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Back Pain: Why Yoga Might Make Me A Better Doctor

I’m a physician trained in sports medicine, and a chronic back pain sufferer. I first injured my back in 2001 when lifting a heavy bag and trying to sling it onto my shoulder. The pain was so severe that I couldn’t get off the floor for three days. I eventually ended up in the ER with an “unremarkable” MRI. The cause of my pain was never explained — all I knew is that I hadn’t herniated any disks.

Years later my back pain still flares up occasionally, and I’ve never really understood how to prevent it or treat it effectively. This has been very embarrassing for me, since I’m supposed to be an expert in this field. But today I finally got some insight into the real cause of my pain — not from a physician or physical therapist, but from a yoga instructor. Read more »

When Patients Attack Doctors And Nurses

With the attention rightly focused on patient safety, what about healthcare workers? It’s somewhat of a hidden phenomenon, but attacks on doctors and nurses are on the rise.

Rahul Parikh writes about this in a recent Slate piece. He cites data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found “healthcare workers are twice as likely as those in other fields to experience an injury from a violent act at work, with nurses being the most common victims.”

In the article, Parikh goes on to detail an attack on a physician who initially refused to give his patient opioid pain medications. Read more »

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

Bad Behavior In South Africa – A Gory Story

South African society is a completely lawless society. Pretty much everyone does just what they like and more often than not they get away with it. Red lights are just a suggestion, yet it is not uncommon to see a taxi stop in the middle of the road without warning. This attitude goes through almost all levels.

Yet there are some laws that people do obey. The law of gravity comes to mind. Mostly if you trip or fall off a wall or out a window you do approach the earth with increasing velocity and finally come to rest in some form of disrepair when you finally meet said earth, even if you are South African.  Another law that is obeyed was well illustrated by a patient we once saw in the old days. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at other things amanzi*

A Brazilian Waxing Accident To Remember

I don’t know a thing about bikini line waxing.  But I do know there is a right way to wax your bikini line and a wrong way  wax your bikini line.  I present to you a story about how not  to wax your bikini line.  I do not know the original author, but I’m sure they want to keep it that way.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play  with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours:

‘Maybe I should pull the waxing kit  out of the medicine cabinet.’ Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*

Ski Season, Knee Injuries, And Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

We’re in ski season and so a few unfortunate individuals will suffer few knee injuries. A while back, a reader asked me to describe an uncommon injury, which is a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

This injury usually occurs during a fall. As you can see from the drawing, the PCL keeps the lower leg bone (tibia) from moving too far back in relation to the upper leg bone (femur). If a sudden unnatural force is applied, usually a direct blow to the front of the lower leg near the knee while the knee is bent, the tibia is jammed backwards and the PCL may be torn. In the skiing situation, this usually happens during a fall and a tumble, when someone strikes an immovable object, or when the knee is bent or “twisted” and struck forcefully from the side.

The immediate sensation is pain, and there may be a feeling of instability to the knee, particularly when trying to walk or change levels (e.g., walk over the snowpack or on stairs). When the injury occurs, there usually is not the “pop” sensation noted with an anterior cruciate ligament tear. However, the knee will almost always swell, because there is bleeding into the knee joint and/or soft tissue swelling. Read more »

This post, Ski Season, Knee Injuries, And Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tears, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.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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