Category Archive: Conditions

A cardiologist’s advice to women: How to keep your heart healthy and happy

One of the most important things to understand about heart health is that a woman’s needs change over time. Risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can become more important as a woman ages.  Hypertension and high c…

More is not always better with fertility treatment

The fertility clinic waiting room is a space where many people will find themselves at some point in their lives. In spite of cheery music, shared success stories, infertility awareness weeks, and positive media campaigns, this can be a challenging and…

More is not always better with fertility treatment

The fertility clinic waiting room is a space where many people will find themselves at some point in their lives. In spite of cheery music, shared success stories, infertility awareness weeks, and positive media campaigns, this can be a challenging and…

My patient isn’t doing well. Is it my fault?

The front-desk clerk, Ruth, comes to me and says Rose Henderson wants a cab voucher signed — which guaranteed payment. Rose could not be made to understand, Ruth tells me, that we are not permitted to sign vouchers when the person, the client, comes to…

What happens when abortion services aren’t available

In my very first job as a doctor — working in a London hospital in the 1980s. I always took a ridiculously detailed past medical history for every patient I saw. I started to notice how many elderly women had had septicemia, a life-threatening infectio…

When the problem representation and the illness script do not match

Recently we had a patient admitted for a diagnosis that did not really fit his problem representation. The diagnosis was a convenient one, and easily treated. He initially responded to treatment, and we discharged him. The diagnosis assumption nagged a…

As a registered nurse, I do not want to violate my patients’ rights anymore

I am a critical care RN, and I violated my patients’ rights. For decades, every day that I worked in the emergency department or the intensive care unit, I violated my patients’ federally protected rights to participate in their plan of care. I didn’t …

Dementia is worse when coupled with inadequate preparation

The chances that you or someone you love will be diagnosed with dementia are shockingly high. By age 65, your chances are already at 9 percent. Make it to age 85, and the chances go up to 33 percent. Of course, if you’re diagnosed with dementia, it wil…

The sexual side effects after prostate cancer treatment

I first met JB* when the receptionist at the clinic called to tell me that a patient was asking to see me. His name did not ring a bell, and on a quick review of my patient schedule for the week, his name did not appear. I went to the waiting room to s…

The simple step that helped this physician lose 10 pounds

By the time I turned 40, I had gained and lost 40 pounds at least ten times. It started with the “freshman fifteen” plus another twenty-five in college. In medical school, I was introduced to sweetened coffee beverages, and I snacked on pretzels and ca…

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