Patient Advocacy

How Henrietta Lacks Achieved Immortality

How Henrietta Lacks Achieved Immortality

We all benefit, at least indirectly, from scientific research. Depending upon how it is conducted, we also can be harmed by it. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is not only a highly engaging biography but a study in medical ethics that raises important, thought-provoking questions.

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The Mind/Body Problem

The Mind/Body Problem

Once again, separating the mind from the body is an arbitrary paradigm. Bottom line: psychiatric diagnoses have a pathology. Or, in plain English: Yes, again. Turns out that mental health is sometimes caused by a bodily process. Another hormone has been implicated and the lay media is finally taking notice. Your thyroid, a little...

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October 29 is World Stroke Day.

October 29 is World Stroke Day.

Once again, the CDC announces October 29 as World Stroke Day. The ABC’s of  stroke prevention: A – Aspirin, if you are at risk. B – Blood pressure control. C – Cholesterol management. You can act now to prevent a stroke. Please see your physician for a blood pressure check, review of any medications...

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Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Investigating the topic of chronic pain and its impact upon society, I happened across a website which at first glance seemed helpful: Partners Against Pain. Even better, a Pain Management Advocacy Toolkit was among the website’s resources. Clicking on the link, I was led to a new website entitled “In the Face of Pain:...

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How to Talk With Your Doctor.

How to Talk With Your Doctor.

You will probably be happier about your medical care if you and your doctor are a team. Although your doctor is an expert on medical care, you are the expert on yourself. Often you have choices to diagnose or treat an illness, and actively partnering with your doctor, rather than passively letting him do...

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Why your doctor can’t spend more time with patients.

Why your doctor can’t spend more time with patients.

Pauline Chen is spot-on with this feature: An Insurance Maze for U.S. Doctors. If you wonder why your physician seems stressed, inattentive, burned out, or any number of other states signifying that your health interests are competing for attention with other concerns, this is a primary reason why. I read this with interest, as...

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A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

  Seems counterintuitive, yes? But examine the facts.  High infection rates (1 out of 3 on a “good” day) can be virtually eliminated; medical errors significantly so. Both require commitment from the public, hospital administrators, and the government. So please don’t be afraid to ask clinicians if they’ve washed their hands before touching a patient! This includes...

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Treat COPD “Naturally”?

Treat COPD “Naturally”?

This headline caught my attention: Treat COPD Naturally With Vitamin D Such an attractive concept. I have learned, though, to look for multiple studies with the same result, and to critically review the researchers for any potential conflict of interest. That said, alternative therapies proven to be effective should certainly be included, but relying...

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A Note of Appreciation – and Apology – to Medical Providers!

A Note of Appreciation – and Apology – to Medical Providers!

There’s a lot of content here which doesn’t reflect well on the ignominious few who don’t uphold your professional standards. But to the other 95% of you, please know you are not included! Having spoken with many of you, I understand your frustration with not being able to engage 100% with your patients, and...

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Should We Mourn the Dying Art of the Physical Exam?

Should We Mourn the Dying Art of the Physical Exam?

The jury is still out. Evidence-based medicine promises fast, accurate diagnoses. Does it truly deliver on its promise? Why would a physician continue the “archaic” practice of the so-called “physical”? Consider: A women is admitted to the E.R. with breathing difficulty and seizures. A CT scan reveals advanced cancer in both breasts which has...

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