Mainstream media

Mischaracterizations by the popular media of medical conditions

by Joyce Graff

Medical dramas can play powerful roles in increasing awareness of rare diseases, but it’s critical that the diseases are portrayed accurately. Mischaracterizations by the popular media of medical conditions, particularly rare ones, can be very demeaning to people afflicted with those conditions, and can affect how people look at them in the workplace or at school.

The TV show, Grey’s Anatomy recently broadcast the first …

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House, M.D. physician technical advisor interview

by Ryan DuBosar

“House, M.D.,” is the least realistic medical drama on television. That doesn’t bother Lisa Sanders, ACP Member, one of the show’s technical advisors.

The lead character, Gregory House, MD, verbally abuses patients, goes overboard ordering tests and above all, he’s “a jerk,” Dr. Sanders said. But after all, it’s television, and the former CBS news producer turned med student turned Yale professor understands the difference between reality and good …

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Is House M.D. bad for medicine?

A few days ago, we talked about how Scrubs was a relatively accurate portrayal of medical life.

Let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum, namely, Fox’s House M.D.

As an emergency physician notes, the doctors in the House-universe seem super-human. Indeed, “the docs on that show are not only walking encyclopedias of rare diseases, but they are …

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Does masturbation really cause prostate cancer?

A small study garnered significant media attention last week, with headlines blaring an association between masturbation and prostate cancer.

Before anyone gets really worried, obstetrician-gynecologist Amy Tuteur takes a closer look at the data, and is not impressed.

The retrospective, case-control study actually didn’t reveal any significant initial findings, so the authors kept manipulating the variables until they saw a possible association.

Dr. Tuteur believes that …

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Tom Brady and his knee infection

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently underwent repair of his anterior cruciate ligament at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. His doctor was Neal S. ElAttrache, who’s a renowned orthopedic surgeon and former team physician of an NFL team.

Unfortunately, his post-op course has been complicated by an infection. On his website, TomBrady.com, he acknowledged this and said that the original procedure …

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Bernie Mac, pneumonia, and sarcoidosis

Comedian Bernie Mac dies at age 50 from pneumonia. Sad news.

He had been recently hospitalized, and as recently as two days ago, it was reported he was stable and responding well to treatment. What happened?

There is very little medical information to go on. It was known that he had …

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Why would you go into primary care?

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My take: What makes a good medical blog?

Maria writes: “I’d like your take on what you think constitutes a ‘good’ medblog . . . I am continually surprised with what people like about medblogs. Some people like brief links, some people like critical discussions, some people like stories.

This ultimately all boils down to opinion, but I’d like to know what traits you like in medblogs.

Can you start by opining that you strongly dislike …

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Bizarre non-medical news: Moose farts and global warming

Moose farts are partly responsible for the climate change:

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway’s technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a …

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Death by Bengay

Overuse of muscle cream lead to this teen’s death:

A medical examiner blamed a 17-year-old track star’s death on the use of too much muscle cream, the kind used to soothe aching legs after exercise.

Arielle Newman, a cross-country runner at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island, died after her body absorbed high levels of methyl salicylate, an anti-inflammatory found in sports creams such as Bengay and Icy Hot, …

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"My IBS caused me to shoplift"

She apparently couldn’t wait in line any longer:

A woman arrested for shoplifting has blamed the crime on irritable bowel syndrome, authorities said. Helen Gallo, 61, of Clearwater, was arrested Sunday after allegedly shoplifting from a Cape Coral grocery store, The Daily Breeze of Cape Coral reported.

Gallo reportedly told authorities that she could not wait in line because she has irritable bowel syndrome, according to the newspaper.

The post-CABG bra

Novel idea:

Dr. Kathryn King, a University of Calgary researcher, says her study of 481 women in 10 cities across Canada suggests those who wore the bra had significantly less post-surgical breast pain and discomfort, compared to women in a control group . . .

. . . The new design stops the weight of the breast from putting pressure on the surgical wound. It also …

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