Category Archives: Medicine

The Rashomon Effect and Medical Costs

Tweet The Rashomon effect is contradictory interpretations of the same event by different people. The phrase derives from Akira Kurosowa’s great film Rashomon, where the accounts of the witnesses, suspects, and victims of a rape and murder are all different. This effect is so ubiquitous that objective truth seems impossible. I just came across an example…


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What Can You Do to Maintain Good Health?

Tweet The FDA just banned trans fat. The American Heart Association issued a statement that the move would prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year mirroring that made by the CDC. Where this number came from is a mystery. I suspect they made it up after a series of extrapolations from metabolic data to epidemiological conclusions…


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Emergency Room Visits Rise

Tweet Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight…


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Patients With Heart Stents Have Similar Increased Risk of Death from Bleeding and Heart Attacks

Tweet Reprinted below is a press release from UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente. It shows the deleterious consequences of bleeding in patients who have had a coronary stent inserted. These patients are routinely placed on drugs designed to prevent thrombosis at the site of the stent.  For decades I told my students to look for reasons…


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Walking Through the Airport

Tweet These thoughts occurred to me while walking the 4 miles that separate American Airlines arrival gates and baggage claim at Miami International Airport. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences to the one I describe below when in public spaces. Ahead of me was a man of about 40 who was talking loudly and gesticulating…


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Report of the Dietary Guidelines Committee

Tweet The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee  has just been released. At 571 pages it is a mind boggling compendium of recommendations and data that go far beyond diet alone. It’s useful as a source of information concerning almost every aspect of American life remotely connected with food and health. You…


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New Dietary Guidlines

Tweet They’re at it again. The federal government is about to issue new dietary guidelines, the first since 2010. The actual report is not yet available, but some of its contents has been leaked to the press. The committee charged with writing the guidelines is an interesting one. There are three physicians on it – a pediatrician,…


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Acute Renal Failure

Tweet   The PowerPoint slides of a talk given by me to the Fall Medical/Surgical Conference of the Lubbock-Crosby-Garza County Medical Society are below . The file can be downloaded by clicking on the link. It is a general review of the various forms of Acute Renal Failure also known as Acute Kidney Injury. Acute…


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A Visit to the Doctor

Tweet A few days ago I went to see an orthopedic surgeon for the care of a minor injury. Actually, I first showed up in his office a week before I saw him. Remember this is the age of the electronic medical record. I was told that before I could be seen I first had to…


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Ezekiel Emanuel and the Purpose of Medicine

Tweet It is amazing how many doctors seem not to have the fuzziest conception of the purpose of medicine. Ezekiel Emanuel who is trained in internal medicine and oncology but who has concentrated on public policy has written an article in the Atlantic that seems to display almost total ignorance of what medicine is about….


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