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How to choose a good hospital? Hint: Don’t listen to the ads.

Nearly every day a press release from a health care provider or health care technology vendor shows up in my inbox urging me to look at what they offer and to write about it. Most of the time I don’t find their news worth passing along, but occasionally a pitch sparks a column idea. That’s […]

Perioperative beta blockers: an update

The pendulum regarding perioperative beta blockers has been swinging. Nevertheless, evidence accumulated during this time offers reasonable guidance for clinicians. Via CCJM.

Surgery in patients taking new (target specific) oral anticoagulants

From a recent review in CCJM: While various periprocedural protocols for TSOAC therapy have been proposed, evidence-based guidelines are still to come. The article summarizes the current thinking. It gives a nice summary of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and practical information for the perioperative period. Show More Summary

Sick or not sick? Handling the reality of inpatient medicine.

“So, is this the sickest list you’ve ever had?” the resident asked me at 2 AM, after I finally finished checking off all my boxes for the night. I nodded. I agreed. I was also shaking. Continue reading... Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media […]

IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century

In 2011, people witnessed an interesting competition on the television quiz show Jeopardy. It featured the two best players in the history of the show, Ken Jennings, who had the longest unbeaten run of 74 winning appearances, and Brad Rutter, who had earned the biggest prize of $3.25 million. Their opponent was a huge computer […]

Improve the lives of primary care doctors. Here’s how.

Making primary care better for doctors currently in practice and attractive to medical students and residents is critical given the needs of our health care system. It also has been a major focus of the health care organization where I work. A few colleagues and I noticed that many primary care doctors still stayed later […]

The Issue Of Taking Digital Images In Health Care Certainly Needs Care and Rules.

This appeared last week.Promoting a 'Clinical' Approach to the Taking and Transmission of Clinical ImagesTargeted News ServiceBARTON, Australia, Nov. 21 -- The Australian Medical Association issued the following news release:The AMAShow More Summary

Having children during medical residency: 6 tips to survive

We had our first child during the fourth year of my husband’s ophthalmology residency, and our second son joined us during the first year of a surgical retina fellowship. Juggling long hours, multiple medical commitments and the needs of two small children can be exhausting but every day is complete with fulfillment and laughter — […]

Unity Farm Journal - Thanksgiving 2014

As a vegan farmer in a vegetarian household, I’m always asked some thoughtful Thanksgiving questions.“How do you serve Guinea Fowl?”This is a very challenging question to answer because there is not much literature on the subject. We...Show More Summary

Autism’s cause: How much genetic? How much environmental?

Autism was first reported in the medical literature 70 years ago. In 1943 a child psychologist named Leo Kanner described a child with social difficulties and repetitive, stereotypic movements; the following year Hans Asperger described four such children. Since then we have gradually learned more about what we now call autism spectrum disorders (ASD), although we […]

NanoPlug: An invisible nano-tech hearing aid

I came across a very interesting project on Indiegogo.com about developing a really small hearing aid that could be a radical step towards improving the everyday lives of people with hearing problems. It’s time for hearing aids to become really small and comfortable. As the founder of the company, Nevena Zivic told me, the tech […]

Thankful for being a physician

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things, my family especially. But this post is about how thankful I am for being a physician. 1. Finding internal medicine – when I started medical school I had no idea what type of physician I would become. In November 1973 I started my internal medicine rotation, […]

The risk of GI bleeding associated with SSRIs with and without NSAIDs

Here are the findings of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis: RESULTS: Fifteen case–control studies (including 393,268 participants) and four cohort studies were included in the analysis. There was an increased risk of upper...Show More Summary

Physicians and their social accountability in the digital world

At a recent conference I was approached by more than a few colleagues and asked about the Kardashian Index (K-index). For those oblivious to the term, K-index is a ratio of a researcher’s Twitter followers (as a measure of “celebrity”) over the number of their research citations (as a measure of “scientific value”). Continue reading... […]

Review Of The Ongoing Post - Budget Controversy 27th November 2014. No Sign Of Stopping!

Budget Night was on Tuesday 13th May, 2014 and the fuss has still not settled by a long shot.It is amazing how the discussion on the GP Co-Payment just runs and runs. Some more this week.Here are some of the more interesting articles I have spotted this 26th week since it was released. Show More Summary

It Seems There Is Opportunity For Remote Telehealth To Make A Bigger Positive Difference.

This appeared last week:Doctors call on government to expand Medicare for TelehealthDelegates gather for annual telehealth conferenceBrian Karlovsky (ARN) on 17 November, 2014 09:48The Australasian Telehealth Society has called on the...Show More Summary

EMRs remove the soul of the medical record. So, what’s next?

By the time the next decade rolls in there will be no paper charts. There will probably still be paper floating around in various capacities, but there will be no one charting on paper. The term “charting” itself may become obsolete, like yonder or popinjay. The term EHR, which is what replaces the paper chart, […]

SurgiBot, a Robotic Version of Spider Surgical System (VIDEO)

TransEnterics (Durham, NC), maker of the highly articulating single-site Spider laparoscopic surgical system, just released a preview video of a robotized version of the device. Manipulation of the two pincers looks pretty intuitive, but the controls for the articulating light are less so. Show More Summary

Wireless-Powered Implantable Chip Treats Staph Infections, Dissolves Once Done

  Staph infections are often localized in the body, yet can be very difficult to treat both invasively and using antibiotics. Now researchers from Tufts University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an implantable electronic device that is able to kill a staph infection and then dissolve into the body once its job is done. Read More »

What medicine can learn from the Secret Service failure

I was listening to the news on my way to work recently, and heard a story about the review conducted after the well-publicized security breach at the White House. Like many people, I was shocked when the story of the fence-jumper first broke. How was it possible that some guy with a knife managed to get over […]

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