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Vaccines: Top 10 Reasons To Get Your Shots

Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical intervention in history. They are incredibly safe and effective and are well-tolerated by most people. In the US, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carefully reviews all reports of adverse reactions that could be associated with vaccines. Over decades of review, they have found that the rate of potential severe reactions is so low that they cannot even calculate a risk.

There are many vaccines available for babies, children, and adults. Please check these vaccine schedules to make sure that you and your family are fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. (Or you can ask your doctor/nurse to review your vaccine needs with you in person.)

Vaccines for ages 0-6 click here.

Vaccines for ages 7-18 click here.

Vaccines for adults click here.

In case you have any doubts about the value of protecting yourself from disease, here are my top 10 reasons to get vaccinated: Read more »

Physician Burnout: Doctors And Patients Deserve Better

A new patient recently said he was referred to me after his last doctor had left medicine. His old doctor always looked unhappy and burned out, he noted.

Burnout affects more than half of doctors, according to researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Beyond mere job dissatisfaction, these doctors are emotionally exhausted to the point where they lose focus. They tend to be more depressed — perhaps one reason why doctors have a higher suicide rate than the general population.

While burnout can happen in any profession, the performance of stressed-out doctors can hurt someone else: Patients. Read more »

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

Getting Good Sleep

Our busy lifestyles often aren’t conducive to getting the recommended amount of sleep at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

Dr. Kenneth Berg of the Mayo Clinic states that people who get less than seven hours of sleep per night have a higher mortality than those who have adequate sleeping habits.

Inadequate sleep has been linked to increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, an increase in body mass index and a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation, increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse, and decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

Grand Rounds: Edition 6.34

Grand Rounds logoAs the newly-appointed director of content for Better Health and personal editorial advisor to the infamous Dr. Val, I’ve been given the honor of hosting this edition of Grand Rounds — a weekly summary of the best health blog posts on the Internet.

This week’s submissions cover a nice mix of issues important to health and medicine, which I’m presenting in super-organized, far-from-creative alphabetical order. (Excuse my conservativeness as I’m originally a product of the Mayo Clinic, and even after jumping ship nearly five years ago, I’m still affected due to my unchanged physical location — I’ll find my more liberal social-media sea legs soon, promise!)

From geriatrics to Viagra, PET scans to personality disorders, dentists to American Idol, you’ll find it in this ever-so-tidy session of Grand Rounds.

Best of health,
Maria

GRAND ROUNDS: EDITION 6.34

A Healthy Piece Of Mind puts cancer in the context of the Serenity Prayer: The Audacity Of Trope: Cancer Stories.

ACP Hospitalist reports that the FDA has launched a campaign to help healthcare providers report misleading drug advertising and promotion: Join The Ad Police!

ACP Internist writes that telemedicine is changing the playing field in primary care as internists sign up to diagnose patients over the Internet: Doctors Delivering Diagnoses Online.

Behaviorism And Mental Health shares the idea that it’s wrong to consider certain lifestyles and mindsets as pathological: Personality Disorders Are Not Illnesses.

Colorado Health Insurance Insider blogs about how hospitals that don’t treat Medicaid patients will end up losing money under the new healthcare reform law: Colorado Expanding Access To Medicaid And CHP+.

Diabetes Mine writes about American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox and how the media has reacted to her having diabetes: Doin’ Her Thing With The ‘Betes.

EverythingHealth offers tips on how to keep kids safe when communicating with others on the Internet: Keeping Kids Safe On Social Networking Sites.

Health AGEnda discusses a recent article calling for improved training in geriatrics for primary care physicians: Report From The Brain Trust.

HealthBlawg tells how electronic health records will soon be required as a condition of licensure for doctors and healthcare centers in Massachusetts: HIT Incentives In Massachusetts: Less Carrot, More Stick.

HealthNewsReview comments on Senator David Vitter’s recent request to have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remove breast cancer screening recommendations from its website: Senator Strikes Out By Politicizing Mammography Recommendations.

How To Cope With Pain explains that change is hard and offers the helpful advice of trying “half a habit” at first: Change A Habit Slooowly.

In Sickness And In Health (U.K.) summarizes new research that suggests that Viagra may improve the delivery of chemotherapy drugs in women with breast cancer that has spread to the brain: Viagra Could Help Women Too, But Not How You Think.

In Sickness And In Health (U.S.) writes about couples and illness, describing how other relationships in your life can affect your health or your partner’s health: My Mother, My Partner?

Jill Of All Trades, MD provides a public health doctor’s tips for patients who don’t have health insurance: My Top-15 Resource List For The Uninsured.

Laika’s MedLibBlog highlights research on how lack of sleep can affect your risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease: What One Short Night’s Sleep Does To Your Glucose Metabolism.

Lockup Doc talks about when non-psychiatric illnesses in people with mental health histories are minimized or dismissed by healthcare providers: Psychiatric Patients With Medical Illness May Not Be Taken Seriously.

MD Whistleblower warns that dentists’ habit of overprescribing penicillin has “serious consequences” for patients: Why Do Dentists Prescribe Antibiotics So Often?

MedInnovationBlog talks about the obsession Americans have with medical technology and how it affects healthcare: Americans And Their Medical Machines.

Mental Notes debunks myths about depression after childbirth and reports on a recent study that used PET scanning to identify new moms at higher risk: What Causes Postpartum Depression?

Novel Patient shares thoughts on facing life’s difficulties and how to keep a positive attitude: Seeing Double.

Nutrition Wonderland presents new research on obesity that helps explain why dieting doesn’t always work as expected: When Cutting Calories Doesn’t Cut It.

Nuts For Healthcare says that “big pharma” should pay attention to significant advances in vaccine development: Vaccines, Vaccines…And How We Got To Provenge.

Supporting Safer Healthcare highlights confidentiality concerns about using portable data devices to store sensitive healthcare information and patients’ medical records: Lost Data Causing “10-Out-Of-10” Pain For Healthcare.

Suture For A Living tells the story of a recent brush with domestic abuse and provides resources to get help if you need it: Domestic Violence.

The Covert Rationing Blog conducts an “intervention” on behalf of two fellow medical bloggers in regards to American obesity, discrimination, and “demonizing” the obese: Defending The Anti-Obesity Movement, Again.

The Examining Room Of Dr. Charles tells the story of how a patient triggered memories of a doctor’s first experience with human anatomy: White Silken Ribbons.

The Happy Hospitalist says one group of physicians at his hospital wants to be compensated for their time on call: Should Hospitals Pay Doctors To Be On Call?

Dr. Val Tells Lee Aase (At Mayo Clinic) About Her Innovative Primary Care Practice

valabcThanks to my friends at #HCSM (a Twitter group created to spark discussion about healthcare and social media) for inviting me as a guest speaker on their 1 year anniversary. We had a special Blog Talk Radio event, moderated by Lee Aase (Mayo Clinic’s social media guru) and Dana Lewis. Tom Stitt and Meredith Gould were also critical in coordinating programming and technical arrangements.

The goal of the show was to discuss how social media and healthcare intersect – with a diverse group of 8 speakers (from patients, to physicians, to industry and insurance stakeholders). I’ve edited my clip for your listening pleasure (please excuse the technical glitch near the end – you’ll know it when you hear it). The full 2 hour show may be downloaded from Blog Talk Radio.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For more information about my practice, check out DocTalker.com Read more »

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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