Category Archives: Medicine

Vitamin D Treatment in Postmenopausal Women

Tweet A study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined the effects of placebo, low-dose cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), and high-dose cholecalciferol on 1-year changes in total fractional calcium absorption, bone mineral density, Timed Up and Go and five sit-to-stand tests, and muscle mass in postmenopausal women with vitamin D insufficiency. This study was undertaken because “expert”…


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The Medical Record – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Tweet The medical record has been a problem ever since Hippocrates, in a moment of spite, invented it. Until the advent of the electronic record it had existed on paper and was stored in a variety of inaccessible locations by the Department of Medical Records, or by a similarly named entity. Once entombed in the…


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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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