health

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Tag archives for health

Low back pain—the scourge of Homo sapiens

It started a few weeks ago—a dull ache in my lower back, more on the right, worse with sitting for prolonged periods of time. I did my usual stretches, although not as much as I should have. The pain waxed and waned, until a few days ago, when the pain escalated suddenly, preventing me from…

Acucebo

It’s hard to hide severe back pain. When I stand up, I look like a question mark. The visibility of the problem, combined with the general goodness of my fellow human beings, leads to lots of unsolicited advice. Folks have given me great advice (take some NSAIDs, stretch, and don’t lay in bed) and some…

Morning Report #1

Morning report is a daily conference for medical residents. It is done differently at different institutions, but normally a case is presented, often by the post-call team, and discussed by the senior residents and an attending physician. Today’s case will be the first in an occasional series. –PalMD Case: Mrs. M is an 89 year…

Lipstick on a pig

It’s true that words matter, and that we who practice real medicine have often let cult medicine practitioners get the linguistic high ground. We’ve let them get away with calling non-science-based practices “alternative” and “complementary”, without really asking, “alternative to what?” or “does it really “complement, or just distract?” We’ve often ignored language, and when…

Sometimes I feel like I’m pounding my head against a wall. I’ve been wondering why the issue of so-called conscience clauses just won’t die, why otherwise intelligent people can’t just agree with me just don’t get it. Quick review: some health care professionals wish to be able to deny patients certain types of care, and…

I can quit anytime…

…or so goes the refrain of the addict. I was going to put up a more substantive, well-researched post, but I wanted to give you a few weekend thoughts to chew on. I deal with addictions a lot, but the most common and deadly one is tobacco. Tobacco is responsible for millions of serious illness…

Hospital city

I don’t have a lot of experience with small hospitals. My medical school’s hospital was about two square blocks of buildings, all of them attached, ranging in age from 100 years to 10 years. The were connected by irregular bridges and linked (ex)-fire escapes, and by miles of dim tunnels. During my residency, the campus…

Woo-fully ignorant

I’ve written quite a bit of the need for good health reporting, and I’ve had the good fortune to talk to some terrific reporters. But bad reporters are easy to come by, which is kind of sad, especially since jobs are getting scarce. When this article came across my browser, something looked familiar. The Stamford…

Change we can believe in?

I’m one of those wacky idealists for whom January 20th was a great day. But with those high hopes, I have some fairly high expectations of our new president, one of the first of which is to repeal the Church Amendment, an HHS directive allowing health care providers to abandon proper ethics without consequence. I’ve…

Ethical implications of death by prayer

Nearly a year ago, a young girl was killed by her parents. She was dying of diabetic ketoacidosis, and her parents provided only prayer. They weren’t living on some compound under the thrall of some cult leader. They weren’t living in a third-world country far from modern medical care. They were living in the middle…