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Latest Posts

Sedating Yourself With Food: Why?

Dr. Whoo and I seem to be in the same place at the same time — we both struggle with our weight because we’re using food for something other than sustenance. We use it to manage stress. Overeating is, after all, a wonderful sedative. It soothes the savage beast and all that. And it really works. I’ve probably saved my marriage and my job and kept from killing my kids and my husband by sedating myself with food. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog that Ate Manhattan*

Most People Aren’t Angry About Healthcare Reform

I just got back from a wonderful week in Toronto, Canada. No, I wasn’t up there to take tips on how to impose socialized medicine on an unsuspecting public, notwithstanding what some of you may incorrectly-surmise about my political leanings.

Rather, I was there to attend ACP’s annual scientific meeting, during which I had the opportunity to serve as faculty for three separate scientific sessions that discussed the impact of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACPA) of 2010 on internists and their patients. Several hundred ACP members attended these sessions.

And guess what? Rather than encountering doctors who were angry at the new law and ACP’s support for it, I instead found an engaged and curious group of internists who are looking at health reform in a reasoned, measured and open-minded way. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Healthcare Reform: Why I’m Scared

I’m scared because I’m reading articles about people threatening to kill — note that word “kill” — elected officials because of their vote on healthcare reform.

A man was arrested last week for his threats against Nancy Pelosi. Another man was arrested for threatening the two senators from Washington state, saying, “I do pack, and I will not blink when I’m confronted. It’s not a threat, it’s a guarantee.”

One congressman’s campaign received an email that read, “If our tea parties had hoods, we would burn your (expletive) on a cross on the White House front lawn,” while another had bricks thrown through the windows of his brother’s house (which was listed as his official address) and the propane line to his gas grill was cut.

The Associated Press reported that the Senate’s Sargent-At-Arms, who monitors security in both houses, reported 42 incidents in the first three months of 2010 — nearly three times the 15 cases that occurred during the same timeframe in 2009, and all related to healthcare reform. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*

Finding Work-Life Balance In Medicine

Paging Dr. Mortis, Dr. Rigor Mortis!

Paging Dr. Mortis, Dr. Rigor Mortis!

This is a sample section from a new book I’m writing on the transition from residency to practice.

When you die:

A) The house of medicine will collapse, and only recover by remembering your compassion and sacrifice.

B) Patients and staff will wail in sack-cloth and ashes

C) Someone may name a procedure or drug in your honor

D) People will walk over your dead body, take your vacant day-shifts and go through your pockets for change.

The answer is D. Although I’m using some hyperbole, the point is that when you die, some people will be sad; your loved ones will miss you. But life will go on. The hospital will not close, and the sick will not stop being sick. So conduct your life with this in mind. Medicine, for all it’s wonder and value, must not be a rock on which you wreck yourself. Let it enhance, not overwhelm, your life. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*

Do Low Carb Diets Make People Angry?

As if we haven’t seen enough bad press for low carb diets, check this out: a study just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that dieters who followed a low carb diet for a year were more depressed, angry, and confused than people following a higher carb diet.

The researchers studied two groups of people for one year. Both were on a reduced calorie diet and both lost an average of 30 pounds. However, the group on the low carb diet had detrimental effects on their mood.

I know I am pretty angry when I don’t have chocolate for a long time! 😉 Seriously, other smaller studies have not shown changes in mood with low carb diets, but we will have to see if future studies show a similar affect. It makes sense…we know that carbs cause release of serotonin, the feel good hormone. There is a reason people say they are “addicted” to carbs. One is because they are our body’s preferred source of energy, so we need them for energy and we can “crave” them. The other is that they literally make us feel good (and they taste great!) Read more »

This post, Do Low Carb Diets Make People Angry?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Brian Westphal.

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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