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The Prince at the Ruined Tower: Time, Uncertainty & Chronic Illness Released

The noted physician, Dr. Michael D. Lockshin, Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics-Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine and Director of the Barbara Volcker Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery, explores seldom discussed issues of contemporary medical practice—how should and how do patients respond when diagnoses are uncertain? How should and how do doctors respond? Or

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Novel Medical Advance?

A truly novel medical advance is always exciting and newsworthy, but the New York Times was insufficiently critical in “Can the Nervous System be Hacked?” by Michael Behar (May 25). The concept that the nervous system has an effect on inflammatory diseases has been known for a very long time. We have known for more than

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Why the Dutch Girl Cried

Half-way through the medical student seminar, the Dutch girl began to cry. The seminar, a conversation among medical students and patients, was intended to teach aspects of chronic illness. A young patient advocate from the Netherlands was an invited guest. None of us in the room, including her, had anticipated her tears. “I was startled,”

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Obamacare – the Best idea since Medicare

I just received an email from my member of Congress Dr. Nan Hayworth in which she wrote: Assuring that all Americans have access to good medical care and to affordable, portable health insurance is a crucial goal for our country, and one that is a mission for me as the only woman physician who is a

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Hospitalists and End-of-Life Decisions

Idée reçue number one:  when hospitalists are the doctors in charge of inpatients, hospitalizations are more efficient, and care is better. Idée reçue number two:  thoughtful end-of-life planning is a laudable and comforting goal. What happens when these values—efficient care, thoughtful planning—clash? This question arose because of a friend’s 100-year-old mother. She was vigorous and

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New Federal Drug Research Center

Fareed Zakaria in his Washington Post opinion piece Can Obama get it right on the economy? wrote:  “The Obama administration, concerned about the dramatic slowdown in drug development, is proposing a new federal research center with a $1 billion budget. A good idea, but U.S. officials should look at the regulatory framework surrounding the process

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More stuff from the New York Times that misses the point

On June 10, 2010, Claire Cain Miller wrote that, “When a doctor recommends a test or a procedure, most patients simply go where the doctor tells them to go.”   Well, not exactly, at least as I see it. It’s more like, “When a doctor recommends a test or a procedure, most patients…ask their doctors who

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The New Medicine—Hospitalists and Telemedicine

So, two things in The New York Times set me off this week. (Actually three. The third was an article about people who start their sentences with the word “so”, but I don’t want to go there.) The first thing that set me off was an article about a hospitalist (by Jane Gross, May 26,

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The Butterfly Effect

According to Sharon Begley and Mary Carmichael in their Newsweek cover story Desperately Seeking Cures, a cornucopia of cures for an infinity of diseases is (or would be) available but for (a) a culture that sets the wrong incentives for academic scientists and (b) a stodgy bureaucracy that does not prioritize urgent needs.  Well, maybe…but

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The Havasupai, Privacy and Medical Research

I learned that the Havasupai of the Grand Canyon recently won a lawsuit against the University of Arizona. They claimed that the university had misused DNA samples that had been obtained from them for what they thought was research on diabetes. And, in fact, the researchers had studied the genetics of diabetes using samples from

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