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Latest Posts

Eye Health As A Predictor Of Future Disability

The idea that the eyes are a window to the soul traces back through history in many forms, but the idea that the eyes might reveal medical secrets didn’t fall far behind the metaphor.

The clues lie on the retina, which reflects the same microvascular changes that might be seen elsewhere in the body from cardiovascular changes and other diseases. The question now is how to associate retinal changes to specific diseases.

To assess potential associations between retinal microvascular changes with disability in performing activities of daily living, researchers conducted a prospective cohort study of 1,487 community-dwelling, disability-free participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

The main outcome measure was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Floaters And Losing The Clarity Of Youthful Vision

“Will you grab that spider web?” my grandmother said abruptly. We were sitting on an old bench overlooking the river. It was September. I had sprung her from the assisted living home earlier that day.

“Which spider web are you talking about, Gram?” I asked her. My eyes were sleepily watching the timeless flow of the big river, the eddies and swirls along the banks, and the gracefully bending boughs of the old oak trees as they waltzed with the wind.

“There to the left!” she said with certainty, reaching her bony hand into the sky and grasping at thin air. “Get it, will you?”

I looked again but there was nothing. I knew that my grandmother’s mind had developed a little static among the signals, a few crackling wires in the electric grid of her brain, and I figured that her eyes were playing tricks on her.

“I don’t see it, Gram. What does it look like?”

She seemed a little disappointed that I did not share her perception. “It’s feathery, and it’s drifting just over the river. It’s actually quite pretty.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles*

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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