Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Talking To Kids About The Economy Over The Holidays


With the holidays upon us and our country still facing a challenging economic crisis, many families are struggling with how to balance celebrating and spending without disappointing their children.

From news stories to Facebook postings, families are expressing clear concern for how to celebrate this year, what to buy for their kids and how much money to spend. They want to be honest with their kids yet shelter them from their adult financial concerns at the same time. Moreover, they feel guilty because this year was supposed to be different because last year they had the same stresses and concerns. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr Gwenn Is In*

Being Healthy Means Living Healthy, Not Spending More

I opened a fortune cookie the other day, expecting it to say something relatively nonsensical or meaningless, only to have it read:

“Money is not everything. You can buy a doctor but not heath.”

This fortune tells the story of more people than most of us can count, including ourselves at times. All too often we fall into trap of thinking that the more we spend on health the healthier we will become. Not true. In fact, good health is a state of mind and need not cost more than time for exercise, time to give ourselves the R&R we need to nurture our souls, the price of food to eat for proper weight and overall good health, and the occasional co-pay for our primary care physician and needed prescriptions.

We can toss money at vitamins, pricey health clubs, personal trainers, diets, alternative health treatments, doctors, second opinions, medications, prescription and nonprescription, as many people do, but those things can’t get us healthy. More times than not, they only produce the facade of good health. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr Gwenn Is In*

Why You Shouldn’t Take A Stroller On An Escalator

There’s an epidemic at our malls: parents taking their small children up and down escalators in strollers of all sorts of sizes and shapes. I ended up behind one such parent yesterday and found strollers heading up and down all afternoon. Some were small, some large. Some had bags dangling off of them, others not. Sometimes parents had both hands on the handles, other times they were balancing the stroller and a drink or cell phone. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr Gwenn Is In*

Pediatricians United On Importance of Swine Flu Vaccination

At last weekend’s American Academy of Pediatrics meeting, a few of us were asked to comment to Good Morning American Weekend about our feelings about H1N1 (Swine Flu) and the vaccine, in particular.

None of us were privy to the comments each other made and I think you’ll find the consistency of what we all had to say incredibly reassuring: Pediatricians on Swine Flu Confusion

Yesterday, GMA ran a segment on “The Scramble for Swine Flu Shots” which includes advice from me and other experts about the delay in the H1N1 vaccine. This segment does a nice job putting the entire situation in a very healthy perspective.

And, just to clarify, my entire family will be receiving the H1N1 vaccination when it becomes available in our area. That’s how comfortable I am with it!

*This blog post was originally published at Dr Gwenn Is In*

H1N1 Vaccine: Why Kids Should Get The Shot

There’s a disturbing statistic floating about parents’ view of H1N1. According to a recent survey by CS Mott Children’s Hospital, only 40% of parents plan to get their kids the H1N1 shot. The reason: “they are not worried about H1N1”.

This statistic completely stuns me given the amazing amount of coverage and data on H1N1. As a parent and a pediatrician, I’m floored that more parents are unable to see just how serious H1N1 is and why they need to immunize their children for this flu season.

Let’s tease through the facts so you have a better understanding why H1N1 isn’t a virus to take lightly, or for granted: Read more »

*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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »