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Latest Posts

Public Health Should Be Apolitical

You can be for freedom. You can be for smaller government that intrudes less. You can be for lower taxes. You can be for most anything, but if you’re interested in improving the sagging health of American citizens, get on Michael Bloomberg’s wheel.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to bar city residents from using food stamps to buy sugary soft drinks. It turns out that last year $135 million in food stamp money was used for the consumption of these obesity-fostering beverages in NYC alone.

Mr Bloomberg is morphing into a real-world public health super star. Previously, he was a pioneer in banning smoking in restaurants and bars. They said it could not be done, or that it wouldn’t work. Well, the naysayers were dead wrong. Now public smoking bans our commonplace and, backed by objective data, are accepted as having prevented thousands of heart attacks. Read more »

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

The Big Apple Tells Smokers To Take A Hike (And Not In The Park)

It looks like New York City is leading the way for public health safety by introducing a public smoking ban in all public parks, malls, plazas, beaches and playgrounds or risk a $50 fine:

Research showed, he said, that someone seated within three feet of a smoker — even in the open air — was exposed to roughly the same levels of secondhand smoke as someone sitting indoors in the same situation.

What took so long? Go, New York. I hope you succeed. Next up: Charging parents who smoke in their homes occupied by minors with child negligence.

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Modern Meditation: Buddhism Meets Punk Rock

Dharma Punx in New York City mixes the tradition of Buddhism with the ideology of punk rock. Dr. Jon LaPook talks with teacher Josh Korda about how the seemingly different connect with the help of meditation.

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Signs Of The Economic Times

Someone on Twitter pointed me to a collection of creative job advertisements. This one was my favorite:


Taking The Emergency Medicine Board Exam In NYC

I took my board exam this week, and I think I liked it.

Which is not to say it was easy, or even altogether fair. And though I felt a little bit better upon finishing than these folks, I could be grossly deluded in my estimation of the number and trickiness of truly tough questions.

But there was a point in the exam, three or four hours into it, when I was overcome by the sheer variety of extraordinary patient presentations — the environmental catastrophes, bizarre overdoses and bites from creatures great and small. Overcome, not because I’ve never seen patients like this (for the most part, I haven’t) or because I didn’t know how to diagnose and manage them (I think I did), but really because these questions underscored what an amazing specialty I’ve chosen. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Blogborygmi*

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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