White Coat Underground

Archives for August, 2009

Once again, I’m sucked into the discussion on health care reform. I despise this topic, because so much of what is wrong with our current system could be fixed relatively easily, if Americans could just take an ideologic leap. Most of us have heard of “pre-existing condition (PEC)” clauses—those rules that allow insurance companies to…

Public option off the table?

I had a chance to watch the President take questions at town hall meetings this weekend. He sought out opposing views, and handled them brilliantly, responding to them rather than giving empty answers. He also didn’t talk down to the audience. The pity is that the take home message in the news today is that…

BMI week whatever update

So, my exercise has fallen off a bit, but I think I’m getting back to it. I rode a bit this weekend but the heat drove me inside. I tend to let myself eat just about whatever on weekends—turns out I don’t like to eat that much. I get nauseated (not that it always stops…

Medicine is still hard

I’m passionate about medicine. I love practicing it, teaching it, learning it…everything about it. It’s also damned scary sometimes. Knowledge changes; patients don’t walk in with textbook diseases; and you have to be able to doubt yourself without drowning in indecision. Every time a patient brings me an article or monograph that looks relevant to…

This is, of course, an absurd question. Getting all 300 million of us to agree on this isn’t going to be easy. But a parody circulating on the internet shows how misunderstood we Americans can be. National social programs are relatively new in the States—Medicare, the plan that gives medical care to those over 65,…

I’ve been blogging long enough now that it’s hard for me to keep track of what I have or have not written, and on which particular blog. I used to be pretty compulsive about digging up old links to my first blog (now in storage) or to denialism, or even to this blog, but this…

No true Republican…

BMI addendum

The cupcake wasn’t even that good. Look, you can say whatever you want about satiety, but I WANT FUCKING CARBS ALL THE TIME!!!!!!

BMI TMI update

So, it’s not always easy, creating a new lifestyle. This morning I woke up later than I’d hoped, so I didn’t have time to exercise. I didn’t really have time to eat either, but I made myself slow down and have a small bowl of shredded wheat. I also forgot to bring a snack to…

Quackery, fraud, and irresponsible practice

There is no clear definition of “quackery”. Stephen Barrett, founder of Quackwatch, discusses the slippery nature of the definition and the issues of intent and competence. Defining quackery of necessity involves some subjective judgment, but there are objective parameters we can apply. If someone is hyping a medical practice without adequate scientific evidence and is…