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Latest Posts

Protecting Your Kid’s Brain

Neuropsychologist Kim Gorgens spoke at the last TEDxDU about issues surrounding children’s safety and what parents can do to prevent concussions — and it’s probably not to wrap the little ones in bubble tape. Watch for yourself:

(Hat Tip: Scope)

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Making Circumcision A Crime?

Have you heard? First San Fransisco bans toys in Happy Meals. Now CNN is reporting there’s a  circumcision ban proposed in San Fransisco as well. 

To recap: Anti-circumcision activist Lloyd Schofield has drawn up a proposal outlawing all circumcisions, even for religious reasons (circumcision of boys is traditional in Judaism and Islam.) The punishment would be up to a year in jail or up to a $1,000 fine.

Boy, oh boy. What a hot-bed topic circumcision is. Mandating a ban against all circumcisions is like mandating a requirement that all boys be circumcised. Nobody is right. Everyone is an expert. You’re either for it or against it. But making circumcision a crime? I don’t know. Read more »

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

If This Were Your Child, What Would You Do?

Child's doctor visitMany times when faced with a clinical dilemma, a parent will turn to me and ask: “What would you do if this were your child?”

When faced with this question, I never quite know what to say. And each time I feel a little on-the-spot. But why is that? Aren’t I comfortable recommending for someone else exactly what I would do for my own child? After all, what have I got to hide?

Here’s the problem: The decisions we make as parents involve our values, tolerance of risk, level of concern and frustration, prior health experience, and religious belief — to name but a few. There’s no way to fully tease those things from the parent sitting across the room. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

“The Thought” Of Your Child Having Diabetes

It wasn’t until yesterday that I thought “The Thought” for the first time.

She had a very wet diaper in the afternoon. And even though she had nursed for a long time and even though she seemed (and is) healthy and very strong, I still thought about taking out my meter and pricking her heel myself. Just thought it for a second.

I didn’t follow through, though. I didn’t let “The Thought” stay for more than a flicker, as I immediately finished changing her diaper and started singing her a song about the power of tiny spoons. (Don’t ask — my songs never make any sense.) I shook “The Thought” off the same way I shake off the thought every time I wonder if my niece or nephew might have dipped into my autoimmune grab bag. I don’t allow my brain to go there. It’s not denial, but feels more like a protective measure taken by my mind, protecting my psyche from letting “The Thought” permeate my daily life. Read more »

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

For High School Graduates: Education First, Career Second

GraduationIt’s here again: High school graduation season — that annual rite of passage for high schoolers coast to coast to embark upon that much-anticipated journey from home to that first true independent step outside the safety net of their childhood communities.

What always amazes me is the pressure high school kids feel as they embark upon this journey and how often I hear these kids express anxiety over not knowing what they want to be “when they grow up.” And, let’s not forget that we are still talking about kids — these are still teenagers, still developing and maturing. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

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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