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Latest Posts

Powerful Acne Drug Forced Off Market By Lawsuits

Effective-Acne-Treatment-Severe-Nodular-AcneThe physical scars will be nothing compared to the emotional scars that will haunt the children.   I recently read  that the effective acne treatment Accutane was pulled off the market this summer quietly ending access to an excellent and effective acne treatment for millions of self conscious teens and young adults.  Accutane, or isotretinoin as it’s known, was used to treat severe nodular acne.

It turns out that Accutane was linked to inflammatory bowel disease, and other side effects resulting in thousands of lawsuits.  It spent twenty five years on the market embroiled in controversy.

Approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982, Accutane has been the subject of controversy for years. It first garnered attention in the late eighties for causing severe birth defects. It has also been known to cause psychiatric problems, and has been linked to hundreds of cases of suicide in the United States. Accutane has also been associated with problems of the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and pancreas, as well as the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and auto-immune systems.

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

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..

Book Review: Choices: A Novel

Choices: A Novel is a must read for teachers, parents and teenagers, everywhere. A combination of coming-of-age textbook, conversation starter, bite-your-nails, and gotta finish book, it took me by surprise. Laughter, tears, and some great conversations have filled our home this week as we read Choices.

In a nutshell, the main character, 15 year-old Kara, lives in a very sheltered world, attends a girls school, is an outstanding student. Kara seems to know very little about her own feelings and body, and less about those of others, until the star jock from a local school catches her eye and introduces her to the world of parties, drinking, drugs, and sex. Fearing that she is losing his attention, Kara binge drinks, has non-consensual unprotected sex, and gets pregnant. Her life is immediately turned upside down and Kara feels like she is all alone. Read more »

This post, Book Review: Choices: A Novel, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Parents: Your Kids May Be Sexting


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According to a recent study, about one in five teenagers have electronically distributed provocative pictures of themselves that could land them in jail. A joint survey by Cosmogirl.com and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 19% of teenagers answered “yes” when asked if they had ever “sent a nude or semi-nude picture/video” of themselves to someone via email, cell phone, etc. Read more »

Big Tobacco Now Marketing Fruit Flavored Cigars To Youth

Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate tobacco products we will see more meaningful moves to reduce the harmfulness and addictiveness of tobacco, as well as to reduce its addictiveness to young people. However, we should also expect the tobacco industry to respond by trying to find loopholes that help it get around these regulatory moves.

The first example is the ban on added flavors to cigarettes (which currently excludes menthol flavor, i.e. it is not banned automatically). Recently I’ve noticed an increased promotion of flavored cigars, often being sold as singles, in bright colorful packaging. The current FDA flavor regulation doesn’t ban fruit, candy and other flavors in cigars or smokeless tobacco, just cigarettes. Read more »

This post, Big Tobacco Now Marketing Fruit Flavored Cigars To Youth, was originally published on Healthine.com by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

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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