Category Archive: Conditions

MKSAP: 75-year-old man with progressive dysphagia

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 75-year-old man is evaluated for progressive dysphagia of 8 months’ duration for both solid food and water, and the necessity to indu…

The questions clinicians never think to ask

The chief complaint was belly pain. He described the pain as both dull and crampy. It came and went, but bothered him the most on the same night of each week. The notes from the primary care doctor show a thoughtful search for the underlying cause. The…

Will the public be able to resist the pitch from 23andMe?

Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right. Just because we enjoy a right of free speech, doesn’t mean we should be verbally insulting people. Just because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a treatment or a test, doesn’t mean …

Be careful of assigning the diagnosis of ADHD to young children just entering school

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common diagnosis in children today, and is increasingly a diagnosis assigned to adults, too. ADHD is a real thing, despite some having some skeptics and a few outright denialists; differences in brai…

Breastfeeding and newborn hospitalization rates: What should be done about it?

An August 2018 paper in Academic Pediatrics found an unsettling conclusion: Breastfed newborns have about double the risk of needing to be hospitalized in their first month of life, compared to babies who were formula-fed. The numbers are solid, and th…

Should we start screening for colon cancer at age 45?

Here’s what most medical experts agree on: People 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. Here’s what is more controversial: Whether that screening should start, routinely, at age 45. Recently, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended th…

A physician defends Ayurveda: Is it the original personalized medicine?

As more patients and clinicians are searching for holistic approaches to health care, Ayurveda, or the traditional medical system of India, has been gaining popularity in the Western world.  Unfortunately, many allopathic physicians still view this sys…

Eradication of H. Pylori should be confirmed using the urea breath test or fecal antigen test

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 60-year-old woman is evaluated 1 month after completing a 14-day course of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy consisting of amoxicilli…

When you identify your Lyft driver as potentially having bipolar disorder

I remember September 27, 2018 like it was yesterday. When Ashley* picked me up from my apartment Thursday morning, I thought it would be like the 138 past Lyft rides I’ve taken since 2017. I was wrong. After I waived to Ashley from the curb, I got sett…

A patient gives the gift of poop

In broken English, against the backdrop of the emergency department’s chaos and clatter, Mr. Simon relayed his story: unintentional weight loss, gradually yellowing skin, weeks of constipation. He punctuated his list of devastating symptoms with …

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