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Remembrance And Rules For Cyclists And Motorists

This third installment of “Cycling Wednesdays” comes as a guest post from Rachel Fagerburg. Rachel is a dear friend, mother of two young children, fellow cyclist, and wife of a teammate. She is famous in this area for her talent as a race announcer. I am grateful for her words:

On May 19, my husband and I joined thousands across the globe to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. With 1,000 participants at the first ride in 2003, the Ride of Silence has grown to a worldwide event raising awareness of the tragedies that can occur between motorists and cyclists. My husband and I rode in honor of two people we were privileged to call “friend.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

The Best States For Teen Drivers

The April issue of U.S. News & World Report will carry a story about the best states for teen drivers as part of a campaign to raise awareness for teen driver safety. The ratings are based on state driving laws and road conditions to determine how much a state is doing to promote safe roads, as well as government statistics on teen driving.

The best states for teen drivers are lead by these top ten (I feel like Letterman):

District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Minnesota, Utah, and Washington.

Car crashes kill more teens each year than anything else. Read more »

This post, The Best States For Teen Drivers, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Killer Dogs And US Dog Bite Statistics

Dog attacks are a major public health concern worldwide. In the United States, dogs bite more than 4 million people each year, occasionally resulting in fatalities. In an issue of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine (2009;20:19-25), Ricky Langley from the Division of Public Health in Raleigh, North Carolina published an article entitled, “Human Fatalities Resulting From Dog Attacks in the United States, 1979-2005.”

The statistics are instructive. In the years studied, there was an average of 19 deaths each year from dog attacks. Not surprisingly, males and children less than 10 years of age had the highest rate of death from dog attacks, with Alaska reporting the highest death rate. The number of deaths and death rate from dog attacks appear to be on the rise, perhaps for no other reason than there are more people and more dogs, in both absolute numbers and in proximity.

I am a dog lover (of friendly dogs), but am aware both as an owner and as an emergency physician that dogs will sometimes bite people, sometimes with serious consequences. Read more »

This post, Killer Dogs And US Dog Bite Statistics, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Book Review – Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon

Michael Gighlieri and Thomas Myers are coauthors of Over the Edge: Death In Grand Canyon, which is one heck of an interesting read. It is an encyclopedic rendition of all of the fatal accidents known (at the time of the writing) to have occurred in the Grand Canyon. The over-arching observation, made by the authors and almost certainly by the readers, is that the vast majority of these deaths were avoidable. Failure to recognize risk, or frank disregard for hazards, led to tragic loss of human lives. For every person who died, countless more suffered.

Early in the book and at intervals thereafter, the authors apologize for the graphic descriptions and for articulating the opinion that the fatalities were avoidable. They are apologizing for accurately observing that people can be uninformed, or informed and foolish. There is, of course, an element of risk inherent in many outdoor recreational activities, but the authors present an entirely different spin on risk – namely, unambiguously unnecessary risk. They are correct – too many people have paid the price, in the theme of this book, with loss of life and great emotional suffering (presumably) to family and friends.

There is a bit of adventure in the telling of tales, but this is not an adventure book. It is, rather, a series of accountings, some written in great detail and some more superficially. There is nothing boring about this book, but it is easily put down after a section is completed.

From the back cover: “Two veterans of decades of adventuring in Grand Canyon chronicle the first complete and comprehensive history of Grand Canyon misadventures. These episodes span the entire era of visitation from the time of the first river exploration by John Wesley Powell and his crew of 1869 to that of tourists falling off its rims today. These accounts of the nearly 600 people who have met untimely deaths in the Canyon set a new high water mark for offering the most astounding array of adventures, misadventures, and lifesaving lessons published between two covers. Over the Edge promises to be the most intense yet informative book on Grand Canyon ever written.”

The major and minor sections represent the categories of accidents: falls from the rims, falls within the canyon, heat illness (and dehydration), flash floods, river accidents (including crossings and drownings), air accidents, rockfall, envenomations, freak accidents, suicide, and murders.

The book is replete with lessons learned and safety advice – all of it useful for educators, adventurers, explorers, search and rescue personnel, and casual visitors. The book truly serves a purpose, which is to articulate history in such a way that the reader can learn from it, and hopefully, avoid the catastrophes that befell the unfortunate victims portrayed in these tales. Other interesting books co-authored by Dr. Myers are Fateful Journey – Injury and Death on Colorado River Trips in Grand Canyon and Grand Obsession – Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon.

This post, Book Review – Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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