sWell

(random riffs on topics medical)
Editor’s Pick
MAY 1, 2009 7:04PM

Flu Fashionistas

 

 

It's definitely Springtime for facemask makers as citizens all over the world don them in an attempt to protect themselves from swine flu.  Indeed, some have taken to pimping their mask out, as did the young man below:   

 

Pimped-up swine flu mask

 Facemasks actualRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 26, 2009 8:28PM

The Web 2.0 Guide to Swine Flu

Kudos to the Centers for Disease Control for marching onto the Internet to share information related to swine flu with us.  For those who are looking for information, there are several ways to track the latest:

 (Note: not an inclusive list, so if readers know others, leRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 19, 2009 3:05PM

Breaking Down Age of Autism's Letter

The Los Angeles Times ran a piece of mine this past weekend online (it will be in print Monday), where I recall two stories which taught me about the importance of vaccines.  
 
The anti-vaccine group Age of Autism noticed this piece as well, as they didRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 15, 2009 8:13PM

War--the Other Public Health Problem

 

 

 

Tommy Franks supposedly said, "we don't do body counts."

So a few doctors did it for him:

Today's New England Journal of Medicine has an article reviewing civilian deaths in Iraq, and framing the enormous loss of life as a serious public health problem. 

The aut… Read full post »

 

 

Over the past 18 months, technology companies are jumping into one the biggest untapped frontiers in the economy:  Health care. 

Among the groups taking the leap are Microsoft and Google.  Both have launched products called Personal Health Records over the pa… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2009 10:16PM

The Patient Is $ick

 

 

 

As a physician, I’ve been struck by how much our nation’s discussion of economic matters has started to resemble how we talk about sick patients.  To see what I mean, just read the following fable:         

&nRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2009 8:17PM

Why the Pope Should Watch 30 Rock

 

My wife and I rarely find shows we both like.  She's Gray's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives; I'm BSG and Mad Men.  But one show we do meet in the middle on is Tina Fey's 3o Rock. 

 Recently, there was an episode where whenever Fey hangs out with her new&/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2009 8:24PM

Academics Sling Mud

 

 

 

Reports have arisent that the editors of the prestigious Journal of the Medical Association(JAMA) are under investigation for attempting to intimidate a doctor. 

 Seriously. 

The reason?  Whistle-blowing.

If this sounds like an episode of Gossip Girl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 22, 2009 1:35PM

Fear Itself

Book Cover Image

 

 

Some news about children's health caught my eye last month caught my eye, something we don't hear much about.

 The World Health Organization reported that each year, 950,000 kids die from injuries.  That's genuinely disheartening.  There's nothing more u… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 19, 2009 11:42PM

Dr. Parikh's Mailbag: Health Care Reform

 

 

 

My article in Salon earlier this week, “Physician, heal thy system” generated a lot of great letters about President Obama’s vision for reform and the details of his plan.  I wanted to share some of them (or excerpts) in this post:   &Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 25, 2009 8:20PM

The Truthiness About Teething

tooth

 

If you were a baby in 19th Century England you may have been better off without teeth. 

That's because according to government records, it turns out that 5% of kids died as a result of teething.  While that's not an public health crisis, it's not trivial either.

 N… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 16, 2009 10:41PM

The Most Useless Drug Ever?

Flu season seems to be heating up, with spikes in the number of cases throughout the whole country, and very high activity in 16 states

If you're curious about where you live, check out Google's Flu Tracker

The thing that seems to have health officials worried and scratching their heads this… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 9, 2009 2:51AM

Peanut Gallery

 

Last week, Salon published my essay “The Fear About Peanut Allergies is Nuts.”  A lot the concern about food allergies, I argued in the piece, is driven by shallow science that’s been pushed by advocacy groups like the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FA/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 25, 2009 8:36PM

Choose Health

 

Last Friday, the CDC reported the that a child in Minnesota died.  The cause of death was meningitis from a bacteria known as Haemophilus influenzae type B.  If you're not sure what meningitis is, it's an infection of the fluid and tissues that surround… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 21, 2009 3:41PM

Another (Better) Candidate for SG

 

 

 

 

Day one of the Obama admin, and still no word about who will be the next Surgeon General.  As you'll recall, the rumors were that CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta had been offered the job.  However, it's not clear whether that's true, whether he's still thinking abo… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 15, 2009 8:10PM

How Health Care Ruined Gotham City

 

 

Readers of this blog may remember my admission of Batmania, which I confessed to last summer when The Dark Knight came out.  It was in a post at that time that I examined the Medical Afflictions of the Batman and his Enemies

 Recently the movie came out on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 12, 2009 10:07PM

"Dr. iPhone, I Presume"

 

Have the itch to play doctor?  Well, if you have an iPhone, you're in luck, as the Apple App Store has  many, many health applications you can download, thus allowing you to completely bypass the absolute horror called med school and residency. … Read full post »

JANUARY 9, 2009 12:46PM

More on Gupta (But Not from Me)

                    

No more news on the whether Sanjay Gupta will be appointed Surgeon General Yet, but speculation continues to be rampant.  Here is Jon Stewart and Asif Mand… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 7, 2009 12:59AM

Top Doc Gupta

      At the end of a long day seeing patients, when we should have been exhaused, one of my colleagues and I, both of us Indian, couldn't stop talking about the news that Sanjay Gupta appears to be President-Elect Obama's choice to be Surgeon General.  This would m… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2008 4:16PM

But How Do I Know if I'm A Quack?

 

 

While I usually don't have time to do this much posting on OS, I couldn't resist borrowing the following list from the book Quack!:  Tales of Medical Fraud from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices by Bob McCoy, who oversee the museum's collection

&… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 28, 2008 11:13PM

Snakeoil Files: Dr. David Sinclair

The latest in the long, dubious lineage of snakeoil salesmen was exposed yesterday by the Wall Street Journal--Dr. David Sinclair, a biochemist at none other than Harvard Medical School.  Sinclair has a leading researcher into the effects of Resveratrol, a compound that na… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 22, 2008 11:35PM

Michael Jackson's Alleged Health Woes

 

 

Is the King of Pop dying?

Reports surfaced today that Michael Jackson may be gravely ill with a genetic disorder that's eating away at his lungs.  That news comes from Ian Halperin, author of a recent Jackson biography. 

The disorder is called alpha-1-antitrypsin… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 22, 2008 12:49AM

How to Make $$$$ Using Your Body (without having sex)

 

 

Recession got you and and your pocketbook down?  Feeling that lack of consumer confidence?  Need a little extra cash to augment this year's pissy Christmas bonus?  If so, take a look in a very familiar place:

 

The Mirror

It turns out your body c… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 19, 2008 10:19AM

Does Bernard Madoff have a Hormonal Imbalance?

 

 

Stock market guru Bernard Madoff fell hard from his perch this week--arrested for masterminding a $50 billion swindle.  He now gets to join a storied Rogue's Gallery of stock market grifters that includes Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Ken Lay and the Enron Boys, etc. 

O… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 17, 2008 10:29PM

Let Steve Be

 

 

Has there ever been so much hysteria about the well being of  a businessman?

Apple fanatics were  speculating about the health of the company's iconic CEO, Steve Jobs again this week.  Jobs has a history pancreatic cancer, the details of which h… Read full post »