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Sexually Transmitted Infections Still On The Rise

The CDC announced last week that the latest statistics on Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are still unacceptably high in the United States. The U.S. has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections of any developed country in the world including 1.2 cases of Chlamydia in 2008 and syphilis cases, up 18 percent, are at 13,500. Men who have sex with men accounted for 63 percent of the syphilis cases, but the rate among women also increased 36 percent between 2007 and 2008.

Almost half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted infection cases reported each year are among 15- to 24-year-olds. Clearly marking the shift away from abstinence-only policies, the CDC called for better, more honest and open, sex education including how to use a condom, limiting the number of sexual partners, and avoiding people who have had multiple sex partners. Read more »

This post, Sexually Transmitted Infections Still On The Rise, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

How To Reduce Teen Drug Use: Dinner With Parents

I know I have said this before, but now there is more research to back it up. A recent report on the results from the “back-to-school” survey (September 2009) done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports a decade of research finding that the more often children have dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs.

Bottom line – compared to teens who have family dinners 5+ times a week, those who do not are twice as likely to use tobacco and marijuana and 1.5 times likelier to use alcohol. They also get significantly better grades and report that it is easier to talk to their parents. Read more »

This post, How To Reduce Teen Drug Use: Dinner With Parents, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

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..

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 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..

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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