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Latest Posts

A Video Poem: Medical Tests And What “Normal” Means

I’ve written a few times about Veneta Masson, a nurse practitioner who wrote in Health Affairs and the Washington Post about her decision to forego further mammograms despite the fact that she was in a higher-risk category.

Veneta is also a poet. She sent me a video animation of her poem “Reference Range,” which I’m pleased to share with you. I think the poem and the video are beautiful, touching on important issues of how meaningless numbers and scores may be, subject to misinterpretation. She writes:

I see no cause for alarm.

“Is it normal?” you ask.

Normal’s a shell game you seldom win.

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

What If All Patients Were This Engaged In Their Health?

This video is an excellent testimony of what a truly engaged and knowledgable patient with diabetes looks and sounds like. Kudos to the Mayo Clinic for sharing this wonderful piece about shared decision making.

Pay particular attention to the fact that the patient in the video was treated for diabetes by her primary care physician for eight years before being referred to a clearly “patient-centered” endocrinologist. Also note her belief that a patient-centered approach to chronic disease management probably results in shorter, more productive visits in the long run.

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

Consider Medical Conditions Before Jumping On The New Year’s Resolution Diet-And-Exercise Bandwagon

The first week of January was full of news reports of giving advice on your new diet and exercise program to help you lose the weight you’ve always wanted to. In a previous post and video I talk about some do’s and don’ts when planning for your weight loss New Year’s resolution.

In the video below, I talk about some medical issues to keep in mind before starting your program. For example, do you have a family history of medical problems like high blood pressure or diabetes? If so, you may want to schedule an appointment with your personal physician before jumping on the diet and exercise bandwagon.

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

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

Meet Marcel, The Diabetic Shell

Clara Barton Camp (CBC) is awesome — this is an indisputable fact. I talk about CBC all the time when I’m at conferences, because there is something so unique and incredibly supportive about knowing that your fellow campers are also insulin-dependent and aren’t afraid to show it.

Part of what makes CBC so cool is that it makes you feel like having diabetes is…sort of cool. Almost everyone at camp has it, so if your pancreas happens to work, it makes you the odd one out instead of part of the WYOI (wear your own insulin) crowd. What’s more empowering than taking an isolating chronic illness and making it the common — and intrinsically cool — thread? 

Which is why this video — a diabetes take on the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On — is so brilliant. It takes the Marcel the Shell concept and turns it on its diabetes head. And if you’re “in the know” with diabetes, it will make you laugh. If you listen closely, you’ll hear some of my favorite diabetes lines of all time. (Including, but not limited to: ”One time I licked a glucose tab and went into DKA.”)

It takes some serious (cotton?) balls to make this video. I love it. This video was created, voiced, and edited by the talented CBC team of Abby Bayer (who guest posted here), Savannah Johnson (her post is here), Allie D, and Alissa Carberry (I think it’s time for Alissa and Allie to post, since I have nothing to link to for them).  

What else can I say, other than this video had me in tears from laughing last night. Clara would be proud!

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Mental Illness On Sesame Street

ZDoggMD, a hospitalist in California, gives us Diagnosis: Sesame Street a “cluster of mental illness, all on one urban inner-city avenue.” Enjoy.

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

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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