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

Latest Posts

It’s American Stroke Month

AHA-ASA logoMay is American Stroke Month as designated by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. As I talk about in this video, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a stroke.

The key thing to recognize is that symptoms are sudden — whether it’s weakness on one side of the body, difficulty with talking, difficulty with walking, or other neurological changes. One of the important things to remember is that even subtle weakness or difficulty with speech can be an early sign. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

Medicine And The Wii

tmL85WokFSyG1KcqUR456wZMVwx5Tupw.jpgThis is shaping up to be a big week for the Wii in medicine — not only is the American Heart Association’s endorsement of Wii and new partnership with Nintendo making waves, but today is a day we’ve marked on our calendar for a while: Trauma Team for Wii was released [May 18th]. 

After years of trauma center releases focusing on surgery (some of which we’ve written about here), this is the first offering that lets gamers delve into emergency and pre-hospital care.

Of course, the game runs counter to standard teachings (in one demo video we saw a practitioner abandon her airway procedures to tend to an abdominal wound) and is at least as unrealistic as prior offerings — but then again if we wanted more accuracy, we could just go to work…

Product page: Trauma Team

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

The Death Of In-Person Medical Conferences

Are medical conferences becoming obsolete? I think so.

It was apparent to me at the Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions meeting and now a similar trend was noticed by Dr. Steven Sedlis at this year’s American Heart Association meeting:

It felt like a ghost town. I ran into Ira Schulman, my medicine resident at Bellevue when I was a third year medical student; we looked at one another and simultaneously blurted out “where is everybody?”
. . .

There are probably numerous reasons for plummeting attendance at AHA. The economy, the on-line publication of trial results prior to presentation, the ubiquity of conference calls, e-mail strings and yes blogs that keep one in regular contact with colleagues throughout the country and the world without the need for face-to-face encounters are just some of the obvious causes.

Read more »

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

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 »