As I sit in the conference room awaiting one of my first interviews for residency, the angst among all the applicants was palpable. We all make awkward eye contact and conversation with each other as our interviewers pull us out of the room one by one to speak with us. Amongst the awkwardness and anxiety, my attention was directed at the applicant next to me when I heard the dreaded ...

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In my clinical practice, I have encountered patient aggression typically with narcotic medications, in particular with the refusal of a refill due to evidence of concerning behavior, like a positive drug screen for drugs not prescribed. Aggressive behavior can include yelling, threatening physical violence or intimidation. I have had less trouble with narcotic-related aggression nowadays especially with media coverage of the dangers of narcotic abuse and especially since a lot ...

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Measles outbreaks across the United States have been identified with Texas being the 11th state so far to report an outbreak. The Philippines with over 2 million unvaccinated children has declared an outbreak of measles after nearly 2,000 cases and 26 deaths since January alone. In Madagascar, more than 50,000 people have been infected by the disease since October — more than the total number of ...

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If you think that you might have the flu, don’t head to the emergency room at the first sign of fever. Emergency departments were created to handle emergencies – heart attacks, strokes, severe trauma, and other life-threatening emergencies. No matter how awful it feels, the flu typically doesn’t fall into this category – unless you are in a high-risk category for complications. This includes children younger than 2, adults over 65, ...

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Part 3 of a series. Patients with advanced cancer are particularly vulnerable to infection due to a compromised immune system. Moreover, the typical symptoms of serious infection, such as fever and chills, may be absent in cancer patients. If not identified and treated early, infection can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening reaction of the immune system that causes organ failure, shock, and death, as ...

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“Cha-ching!” goes urgent care. For your rhinovirus, adenovirus, or seasonal allergies you get a strep screen, flu swab, CBC, and chest X-ray. You get a steroid shot, Rocephin, and Z-Pak. A week later, you present for medical care again, because your virus is no better, and you want a stronger antibiotic. In the meantime, your body’s normal healthy bacterial flora has been altered and will take six weeks to six months ...

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Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street, died at the age of 53. His diagnosis was toxic shock syndrome/streptococcus pneumonia — a deadly bacterial infection. We were on vacation when we heard the news: The genius who opened the imaginations and hearts of our children ... maybe you too ... was gone. We were devastated and saddened that the magic Muppet man had died. One year later, our ICU admitted ...

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Many Americans hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. For example, a recent study found that more than two-fifths, or 43 percent, of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu. Scientific research strongly suggests that this is not true. Because most modern flu shots do not contain a live virus, ...

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It was another simmering-hot Texas day, and the AC was faltering in the family-practice clinic where I worked as a family nurse practitioner. Most of our clients were poor and spoke only Spanish. My nurse, Eliza, approached, wide-eyed. "There's a new patient — a woman named Maraby. She seems really angry," she murmured. "She's the color of Dijon mustard, and she's wearing a long, heavy wool cape. She looks like she's nine ...

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“Get rest and drink plenty of fluids,” might not sound like adequately aggressive medical advice. If you’ve dragged yourself out of bed to visit an urgent care or your doctor’s office, you will probably feel somewhat cheated by an admonition to head right back to bed and stay there until you feel better. Most likely, you’ll want a prescription for an antibiotic. You might even demand it. Don’t. Antibiotics are not the ...

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