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Latest Posts

Weight Loss: The Most Common New Year’s Resolution

Probably the most common New Year’s resolution I hear year after year is the one to lose weight. I mean, hey — even I tell myself that I’ll feel better when I’m able to drop some pounds. But how is that done? I get asked all the time what is the best diet out there and what piece of exercise equipment should be purchases to get the job done. And, oh yeah — how soon can I see results?

Losing weight is not easy (duh) — a doctor doesn’t need to tell you that. But in this video, I talked with our local TV station about some practical “dos and don’ts” when it comes to trying to lose some weight as your New Year’s resolution. As a rule, I tell people to start off your plan slowly when it comes to eating better and incorporating some exercise.

If you find this video helpful, I invite you to check out others at MikeSevilla.TV. Enjoy!

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

To Change Patient Behavior, Change How You Talk To Them

According to Marshall Becker, PhD, MPH, a one-time professor of mine and prime mover behind the Health Belief Model (HBM), four things must be in place for health behavior change to occur. I am paraphrasing here: 

  1. A person has to know that they have a particular health condition.
  2. A person has to believe that having said health condition is bad.
  3. A person must perceive the benefits of behavior change to outweigh the difficulties of behavior change.
  4. There must be a “call to action” to spark the change.

Absent any one of these steps and the likelihood that behavior change will occur is diminished. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*

Weight Loss Dos And Don’ts: What’s In Your Grocery Cart?

Grocery cartI know it’s not politically correct to look at what other people buy at the grocery store, but as a physician I just can’t help noticing. Some carts contain huge containers of soda pop, Doritos, frozen pizza, and other packaged goods.

I’m not surprised, because at the end of every isle is a display case that offers the giant soda for 89 cents or the Doritos on special for $1.29. With this type of marketing, it takes a strong person to resist the “bargain.”

Yesterday the woman in front of me (overweight, middle-aged) had a strange assortment of goods that she probably thought would help her lose weight. She had several Weight Watcher-type meals, diet drinks, power bars, and lots of “light” items — “light butter,” “light crackers,” “light yogurt,” and ”light ice cream.” 

Folks, this won’t work. Eating this way won’t help her lose weight. She needs to make dramatic changes to drop the pounds. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Six Simple Steps To A Long And Healthy Life -Or- A New Way To Protest Bad Healthcare Legislation

healthcarebillRegular readers know that I’ve been promoting healthy lifestyle choices since this blog’s inception. In fact, I even used to lead a weight loss group called “Lose 20 pounds with Dr. Val.” I’ve often joked that because of the law of the conservation of mass, when someone loses weight, someone else must “find” it. And well, I guess I realized – looking towards 2010 – that I had found some of that weight myself!

If healthcare reform debates teach us one thing, it’s this: the future of healthcare coverage is uncertain for all of us, so the most important thing we can do is avoid needing it (if at all possible)! Time to turn that into a New Year’s resolution… so here’s what we can do: Read more »

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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