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Latest Posts

Research Identifies Aspects Of Spinning That Cause Dizziness

In one of the stranger research projects I’ve encountered in awhile, French scientists reported on why in the sport of discus throwing, athletes tend to feel more dizzy than those who hammer throw.

Whether discus or hammer throwing, both require spinning on part of the athlete before letting the discus/hammer go for long distances.

59% report dizziness with discus throwing, but none with hammer throwing. Why?

This occurred even among athletes who did both sports eliminating individual susceptibilities to dizziness.

Based on slow-motion video analysis, it was conjectured that Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

New Movie Promotes “Energy Medicine”

It’s boring to try to ferret out reliable health information from dry medical journals. It’s easier and more fun to watch a movie. A new movie promises to change the way you think about your health. To bring you breakthroughs that will transform your understanding of how to get well and stay well. To share the discoveries of leading researchers and health practitioners about miracle cures that traditional medicine can’t explain.

If this makes your baloney detector light up, good for you!

The Living Matrix: A Film on the New Science of Healing is an atrociously bad movie that falls squarely in the tradition of What the Bleep Do We Know? In his book Nonsense on Stilts, Massimo Pigliucci characterized the “Bleep” movie as “one of the most spectacular examples of a horribly tangled mess of science and nonsense,” and this new movie is more of the same. Bleep was just silly, but The Living Matrix is potentially dangerous because it might persuade patients to make poor decisions about their medical care. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Doctors Are Human, Too

It’s all too easy to try and quantify everything in medicine. We are, after all, under the widely held delusion that medicine is like physics. A thing that follows fixed, predictable mathematical models. A thing reproducible if only algorithm A is followed for this disease and algorithm B is followed for that disease.

This belief is also held by the government, which doesn’t want to pay for readmissions or mistakes. Because it is believed that all things in medicine can be known from an exam, some labs, some tests, and some studies.

Nevertheless, things happen. Disease are transmitted in public or by families. Medications don’t always work. Bodies change. Bodies age. Humans are non-compliant. Humans are suffering from physiologic phenomena we can’t yet comprehend. Viruses are synergistic with other diseases.

The immunity of our patients is affected by their happiness, their diet, their work history, their family. The algorithms necessary to make medicine anything like physics would be mathematically beyond comprehension. Read more »

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

Contest: Guess Who’ll Win The Nobel Prize In The Sciences?

Next Monday, the Nobel Foundation will announce the winner(s) of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In the following two days, two more Nobels will be revealed: in Physics and in Chemistry. Because of the success of last year’s inaugural Guess-A-Nobel Contest, we decided we’ll repeat this event annually until there is no more science worthy of the prize. This year we’re giving out three 8GB Apple iPod Touch devices to those who correctly guess in each of the three science categories. Because we profile a good deal of apps for the iPhone/Touch platform, we thought this might be a useful tool beside all the fun it can provide on the off time. Furthermore, if someone does manage to guess all three correctly, he or she will be getting the souped-up 64 GB version of the iPod device with all the trimmings.


Here are the rules of the game: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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 Cartoon

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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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