that screening should start, routinely, at age 45. Recently, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended that colon cancer screenings start at age 45. Their recommendation was based in large part on an uptick in the number of people 45 to 50 years old who are being diagnosed with colon cancer ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 60-year-old woman is evaluated 1 month after completing a 14-day course of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy consisting of amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and omeprazole. Initial upper endoscopy before treatment showed patchy gastric erythema with no ulcers or erosions, and biopsies revealed H. pylori gastritis. Currently, she reports alleviated symptoms. She is otherwise healthy and ...

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In broken English, against the backdrop of the emergency department's chaos and clatter, Mr. Simon relayed his story: unintentional weight loss, gradually yellowing skin, weeks of constipation. He punctuated his list of devastating symptoms with laughter — exaggerated but genuine guffaws. Over the next few days, as the medical student responsible for his care, I was also responsible for handing him piece after piece of bad news — an obstructing gallstone ...

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Two device salesmen recently came unannounced to our small private gastroenterology practice. They were hawking a product that could quickly and non-invasively determine how much scar tissue had formed in a patient’s liver, a useful tool for assessing patients with hepatitis and many other liver conditions. We are physicians, not entrepreneurs. We do not regard the colonoscope as a capitalist tool. Yet, these two salesmen were barraging us with facts and ...

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The over-the-counter sale of probiotics is a huge industry. They are heavily promoted on social media as a cure-all for a wide variety of ills. Probiotics are live cultures of what are often called “good bacteria,” and there are solid physiological reasons for recommending them. But, and this is a huge but, actual clinical data demonstrating their usefulness behind some well-defined disorders is pretty scant. Their potential usefulness in many ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old man is evaluated in the emergency department for a 2-day history of mild nausea and dyspepsia that is worse with fasting and improved with eating. He has also had a 24-hour history of frequent black stools and fatigue. He has no history of gastrointestinal bleeding, alcoholism, chronic ...

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Recently, news broke about a disturbing act of medical battery carried out by doctors at St. Joe’s Medical Center in Syracuse, New York. The case began when police officers conducted a pretext stop and elected to harass their victim about a small amount of marijuana.

As the situation escalated, the cops took the man to St. Joe’s Medical Center for him to be searched for ...

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I prescribe heartburn medicines every day. There’s a gaggle of them now -- Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix -- to name a few. As far as experts know, their primary effect is to reduce the production of stomach acid. This is why they are so effective at putting out your heartburn fire. In simple terms: no acid, no heartburn. I am quite sure that well-meaning physicians like myself do not understand or ...

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