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Latest Posts

Broaching The End Of Life Topic With Loved Ones: Join The Campaign

This is my 3rd year participating in The Engage with Grace Blog Rally.  Engage With Grace is a movement designed to help advance the conversation about the end-of-life experience.  It began with a simple idea:  Create a tool to get people talking.  Their tool is a slide with five questions designed to initiate dialog about our end-of-life preferences.  I originally heard about Engage with Grace from Paul Levy and he’s at it again this year.

This campaign has forced me to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Feeling Pretty Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving here in the States, and I’m feeling pretty thankful. While the day is reserved for turning hand tracings into turkeys, it’s also a good day to highlight what I’m thankful for this year:

I’m thankful that we have a backyard that the cats can go [potty] in, because I was tired of cleaning that litterbox. (And I’m also secretly glad that our neighbors have a ridiculous cat that comes over and starts trouble with ours, because when they pile into the bushes out back and cause the shrubbery to vibrate with their Andy Capp-style battles, it cracks me right up.)

I’m thankful for our family and friends, who have helped Chris and I adjust to our new lives as “parents” and who make “home” a place that matters. We’re so glad to be sharing this chapter of our lives with the people and in the places we love the most.

I’m thankful for having good enough health to take it for granted, and to actually have the luxury of feeling frustrated when I’m “sick” because it’s such a foreign concept.

I’m thankful for the wonderful work opportunities that have come up in the last few years, specifically for the companies and organizations that have embraced the voices of patient advocacy and who have decided to become part of the conversation.

I’m thankful I have an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor that can help me make sense of the holiday meals. Also known as: ”Pie? Yes, please.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Lots Of Thanksgiving

A mom who took care of us kids far better than she did herself, always. A Dad whose advice grew better with years, although it was good then. Two brothers and a sister to share a driveway basketball court with, rain or shine. The infinite love of grandparents, who lived within hollering distance over an old Connecticut stone wall.

A high school guidance counselor who said I wasn’t smart enough to go to medical school. A college biology professor who rolled out a cart of beers on that first Friday evening research conference. That I watched the movie “Hoosiers” and thought to look at Indiana University for residency, and while there met so many dedicated cardiology teachers.

That I have so many great colleagues to work with now. Immersing oneself in a sea of committed people helps the heart. Medical peeps are a cool crowd. That technological wizardry has allowed us on opportunity to alleviate the heart’s most common hiccup, the AF.

That our family has found some great pals to hang with. Friends that allow us to wear tank tops, shorts and crocs with socks when we visit. But most of all, I am thankful for a family that I would not change one bit — a loving wife who is a best friend, and smart healthy kids who like themselves, each other, and their parents (at least most of the time).



Oops…I am thankful that I am a master bike racer, too. Only I wish that I was faster.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

Thanksgiving: A Heart Attack For Dessert?

It seems the Washington Post, cloaked under an anonymous author, wants to use scare tactics to keep most of us from enjoying Thanksgiving with their ominously titled article, “And for dessert, a heart attack?” They spew all kinds of garbage with very little data about how eating a high-fat diet might give you a heart attack.

If you want to know more, consider this article* from some pretty smart folks at Harvard. Then eat, drink, and be merry without guilt (courtesy of Dr. Wes). Happy Thanksgiving!

- WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

*REFERENCE: Renata, M. and Mozaffarian, D. “Saturated Fat and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors, Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes: a Fresh Look at the Evidence.” Lipids, 31 Mar 2010.

[Photo credit: Lambert]

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

Why We Should Be Thankful For The Uninsured

In what has become a tradition over the past few years, DrRich proudly reprises his annual Thanksgiving message to his beloved readers:

Gathered around the Thanksgiving table, DrRich’s large extended family, carrying out a longstanding tradition, each offered in their turn one reason for being thankful on this most reflective of American holidays. DrRich listened respectfully as each of his loved ones, and each of the ones he was obligated to tolerate benignly because they had married (or in some other manner had committed to) one of his loved ones, recounted a cause for thanks.

There is no need for DrRich to recite their utterances here, because they were all perfectly predictable and fairly mundane, having mostly to do with items such as maintaining good health, finding a job, being able to afford one’s mortgage payments, getting a passing grade in French, receiving a new puppy, Mr. Obama’s remarkable presidency, the apparent continued structural integrity of the Universe despite Mr. Obama’s presidency, etc., etc.

When it was at last DrRich’s turn, he, in retrospect perhaps somewhat inadvisedly, was unable to refrain from displaying his keen insight and superior analytical abilities on matters related to healthcare (a topic, anyone would have to admit, about which most of us would very much like to feel thankful). Lifting his glass, DrRich pronounced that he was most deeply and humbly thankful for the 47 million Americans without health insurance.

And further, especially thankful that their ranks must surely be growing, given the recession, advancing unemployment, imminent collapses of businesses and indeed entire industries, etc. And even though Obamacare promises to significantly reduce that number, DrRich went on to express his fervent wish that large numbers of the uninsured might still be with us a year and two years and even ten years hence, for the great and good benefit of us all. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

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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