A physician’s breakthrough against prior authorization

A few weeks ago, I saw a young patient who was suffering from an ear infection. It was his fourth visit in eight weeks, as the infection had proven resistant to an escalating series of antibiotics prescribed so far. It was time to bring out a heavier hitter. I prescribed ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic rarely used in pediatrics, yet effective for some drug-resistant pediatric infections. The patient was on the state Medicaid insurance and required a so-called prior authorization, or PA, for ciprofl...
Tags: Health, Infectious Disease, Pediatrics, Meds

Birthday Wine Lunch

It’s becoming a tradition to make a trip to Charlottesville every year for my birthday.  We take the day off and have a kid-free day to relax and enjoy lunch and a vineyard trip. We started the day at Veritas, then went to Pippin Hill later in the day for lunch.     Pippin Hill has a top-notch restaurant and I love discovering what they are serving on their seasonal menus. More
Tags: Health, Fashion, Usa, Virginia, Charlottesville, Infertility, Veritas, Winery, Vineyard, Pippin Hill

How to Keep that Homesickness Back Home

August. A tiny knot forms in the bottom of your stomach, but of course you ignore it because college is so fun. September. A weird achy feeling is coming from your stomach and you feel a little sad. You see a dog on campus. Aw. The thought of your pup back home comes to mind. October. It’s starting to get a little bit colder outside. You think of your mom’s hot chocolate and a warm fire, snuggled up in your favorite blanket on your bed. The knot grows to the point where tears begin to flow out o...
Tags: Health, Home, Family, Sleep, College, College Life, Dorm, Avoid Homesickness

Should all children be screened for high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is common enough in children these days that all of them should be screened for the condition, say the authors of a new study examining the rates of high cholesterol in children. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening children and teens who have a family history of premature heart disease or high cholesterol or those children who already have risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure or who smoke or have diabetes. For these...
Tags: Health, Children, West Virginia, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Los Angeles Times, Adolescents, Shari, Pediatrics, Shari Roan, Bob Chamberlin

Dentists? They're strangers to 1 in 4 California kids

It's not a pretty picture, the overall state of dental care for California's kids. That's because too many of them -- one-quarter, to be exact -- don't have it. Yep. One in 4 have never even been to a dentist. That attention-grabbing statistic is from a dental-care study released Wednesday and published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs. It analyzed care -- or, rather, lack thereof -- for children ages 11 and under in the so-called Golden State. The researchers, from the UCLA Cen...
Tags: Health, Children, California, Medicaid, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, California HealthCare Foundation, Dental Care, Tami Dennis, Tami Dennis Photo

Listen to This if You’ve Ever Been Depressed (or Know Someone Who Has)

 Depression is an inconsiderate illness. It doesn’t care whether you have nothing going on or a lot going on. It will strike whenever it feels like it. Depression doesn’t care if you have a home filled with people, family obligations, or even a podcast to record. If this symptom of mental illness wants out, it’s coming out. In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, our hosts attempt to record an episode, but Gabe breaks down and confides to Michelle that he isn’t...
Tags: Psychology, Depression, Bipolar, Michelle, Gabe Howard, Gabe, A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, MICHELLE HAMMER, Schizophrenic NYC

The impact of commuting on your financial plan

As we get older, time becomes are more valuable commodity.  I clearly remember that as a college student, I was more than willing to wait in line for over an hour simply to get a free sandwich promotion.  Nowadays, I’m not even too interested in waiting 20 minutes to be seated at a restaurant.  Our priorities evolve. One interesting aspect of time that remains relatively unchanged over time is our tolerance of commutes.  We commute to and from work almost daily, and whether or not we like it, we...
Tags: Health, California, Finance, Practice Management

Why Do We Remember Some Dreams but Not Others?

If you’ve ever woken up on the brink of a heart attack, drenched in sweat and convinced you’ll never live down the shame of sprinting nude through downtown Pittsburgh, you know that some dreams are more memorable than others. Most dreams, in fact, seem totally unmemorable—at least in the sense that we can’t remember…Read more...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Sleep, Neuroscience, Dreams, Pittsburgh

High school students show a slower rate of decline in smoking in recent years

One in five high school students in the U.S. is still smoking, and the rate of decline in smoking has slowed, according to a new report released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking rates among high school students slowed dramatically from the late 1990s through the early 2000s. But those rates of decline decreased more gradually from the early to late 2000s. The CDC analyzed data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students in public and ...
Tags: Health, Smoking, Cdc, District Of Columbia, Adolescents, Greg Wood, AFP Getty Images, Thomas Frieden, Jeannine Stein, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Smoking

For hospitals too, beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Last year, the good folks at Soliant Health – a healthcare staffing firm – took it upon themselves to rank the 20 most beautiful hospitals in the country. The list was subjective, of course, but the judges clearly put some thought into their selections. Check out the Cinderella-castle quality of No. 1 pick Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore; the one-acre rooftop garden at No. 6 St. Louis Children’s Hospital; the lodge motif at No. 10 in Palmer, Alaska; and the hotel feel of No. 17, in Sprin...
Tags: Health, Abc, America, Hospitals, San Diego, Michigan, Baltimore, Henry Ford, Grey, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Karen Kaplan, Soliant Health, St Louis Children 's Hospital, Palmer Alaska, Springfield Ore This, Soliant

Surprising and unlikely rewards of social media engagement by physicians

A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to It is not uncommon for my patients and their family members to ask for my credentials at the end of our preoperative interview. Despite reaching my forties, my Asian genes have allowed me to maintain a youthful appearance – often causing apprehension about my claim to be a doctor. I diligently go through my bona fides: college, medical school, residency, two fellowships and finally, the master’s degree in heal...
Tags: Health, Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, Surgery, American Society of Anesthesiologists

Some people will fudge the truth to become ophthalmologists

How honest are aspiring ophthalmologists? It’s not a question many people would think to ask. But that didn’t stop Dr. Michael Wiggins, of the Jones Eye Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He was curious about the veracity of applications sent to his institute by medical students who were interested in completing their ophthalmology residencies in Little Rock. Amazingly, Wiggins isn’t the first person to wonder about this type of thing. The first published report on...
Tags: Health, Research, University of Pittsburgh, Wiggins, University of Arkansas, David McNew Getty, Karen Kaplan, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Eye Disorders, Michael Wiggins, Jones Eye Institute, Archives of Ophthalmology Karen Kaplan

Hey Asshole, the Flu Shot Isn't About You

It’s flu season, and everyone who is able should get a flu shot. Read more...
Tags: Health, Flu, Lifehacks, Flu Shot

Senior Living: How to find the right assisted living community

By David W. Hart, Ph.D. Contributing writer My mother Carrie and I cared for my grandmother Janice, who was diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease when I was 15 years old. For nearly eight years, the disease ravaged her brain and eventually her body.  Over that course of time, my family found there were physical and emotional limits to our ability to competently care for my grandmother at home, especially as she progressed into the later stages of Alzheimer’s. David Hart, Ph.D. Trying t...
Tags: Health, Google, California, Uncategorized, Sport, Soccer, Local News, Seniors, Board, Janice, Torrance, Carrie, David Hart, Medi Cal, DSS, UCLA School of Medicine

The key to an athlete's speed may be the body's center of gravity

What makes an athlete fast may have more to do with body type than training. Researchers from Duke University and Howard University think the secret may lie in the body's center of gravity. Their study, released online in the International Journal of Design and Nature and Ecodynamics, may explain why the fastest sprinters are usually black, while the fastest swimmers are usually white, a difference that goes back decades. Though on the face of it this may seem like the differences are racial, t...
Tags: Health, Sports, Duke, South Carolina, Usain Bolt, Jones, Howard University, Duke University, Edward Jones, Adrian Bejan, Jeannine Stein, Bejan, Pratt School of Engineering, Fabrice Coffrini

Nurse-1-1 lets you text a nurse for health info, learn if a doctor is needed

A new startup wants to help you figure out if your medical issue requires a visit to a doctor’s office, the ER, or can be handled over a telemedicine service, while also providing you with some basic information about the problem and its severity. Nurse-1-1, the latest company from former RunKeeper co-founder Michael Sheeley, is launching today to offer a quick, affordable way to get answers from physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses via chat. Sheeley, a serial entrepr...
Tags: Health, Google, Apps, Medicine, Tech, Harvard University, Health Care, Kim, HIPAA, Michael Sheeley, Virtual Nurse, Mobee, Sheeley, Kim Liner, Meri Clare RN, Boston Children 's Hospital Igor Shumskiy MD


DO FERTILITY SYMBOLS WORK? Have you ever wondered if fertility artifacts and dolls really work?  I'll have to admit, I do put some belief in them.  Just from the standpoint of the law of attraction, what you focus on is what you will attract to yoursel, these artifacts just help you focus.  Here is an article about artifacts and dolls for fertility.  Did I get this off some obscure website? No, I got it from "The NY Times"! Does that lend this credibility? I don't know, that'...
Tags: Health, Africa, Harvard University, Tanzania, Infertility, Aimee, Ny Times, Sandy Robertson, Akua, Mark Bessire, Fogg Museum of Art

When the question about healthcare overhaul is simply: 'What about me?'

"The most common question people have about health reform is 'How will I be affected?' The answer, of course, depends on the individual, as different demographic groups will be affected very differently." So begins a series of briefs from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The briefs, released Tuesday, analyze the expected impact of the healthcare overhaul on young adults, children, older people and (sort of) people who buy insurance on the individual or small-group market. The latter is a bi...
Tags: Health, Healthcare, Health Insurance, Elderly, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tami Dennis, Mark Boster Los Angeles Times

Strong winds kick up a storm of ash, dust on Mount St. Helens

Air pollution caused by the ash and dust in the mountain's vicinity may continue through the afternoon, but conditions are expected to improve as winds die down Sunday evening.
Tags: Health, Wellness, Outdoors, News, Environment, Local News, Northwest, Mount St Helens

If you are ready to become a parent, don’t let residency stop you

I had the fascinating experience of interviewing for residency at 20+ weeks’ pregnant. Although a number of people told me that I was doomed, I found the experience to be quite enlightening. Since I couldn’t hide the fact that life outside medicine was going to be important to me during residency, I felt empowered to ask the “don’t ask” questions during my interviews. What did I have to lose? The perk of interviewing while pregnant was that it was very apparent which programs were going to be su...
Tags: Health, Harvard, Pediatrics, Physician, Residency

What Questions Do You Have About Open Enrollment?

It’s Open Enrollment season, and you’ll soon be tasked with selecting the health care plan for you and your family for 2019. We know you have questions: Should you go with the PPO? HMO? ACA? HSA? Or another three-letter acronym?Read more...
Tags: Health, Open Enrollment, Health Care, Lifehacks

Genetic Journey: 5 Questions With Lisa Alderson, CEO of Genome Medical

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and possibilities of at-home genetic testing. And we should be energized by the new insights these tests can provide about everything from our heritage to our fitness profile. But there’s a broad spectrum of the information you can receive from genetic tests, particularly when it comes to your health—from risks around Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers to tests only available through a medical professional’s directive. How do you know whic...
Tags: Health, Advertising, 23andMe Ancestry, Genome Medical, Lisa Alderson, First Genome Medical, Genomic Medical

How burnout helped this physician find his purpose

A common proverb teaches that, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Medicine is a world where people are well-intended. Yet they fail to change a system that is broken and continues to produce burned out, depressed, and suicidal doctors. We can see their final destination, look back, and realize that we helped pave the road that carried them to that destination. Today, I want to hammer home the purpose of this site and how I am trying to reshape this road our doctors travel.  This ...
Tags: Health, Finance, Practice Management

Invisible in Taiwan: Living in Taipei with Chronic Illness

Invisible in Taiwan: Living in Taipei with Chronic Illness I live on the river that divides Taipei and New Taipei in Taiwan. I’m a Canadian expat and I’ve lived in Taiwan since 2006. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromylagia and ME, among a number of other chronic conditions that cropped up over the past 20 years. My husband and I have stayed in Taiwan rather than returning to Canada or the US because the health care is very reasonable here, the weather is mild, and life in Taiwan is inexpens...
Tags: Travel, Health, Hong Kong, Singapore, US, Barcelona, Taiwan, Features, Chronic Illness, Canada, Peru, South America, Uruguay, North America, Taipei, Reiki

When doctors leave clinical medicine, don’t blame the victim

I don’t want to be unclear here.  I don’t want to mince my words.  But I’m mad about an interaction I had on Facebook.  I was commenting on the Physician Side Gigs group page when someone riffed on one of my statements.  They mentioned that my opinions could be a slippery slope towards a future where doctors no longer see patients.  The insinuation was that we as physicians owe it to our community to continue practicing medicine.  As many of you know, with my half retirement, I am planning to le...
Tags: Health, Facebook, Practice Management, Physician

Millions of yearly visits to the ER involve patients with mental disorders and substance abuse problems

Not every emergency room visit involves a physical problem. Out of 95 million visits made to emergency rooms by adults in the U.S. in 2007, 12 million, or 12.5%, had to do with mental disorders, a substance abuse problem, or both. The findings are from a report recently put out by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Of those 12 million visits, about 66% involved patients with mental disorders, about 25% involved patients with...
Tags: Health, Addiction, Medicare, Mental Illness, Medicaid, Los Angeles Times, Department of Health and Human Services, Jeannine Stein, U S Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Mark Boster

Suicide barriers may not prevent people from jumping elsewhere, study finds

Building suicide barriers on buildings and bridges seems like a good idea, but a new study finds that such obstacles may not have an effect on an area's rate of suicide by jumping from heights. Canadian researchers examined suicide rates at the Bloor Street Viaduct in the years before and after a suicide barrier was erected. The viaduct, located in Toronto, averaged about 10 suicides a year from 1993 to 2002, prompting the building of a barrier in 2002 and 2003 to prevent people from jumping. Co...
Tags: Health, Suicide, Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge, British Medical Journal, Ontario, Jeannine Stein, Bloor Street Viaduct, Lawrence K Ho Los Angeles Times

Rodent of the Week: Athletes! You must win at home

There was good reason to be worried when the Lakers lost that second game of the NBA championship playoff series against Boston. The loss was at home. According to new animal research, winning at home appears to be important to the male species' ability to prepare for, and win, future conflicts. In a study with mice, researchers showed that experiencing a win caused changes in the brains that enhanced the ability to win in the future. Researchers also found that winning at home had a particular...
Tags: Health, California, Boston, Research, Brain, Nba, Behavior, The Lakers, National Academy of Sciences, Shari Roan, Rodent, University of Wisconsin Shari Roan Photo, Advanced Cell Technology Inc

How are sadness and happiness like diseases? They're infectious, study finds

Is sadness a sickness? It appears to spread like one, a new study has found. Researchers at Harvard University and MIT wanted to see if a mathematical model developed to track and predict the spread of infectious diseases such as SARS and foot-and-mouth disease could also apply to the spread of happiness -- and found that it worked.  They used data collected from 1,880 subjects in the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term research effort that has followed subjects since 1948 (and added some new...
Tags: Health, Research, Mit, Mental Health, Depression, Harvard University, Reuters, Tami Dennis, Infections, Rachel Bernstein

The Most Un-Tertia type birthday

I don’t like birthdays. I especially don’t like my own.  It has everything I don’t like:  being social, having fun, being around people, receiving gifts, stressing about whether you have appropriately expressed your appreciation for every birthday wish/gift, receiving lots of phone calls, having to actually speak on the phone, eating, having visitors, not being able to be boring or do nothing.  I don’t like festivities at the best of times, but when I am the star of the show, I like it even less...
Tags: Health, Infertility, Facebook It, Tertia

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