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Latest Posts

Dr. Oz’s First Colonoscopy Finds Pre-Cancerous Polyp: What Can This Teach Us?

Dr. LaPook and Dr. OzDr. Mehmet Oz just might be the last person on earth people would expect to get a colon polyp. He’s physically fit (he left me in the dust the last time we ran together), he eats a healthy diet, he doesn’t smoke, and he has no family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps.

But several weeks ago, when Mehmet had his first screening colonoscopy at age 50, I removed a small adenomatous polyp that had the potential to turn into cancer over time. Statistically, most small polyps like his don’t become cancer. But almost all colon cancers begin as benign polyps that gradually become malignant over about 10 to 15 years.

Since there’s no way of knowing which polyps will turn bad, we take them all out. The good news is there’s plenty of opportunity to prevent cancer by removing these polyps while they are still benign. But only about 63 percent of Americans between ages 50 and 75 get screened for colorectal cancer. Read more »

The Importance Of Discriminating Against The Obese

DrRich has pointed out several times that it is very important to our new healthcare system, as a matter of principle, to be able to discriminate against the obese.

The obese are being carefully groomed as a prototype, as a group whose characteristics (ostensibly, their lack of self-discipline, or their sloth, or their selfishness, or whatever other characteristics we can attribute to them to explain how their unsightly enormity differentiates them from us), will justify “special treatment” in order to serve the overriding good of the whole.

The obese are a useful target for two reasons. First, their sins against humanity are painfully obvious just by looking at them, so it is impossible for them to escape public scorn by blending in to the population, unlike some less obvious sinners such as (say) closet smokers, or pedophiles. And second, since true morbid obesity almost always has a strong genetic component, successfully demonizing the obese eventually will open the door to the demonization of individuals with any one of a host of other genetically mediated medical conditions. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Obesity, Smoking And Life Expectancy

When we think of people who enjoy the outdoors, the images in our minds are often of healthy and vibrant individuals — stereotypes are young athletes engaged in vigorous activities like climbing, biking, skiing, etc.

Of course, going outdoors is for everyone, and persons may be young or old, active or sedentary, and healthy or infirm. We carry our personal health status with us wherever we go, and the health habits we pursue in our daily lives form the framework for our participation in adventures, recreation and other outdoor activities.

Therefore, public health issues are important, be they adherence to precautions to avoid infectious diseases or lifestyle modifications to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Read more »

This post, Obesity, Smoking And Life Expectancy, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

When Hospitals And Patients Are Smoke-Free

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

“This is a smoke-free institution. Thank you for your compliance.”

Nurses and doctors and other members of the healthcare team strive every day to provide quality patient care. We focus on patients by understanding their needs. We listen, assess and evaluate. We work together as a team focusing not only on the patient, but family members as well. We formulate individual care plans addressing each and every need.

Providing quality patient care is the single most important goal for any hospital, and it’s important to note that patients need to understand that there are policies within the hospital. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

What Would It Take For You To Give Up Tobacco?

I was shopping the other day for Sam’s Club food (frozen blueberries 4 pounds for $7.50). As we checked out, I scanned the price of cigarettes behind the counter. Marlboro cigarettes were selling for just under $50 a carton. At one pack per day, that’s $150 a month. For a year, that works out to $1,800.

I once calculated how much a four-pack-a-day family could have had in the bank had they not smoked for fifty years and instead invested that money at standard returns. Six million dollars they’d have to enjoy in retirement. That’s amazing. Six million dollars. And we wouldn’t be talking about a bankrupt entitlement system. Read more »

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

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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