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

Latest Posts

Homeopathy: Why Is The Canadian Government Regulating A Scam?

Regular readers of the Better Health blog are familiar with the shoddy science behind homeopathy (an outdated system of “medical” treatment that relies on water dilution and shaking to ‘”strengthen” the effects of drugs). But because homeopathic placebos have been marketed so successfully (even receiving paid endorsements from hockey teams), the Ontario government has decided to regulate homeopathic practices.

In this terrific news exposé, reporters ask if it’s appropriate for the government to regulate health scams. In doing so, are they not lending credibility to modern-day snake oil? Check out these videos and let me know what you think. Is there a roll for government in regulating homeopathy?

Part 1:  

Read more »

AHRQ: Please Get A Social Media Strategy

Last night, I saw a commercial produced by the federal government.  Called “Questions are the Answer,” it’s a call for patients to be engaged in their medical care, to ask questions of their doctors in order to be sure of their medical condition.

The commercial was excellent – it showed a man asking dozens of increasingly arcane questions about a cell phone he was thinking of buying.  Then, it showed him in his doctor’s office, apparently after getting a diagnosis.  “Do you have any questions?” the doctor asks.  “Nope,” says the man.

The government agency that produced the commercial is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  There are a series of other videos and tools that can help you be a better, more informed consumer if you get sick.

The only catch:  it’s almost impossible to find any of this great material.   Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric: First Live Webcast On Swine Flu Tonight, 7pm

Due to popular demand, and the need for better public education about the swine flu outbreak, Dr. Jon LaPook will be offering the first ever live webcast at CBS tonight.

Check it out here (click on the link if video below doesn’t work at 7pm):

Male Sexuality: Myth Busting With Dr. Jon LaPook

I’d like to welcome Dr. Jon LaPook, medical correspondent for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, to the Better Health team of bloggers. Jon will be contributing video interviews on engaging consumer health topics on a weekly basis. This first contribution is a video interview with male fertility expert Dr. Harry Fisch, combined with some entertaining “man on the street” discussions in Columbus Circle, NYC. Let me know what you think!

Watch CBS Videos Online

See Dr. LaPook’s home page:

A Year In The Life Of A Woman With Type 1 Diabetes

My friend and fellow blogger Kerri Morrone Sparling has created a photo montage (one photo taken each day for 365 consecutive days) of her life with diabetes. It is a fascinating pictorial experience  that somehow captures the reality of the disease – and living life to the fullest despite daily blood sugar monitoring.

Please take the time to experience it here.

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 »