As the health care debate drags on, prescription drug costs continue to rise by almost 10 percent annually. It is the rare patient who is spared this expense. Over the years, I have seen how these costs have affected my patients. At first, most patients had little in the way of co-pays. However, once the local economy deteriorated, co-pays skyrocketed as employers tried to curb their health ...

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Eight weeks after I delivered my third child, I was diagnosed with a four-centimeter lung mass. Yes, you heard that right. For those in medicine, this is terrifying to hear as the first thing that comes to mind is lung cancer. Lung cancer is notoriously hard to treat, typically fatal with a short life expectancy after diagnosis and extremely unfair to a lifelong nonsmoker who has spent 12 years in ...

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Pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to increased pressure in the pulmonary circulation. It develops when pulmonary vessels become constricted and/or obstructed, which can occur in a wide variety of conditions. The increase in pressure is measured by right catheterization, and is defined as a mean pulmonary arterial pressure ≥ 25 mm Hg at rest. PH leads to right ventricular hypertrophy and enlargement as the ...

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Technology makes this an exciting time for health care. Not only are technological advances making health care better, they’re also making it more affordable. To get a taste of the potential of where health and technology are going, you only need to look as far the recent Fortune article titled, “Prepare for a Digital Health Revolution," or to search through the more than 300,000 ...

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It is not unusual to see a patient for a timely transition of care visit after a hospital admission and within a minute of entering the exam room know with all the bones in your body that this person needs to go back into the hospital. The funny thing is that when that happens, if the patient has Medicare, we may indirectly suffer financially from such “avoidable readmissions.” We belong to ...

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When I found out my patient was in the hospital again for the third time in six months, I wondered why her asthma had flared. Was the cold weather bothering her? Was her treatment regimen inadequate? When I spoke with her, I discovered the heartbreaking truth: she had been limiting her albuterol inhaler use because she simply could not afford to take it as much as she needed. For many of ...

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A tired but beaming mom greeted me as I entered the room. In her lap was a content appearing, slightly chubby, cherubic faced baby. “This is Caleb … isn’t he beautiful” mom gushed. “He is named after his dad …” but then added in a softer voice, “but I’m not sure how much he plans to be involved.” Mom’s smile waned for a moment but quickly came back. “Looking forward to ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-year history of cough and a 1-year history of increasing dyspnea. He describes the cough as nonproductive, and his shortness of breath is worse with exertion. He does not have chest pain, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, or any other symptoms. ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 67-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-month history of worsening exertional dyspnea. He has a history of severe COPD diagnosed 4 years ago and previously had minimal exertional symptoms. However, he now notes shortness of breath when walking short distances that is limiting his activity level. He does not have ...

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My brother-in-law, Ron, was a curmudgeon; grumpy, sullen, even downright mean at times. By blood, he and my husband Bill were cousins. In the 1950s, when Bill was just a child, his mother died unexpectedly, and Ron's mother took Bill in to live with her and her four children. They were an African-American family living in the midst of a middle-class, predominantly white Connecticut township. Their home, located on a wealthy ...

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