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Many Physicians Don’t Identify Red Flags In Teen Athletes’ Health

Before reaching for tests like EKGs to screen teen athletes, we should first ask ourselves if we’ve taken a careful history:

The new study consisted of Madsen and his fellow researchers sending out surveys to every pediatrician and family practice doctor in Washington State. They received a good response–surveys were returned by 72 percent of pediatricians and 56 percent of family practitioners.

The results were disheartening:

  • 28 percent of doctors surveyed failed to always ask if a teen experienced chest pain during exercise.
  • 22 percent of doctors surveyed failed to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

The Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures By Age Group

The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery publishes statistics every year indicating which cosmetic operations are on the rise. A journalist at the OC Register asked a group of plastic surgeons why this might be. Being that I am opinionated (why do you think I blog here,) I figured I’d take a shot at some of these:

I. Statistic: TEENS – Nosejobs and Otoplasty (commonly referred to as “ear pinning”) on the rise

Dr D: Part of the development of the teen psyche involves becoming aware of social norms. As they do this, they also become aware of differences and develop standards of beauty. Many of these teen nose jobs are justified as medically-needed, but appearance usually factors in. Otoplasty is a similarly social operation.

II. Statistic: YOUNG ADULTS – Breast implants. Ages 19-34. 166,000 a year. (ASAPS)

Dr D: “Beauty standards” are important motivators here as well. Young adults in the workplace (and social groups) see those around them doing these things and often being complimented. Some of these patients may also be seeking after childbirth “body repair.”

III. Statistic: EARLY MIDDLE AGE – Liposuction. Ages 35-50. 143,000 a year. (ASAPS)

Dr D: A slowing metabolism in this age group combined with more involved work schedules (with increased sedentary time) equals increased trouble “holding back the fat.” Liposuction is easy and can help with that. Add some post-pregnancy issues here as well.

IV. Statistic: YOUNG ADULTS – Botox. Ages 19-34. 371,000 a year. (ASAPS)

Dr D: The fad of Botox use in the really young is an advertising phenomenon as there is no good reason for young people to do this other than to “feel” hip.

My opinions of course. :)

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

All Teens Under Pressure To Be Above Average

My heart is going out to teens these days, especially in my high-achieving community. It seems school districts and parents alike have lost the sense that “average” is really OK, and in some cases, much healthier than “above average.”

An emotional goal of adolescence is to answer the question “who am I” acquiring self-certainty as opposed to self-consciousness and self-doubt. Most teens approach life expecting to succeed and achieve their goals rather than being paralyzed by feelings of inferiority. On a normal path, adolescents seek out people who inspire them and gradually develop a set of ideals and goals for their future. This is all perfectly normal, and if all goes well, teens become young women and young men who believe they can do whatever they set their minds to and are willing to work hard enough for. This process gets stunted if the expectations set for them are unreasonable. Read more »

This post, All Teens Under Pressure To Be Above Average, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Talking To Teens About Social Media And Sexting

Being the first group of parents to have to have to parent an all digital generation of kids, it’s no wonder our brains go on overload trying to sort out not only how to use all things digital but keep our developing kids safe and thriving in their ever digital lives.

I talked about these issues today on Fox25 Boston and highlighted the new social media and sexting tips out from the American Academy of Pediatrics in honor of Internet safety month. Here’s the clip of the segment with all the details:

To remember the key points of the new AAP tips, I came up with the mnemonic “TECH”:

T: talk to your kids about their technology use and what they think of technology and the issues they hear about online.

E: educate yourself about the technology your kids are using, your kids about the issues, and your community about the need for youth education programs in schools as support for the issues

C: check your kids online profiles and logs often, and sometimes without warning

H: have a family tech use plan and follow-through when violations occur.

We know how to parent off line. We know how to create consequences when curfews are broken and expectations for social rules and proper behavior are not met. What we have to do now is modify our already great parenting skills to the online world. These tips are the first step!

Plus, keep in mind, you are not alone. Not only are all the parents around you in the same boat but you have experts like me here to help answer your questions about the high tech lives of kids.

I had a great chat after the segment with many FoxNews25 viewers and will post what we talked about soon so everyone can benefit. In the meantime, if you have questions about your own “Networked Family” or a story to share from your own “Networked Family” archives, email me at

*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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