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Latest Posts

Sedating Yourself With Food: Why?

Dr. Whoo and I seem to be in the same place at the same time — we both struggle with our weight because we’re using food for something other than sustenance. We use it to manage stress. Overeating is, after all, a wonderful sedative. It soothes the savage beast and all that. And it really works. I’ve probably saved my marriage and my job and kept from killing my kids and my husband by sedating myself with food. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog that Ate Manhattan*

Pharma Discloses Physician Relationships – Now What?

This was the year that Pharma disclosed the names and payments of their physician consultants.  Look here for physicians speaking and consulting with Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, and Pfizer.

Physician disclosure of conflict is important.  It helps put a physician’s opinion and point of view into a context. Disclosure has long been the standard in the academic world.  This represents the first time that such information has been made available to the general public.

But how will patients use this information and how will it affect care and outcomes?  Should patients flatly avoid physicians or others who have a relationship with a pharmaceutical company?  And should patients routinely screen physicians for conflict?

I don’t know the answer to these questions.  I’m not sure patients know the answer to these questions.  I suspect patients may not like the idea but would be willing to overlook a pharma connection when the reputation of the physician is impeccable.

Transparency is all the rage.  Expect more. But I’m wondering how the average health consumer will practically process the information.

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Frosty The Snowman’s Heart And The Last Tomato Standing

snowmanLike a good Rochesterian (Rochester, NY that is), my husband decided to shovel the snow off our balcony after the 2-foot-deep deposits threatened to melt into our condo’s window cracks. I was comfortably blogging away in our living room when I looked up to find Mr. DrVal had built me a miniature snowman, complete with a heart made from the last tomato of our now fully dead Roma tomato plant.

A few amazing things about this photo: 1) How can ripe tomatoes still be growing at the end of December in Washington, DC? 2) How did he get Frosty’s hat to stay on his head? 3) How did he find my secret scrub stash and why did he wear them out to shovel snow?

Anyway – I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a rather charming and creative way to spend a Sunday after a snowstorm. But watch out, Frosty: I’d like to eat your heart out!

Teens Describe Their Ideal Realtionship With A Parent

As a parent, sometimes it is hard to know how our teens perceive us. We all want to be there for our children and have a great relationship with each of them, but sometimes they might not perceive our actions the same way we intend them to, so here is what a group of teens have to say about the perfect relationship with a parent. Just food for thought.

The perfect parent would …

  • Male, age 18: Listen. Everything else hinges upon listening.
  • Female, age 17: Be open to talk and understand me.
  • Male, age 17: Talk, express what they want and show affection, not think affection is understood, or a given. Read more »

This post, Teens Describe Their Ideal Realtionship With A Parent, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

An Oncologist Offers Dating Advice

How do you know if a couple is right for each other?

Watch how they interact in a cancer clinic.

So says this oncologist in a poignant column from the Boston Globe. As Robin Schoenthaler writes, “When you’re a single woman picturing the guy of your dreams, what matters a heck of lot more than how he handles a kayak is how he handles things when you’re sick. And one shining example of this is how a guy deals with your purse.” Read more »

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

Latest Interviews

Caring For Winter Olympians In Sochi: An Interview With Team USA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim

I am a huge fan of the winter Olympics partly because I grew up in Canada where most kids can ski and skate before they can run and partly because I used to participate in Downhill ski racing. Now that I m a rehab physician with a reconstructed knee I…

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How Do Hospital Executives Feel About Locum Tenens Agencies And Traveling Physicians?

I recently wrote about my experiences as a traveling physician and how to navigate locum tenens work. Today I want to talk about the client in this case hospital side of the equation. I ve had the chance to speak with several executives some were physicians themselves about the overall…

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Latest Book Reviews

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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Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

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