Finasteride, fruit, and the matter of prostate health

by Arnon Krongrad, MD

The noose was loose on its neck. At first I worried, but then I relaxed. This was a bottle of pomegranate juice, the antioxidant superpower. As the billboard implied, it could cheat death. Perhaps if I consumed pomegranate juice, I could cheat death.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission charged POM Wonderful, LLC, makers of pomegranate products, with deceptive advertising. …

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10 reasons why doctors over-order tests

by Neel Shah, MD

What are the top reasons doctors over-order tests?

1. How we’re taught
. Doctors are taught to consider whether a procedure is safe and whether it’s likely to work. We’re almost never taught to consider cost — it’s considered taboo.

2. Trying to do our best for the patient
. We’re worried. Often we over-order because of our personal risk aversion.

3. Pre-emptive ordering. For residents, who do much of …

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Does the DSM-5 medicalize normal behavior?

by John Gever

Just about everyone catches colds, and just about everyone who gets one is able to go to work and cook their meals, and they nearly always recover within a few days whether or not they take anything for it. That’s normal.

So, is the advice to take aspirin “medicalizing normal behavior”? Are drug companies that market decongestants and fever reducers “medicalizing normal behavior”?

The answer …

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How doctors can cope with stress

by Walter van den Broek, MD, PhD

Often I ask my residents that if you can’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of your patients?

Or in another way: the only difference between God and a doctor is that God knows he’s not a doctor. These sound like cliches but there is some truth in them. In short, doctors are just ordinary people …

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Root beer bonds a chemotherapy patient with his oncologist

by Krupali Tejura, MD

I am treating a patient for head and neck cancer — which can be one of the most harrowing therapies.

To receive chemotherapy and radiation concurrently can be pretty debilitating. Swallowing foods can be next to impossible, and the taste changes and saliva changes are brutal. It’s one of the harshest areas to treat … and I warn the patients beforehand: …

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