Dear Congress: For the vast majority of you, I am not your constituent.  But you should listen to me anyway.  I am writing to show you that health care in America is not a political issue; it is a human one.  The same can be said for immigration or education or any other issue that you work on. Let my patients explain this for me. I walk into clinic to a full ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-month history of dyspnea on exertion. He has gastroesophageal reflux disease and Raynaud phenomenon. He does not smoke and has no cough or wheezing. Current medications are lansoprazole and amlodipine. On physical examination, vital signs are normal. Oxygen saturation is 91% breathing ambient ...

Read more...

When patients started showing up in doctors' offices and emergency departments with coughs, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills and weight loss, physicians' first instincts were that the cause of these symptoms were common illnesses such as pneumonia or flu. But treatments that are usually highly effective for these diseases weren't helping patients as expected. Many became seriously ill quite quickly and required care ...

Read more...

One of the most galling aspects of vaping is not that the industry has targeted minors with candy-like flavors and names. Nor is it that vaping fluid often contains nicotine or THC (one of the principal psychoactive ingredients in cannabis). The most galling thing about vaping is that the industry has managed to convince 3.6 million middle and high school students that vaping is harmless. Recently, the CDC ...

Read more...

Actor Peter Fonda, son of Henry Fonda and younger brother of Jane Fonda, passed away August 16 at his Los Angeles home. Fonda, who was 79, is probably best known for his role as Wyatt in Easy Rider, a movie he co-wrote, produced, and starred in. Fonda was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for that film as ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 64-year-old woman is evaluated during a posthospital visit for severe COPD with an FEV1 of 30% of predicted. She has been admitted three times during the last year with acute exacerbations characterized by cough, increased purulent sputum production, and dyspnea. She is now at baseline of her exertional dyspnea ...

Read more...

The only times I stood in Emily’s room without fear were the day I met her, and the day she died. These days were two long years apart, years of unhealthy snacking and spending most weekends away from my husband and son. When Emily’s name first appeared next to mine as an overnight admission, the resident physician providing the hand-off gave me a clear warning: “Good luck. She is the ...

Read more...

Asthma is a common childhood condition. Estimates are that around 8 percent of all children have it. The incidence had been steadily increasing for many years, but some recent data suggest the burden of the disease in children may have leveled off over the past couple of years. That’s encouraging, but the number of children with asthma is still huge. The peak age group is 5 to 14. The ...

Read more...

I’ve known Pat McCann (identifying information changed) for many years. He carries a diagnosis of COPD and has a preventative and a rescue inhaler, but he has never really had any serious flare-ups. He fell and broke his hip. Then he went to skilled rehab, one of a half dozen near Cityside Hospital. His stay turned longer than expected because he fell, luckily didn’t break anything, but had to go back ...

Read more...

We had just exchanged "I love yous" about 15 minutes before the intercom blared: "Code blue." Just like that, my sister was gone — all from what seemed like a simple knee surgery. Simple in the fact that the type of surgery my sister was supposed to have had that fateful morning was an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Thousands of these surgeries have been performed every day. But something ...

Read more...

Your bed could be watching you. OK, so not with a camera. But if you have any of a variety of “smart beds,” mattress pads or sleep apps, it knows when you go to sleep. It knows when you toss and turn. It may even be able to tell when you’re having sex. Sleep Number, one company that makes beds that can track heart rate, respiration and movement, said it collects more than ...

Read more...

"I have the CPAP machine. I've had it for a year, but I don't have electricity in my house. I stayed with my aunt who has electricity but things didn't work out," said the young Navajo man, his massive belly protruding out from underneath the tray table. The old Navajo man with Parkinson's disease, unable to walk fast enough to make it to the outhouse in time, had started taking anti-diarrheal ...

Read more...

To reach my current position as a general cardiologist, I have taken nine board exams. I have also been teaching medical students for over ten years with several colleagues who write questions for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Through this experience, I have observed a number of themes about what works and does not work for board preparation. I share these with you now in the hopes they may help ...

Read more...

Everyone loves chocolate, and nobody likes to cough. So when headlines like these appeared, they made a big media splash: Apparently Chocolate Might Be Better for Treating Coughs than Honey and Lemon. Chocolate Fights Coughs Better Than Codeine, Says Science. Chocolate Is a Better Cough Suppressant than Medicine, Study Says. Looks good, huh? Chocolate for a cough – and the headlines say it’s better than ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 52-year-old woman is evaluated during a follow-up visit. She was discharged from the hospital 3 weeks ago following a small non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction treated with drug-eluting stent placement in the right coronary artery. An echocardiogram obtained during hospitalization showed normal left ventricular function and normal valvular function. Her ...

Read more...

Why is your hospital always full? Actually, it’s more than full.  You have twenty boarders in the ED. You turned your postop recovery unit into an overnight surge center.  Every day administrators beg you to please, please discharge patients, if possible before 11 a.m.  You’ve hired an army of case managers, dissected the discharge process, and held countless capacity management meetings, but you’re still bursting at the seams. It wasn’t always ...

Read more...

I want to share how the era of immunotherapy, specifically immune-checkpoint-inhibitors, has changed the landscape of community oncology practice in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, for oncologists and, more importantly, patients. I want to tell you the story of Joe. A stage IV lung cancer survivor story. (Name and details changed to protect anonymity.) In 2015, Joe was diagnosed with stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), adenocarcinoma. He had multiple metastases to other organs. ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

My local hospital in an affluent suburb of New York City displays its Outstanding Patient Experience Award 2018 and Magnet Recognized status on its website. My experiences tell a different story. This hospital is located approximately five to seven minutes from my home and is my go-to in an emergency. I have multiple medical conditions, which despite my best efforts sometimes require emergency care and unfortunately admission. I was working ...

Read more...

It was 4:00 a.m. when I made it to my parents’ home. My mother called me to say that my father was having a hard time breathing. I could hear him struggling in the background. I ran inside to see my mother cradling my father on the floor — not breathing. I performed CPR on the man that gave me life! CPR on the person who just three months earlier ...

Read more...

6 Pages

Most Popular

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.