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For Pain Care Race Shouldn't Matter. But It Does

Jun 05 2018 - 19:06

The CDC 2106 *mandate* for prescribing of opioids has resulted in an indiscriminate hardship against millions of chronic pain patients. Or has it? The term "indiscriminate" is actually inaccurate. All pain patients are treated terribly but black and Hispanic patients are treated even worse since they are disproportionately affected by Sickle Cell Disease, a horribly painful killer. Do patients with a known, easily-diagnosed disease get a break with pain relief? No, it's quite the opposite. Disgraceful. 

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Rabies in Seattle. Tuberculosis in San Diego. Hepatitis A in Nashville. Why?

Jun 05 2018 - 10:06

Unless they're eradicated smallpox-style, infectious diseases never disappear. Like an unlucky penny, they can show up at any time.

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Risk Calculators Need Maintenance Just Like All Infrastructure

Jun 05 2018 - 09:06

Infrastructure maintenance is not just an issue for bridges and roads, sometimes the infrastructure that needs an update is how we assess risk, especially for patients where treatment continues to change.

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Want to Sell Your DNA? 2 Firms Are Buying (Sort Of)

Jun 05 2018 - 07:06

There are instances when people choose to sell their own blood. Sperm banks transact business based on a different bodily fluid. And it's not unheard of for those desperate enough to sell an organ, such as a kidney, despite the moral implications.

So, in this realm of being paid for pieces of our own body, what about DNA? We pose this because we're seemingly on the cusp of a brand new industry hoping to do just that.

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Anus & Rectum: Objects In Orifices

Jun 04 2018 - 17:06

The tale of an eggplant's exit from the body.

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Home and Heroes: My Speech at the North Penn- Liberty High School Commencement

Jun 04 2018 - 09:06

On Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, I gave the commencement speech for the North Penn-Liberty class of 2018, 35 years after I graduated. While much has changed, the basic challenges young people will face have not. A number of attendees asked me for a copy and I didn't have a clean one, mine was half-typed, half hand notes, so it is presented below. At least as it was written. I went off book in a few spots, including at the end. So even at my age I have new things to learn: Like always listen to the experienced speechwriters.



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Chemotherapy Found Unnecessary For Some Breast Cancers

Jun 04 2018 - 07:06

A large study of breast cancer treatment demonstrates that for estrogen responsive, HER2 negative cancers, the majority of women do not require chemotherapy in addition to hormonal manipulation. 

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How Synthetic Marijuana Can Make You Urinate Blood and Die

Jun 04 2018 - 05:06

Synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes mixed with rat poison, which causes uncontrollable bleeding. As it turns out, the neighborhood drug dealer might not be a completely trustworthy individual.

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Patient Privacy Threatened By End of Legal Decency

Jun 03 2018 - 18:06

When lawyers and marketing firms can directly target patients, via their mobile phones, while in the ER, the time is yesterday to preserve once presumed protected health information.

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20% of Young-Adult Deaths Opioid Related, Study Finds

Jun 01 2018 - 16:06

Reviewing statistics relating to all deaths in the United States during a recent 16-year period, researchers determined that fatalities of young adults from opioid abuse have increased nearly 300 percent over that time.

They also found that in 2016, the last year studied, 20 percent of all deaths in this age group were opioid related.  

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European Cardiologists Offer To Treat Strokes. Is That Good?

Jun 01 2018 - 06:06

Both Dr. Wells and I often write, as clinicians, about the changing landscape in healthcare, bemoaning how administrators or technologies break the patient-physician relationship. But sometimes there is a self-inflicted wound when physicians for a variety of reasons move away from caring for patients to providing procedures. A presentation at the recent European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions is, unfortunately, a perfect example. (The inclusion of intervention in their title is the first clue that we may have a problem)

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Wanna Get The Opioid Mess All Wrong? Ask Keith Humphreys

May 31 2018 - 20:05

Keith Humphreys, a psychologist, writes about opioids for the Washington Post. But he has an unusual take on the matter. Does Humphreys know what he's talking about? Let's see. 

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Reductionism Gone Awry

May 31 2018 - 10:05

Sometimes a study leaves you gobstruck – and not in a good way. A current article in Circulation: Heart Failure looks at how dietary protein intake impacts the risk of heart failure. Basically, this is a study of 2441 Finnish men age 42 to 60 studied over a mean period of 22 years looking at the incidence of heart failure based on the amount of protein in their diet. Their finding

“In middle-aged men, higher protein intake was marginally associated with increased risk of HF (heart failure).”

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To Predict ‘Next Wave of Drug Abuse,’ FDA Listens To The Internet And Follows The Pills

May 31 2018 - 03:05

Can the FDA's tactics to impact the current opioid problem also predict its successor?

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NFL's Medical Chief: Playing for KC, and Now Also an MD

May 30 2018 - 15:05

This week, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an NFL offensive lineman, graduated from McGill University’s medical school while an active player for the Kansas City Chiefs. In football's modern era, if not the NFL's entire history, his fascinating accomplishment – the first active player to hold a medical degree – appears to be unprecedented.

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With Consumer Privacy Center Stage, Why Aren’t We Talking About Health Data?

May 30 2018 - 14:05

With the proposed consumer privacy initiative in California a reaction to internet data abuse, it is time, even overdue, to discuss the murky territory once presumed protected health information has entered.

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With Glyphosate, Science Claws Out A Victory In France, While Ramazinni Loses More Credibility In Belgium

May 30 2018 - 11:05

In 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron held fast with his environmental allies against science and declared they would ban the herbicide glyphosate despite the overwhelming consensus on its safety and necessity.

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A Guide To Television Drug Advertising

May 30 2018 - 07:05

The ubiquitous television advertising about prescription drugs is highly structured by the FDA and helps to explain why the speaker is talking so fast at the end of the advertisement. 

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Modern Medicine Bullies Indigenous Knowledge, Journal Argues with Straight Face

May 29 2018 - 22:05

In our postmodern society -- where truth is relative, "fake news" is prevalent, and scientific facts are just an opinion -- it shouldn't come as a surprise that modern medicine is facing a backlash.

Evidence-based medicine, which is supported by a bedrock of biomedical science, literally has saved the lives of billions of people. Yet, modern medicine has been sustaining an assault from multiple fronts in recent years.

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Enviro-Thugs Sue To Keep Natural Food Flavors Out Of Food

May 29 2018 - 14:05

Eight activist environmental groups are being represented by a bunch of lawyers from a group called Earth(in)justice in a lawsuit against the FDA. What do they want? To force the FDA to remove seven food chemicals from its "permitted" artificial flavor list. But there are the same chemicals that are naturally found in all kinds of foods. We use Nanogodzilla to demonstrate pure foolishness. 

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