Healers, scientists, leaders — these are all terms that we equate with being a physician. As we spend our years if not decades in training, we strive to become all of these components. But when you miss something — the small details, the nuances of a history and these are the clues that could lead to healing it can be disheartening. When it comes to your own family member, such ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 56-year-old man is being evaluated after his 18-year-old son had a syncopal episode during a high school basketball game and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The patient has had no symptoms, including with physical activity such as golfing or playing tennis. Medical history is unremarkable, and a ...

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Science is in a constant state of flux. Theories are put forth to explain natural phenomena, based on the best knowledge of the day. These theories are tested. If they correctly predict future observations, the theories become more credible. If, however, these theories fail to predict accurately, they require modification or outright dismissal. What is considered “settled science” one day may be turned upside down the next day as new data comes ...

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STAT_LogoThe announcement that the next iteration of the Apple Watch can both monitor the wearer’s heart rhythm and, if a suspicious reading emerges, perform an electrocardiogram, could be a boon for users and their doctors. Or it could be a massive headache for the health care system. The new watch continuously monitors the wearer’s heart rate. It ...

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Everyone always jokes with doctors, “What happens if you get sick?” Some of us laugh off the question. The busy schedule of health care often means our own health comes last. However, what happens when it’s a chronic disease that requires treatment? Then the answer to this question is a little different. I am a family medicine physician dealing with congenital heart disease (CHD). Saying that someone has congenital heart disease ...

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A few weeks ago, I saw a patient with shortness of breath during my Saturday clinic. He had been short of breath for a few weeks, and on a couple of occasions, he had also experienced mild chest pain. He has known aortic stenosis, moderate according to his last echocardiogram two years ago. My brain kicked into autopilot, and I asked: “Have you fainted or passed out recently?” It was a ...

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“Good morning, Mr. S! How are you feeling today?” I ask as I step into his hospital room. Yesterday, Mr. S was admitted for infective endocarditis and has been tolerating antibiotic treatment well. I am a medical student on my acute cardiology rotation taking care of him. “I’m feeling fine,” he says, and I proceed to ask about how he slept, if he’s experiencing any chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, ...

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The supervising resident’s Voalte phone dinged: “Dr. Mel: Please meet Dr. Rosemond at room 514 for Cardiology rounds.” She scrolled up a few texts and saw that her male counterpart who had rounded the previous day had been addressed as “Dr. Stearnes.” When Mel mentioned the discrepancy to Jacob Stearnes, he just shrugged and said, “The cardiology nurse probably doesn’t even know my first name.” When Mel mentioned the discrepancy to her husband, ...

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I started internship July 1, 2008, as a terrified 25-year-old blank slate. Most days started with a combination of nausea and dread as I pumped myself up in the resident parking lot — conveniently located a mere 1/2 mile from the entrance to the ivory tower I called home. The days were long. The nights were longer. Every month I had the chance to be a brand new idiot as a ...

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There are gifts given and gifts taken away.  And Jacob’s abilities could be described as nothing less than a gift.   He was a violin virtuoso.  Or at least, that was the word the university professor of violin pedagogy fumbled with over and over again as she ushered the eight-year-old Jacob out of her office and cornered his parents.  He was immediately enrolled in an advanced curriculum, taken out of ...

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