What are your top health stories of 2015?

Today’s post is a question: what is the most important health story of 2015?  What was the most important health news this year for the health of people in our country, or worldwide?  Closer to home, what was most important news for you in how you promote your own health, that of family members, or thatContinue reading “What are your top health stories of 2015?”

Patient choice in management of acute appendicitis

In an article in JAMA Surgery this week, the authors show not only that it is safe (and perhaps safer) to treat uncomplicated appendicitis nonoperatively but also that letting parents choose  the treatment option for their child is an effective strategy. The question of safety has been addressed in prior adult and pediatric trials, leading toContinue reading “Patient choice in management of acute appendicitis”

Reflecting on the Epidemic of Unnecessary Medical Care

Earlier this year, Atul Gawande published a New Yorker piece called “Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?” He cites medical evidence that millions of Americans get tests, drugs, and operations that won’t make them better, may cause harm, and cost billions. As an emergencyContinue reading “Reflecting on the Epidemic of Unnecessary Medical Care”

The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care

A post in the New York Times’ Upshot column today focuses on a study that overturns the conventional wisdom that regions with low Medicare spending per capita have low overall healthcare spending. The study found that places that spend less on Medicare do not necessarily spend less on health care over all. Based on findings ofContinue reading “The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care”

Public health approach to reducing firearms-related suicide

A New York Times opinion piece today gives another perspective on gun violence prevention.  In an earlier post, I had focused on the public health approach to reducing gun violence through targeting mass shootings.  Although mass shootings occur more than once daily in this country, the rate of gun-related suicide is far higher: about 20,000Continue reading “Public health approach to reducing firearms-related suicide”

Limerick version of guideline on acute pharyngitis

This limerick is based on the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis.   Whom do you test for Group A Strep? To avoid treating strep carriers (a misstep!) In kids under 3 don’t bother Unless a sister or a brother Has symptoms and a test that sayContinue reading “Limerick version of guideline on acute pharyngitis”

A limerick on the health risks of social isolation

Today’s limerick is inspired by today’s New York Times post on the health risks of social isolation. On meeting one seemingly solitary Invite them out, even if they’re not merry Tho’ you improve their health plight Expect no return invite And if lonely, of invites don’t be wary. The study quoted in the post showed that social isolation leads to negative thinking, whichContinue reading “A limerick on the health risks of social isolation”

Public health approach to the opioid epidemic

One of my colleagues here at University of Colorado, Dr. Robert Valuck, testified this week before the U.S. Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee on a public health approach to the opioid epidemic.  His testimony is here. In it, he refers to the Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse, which focuses on 8 key areas: improvingContinue reading “Public health approach to the opioid epidemic”

Rising prevalence of depressive symptoms among medical residents

This week’s meta-analysis in JAMA shows that medical residents have high rates of depression.  Earlier this year, JAMA Psychiatry published recommendations for screening for depression and suicide risk among physician trainees. Source: One in four new doctors may be depressed, and their patients may suffer because of it Please see my related post here.