Class Act

Breaking the Cycle: Shining a Light on Physician Depression and Suicide for the Next Generation

September 16, 2016
Breaking the Cycle: Shining a Light on Physician Depression and Suicide for the Next Generation

By Andrew Hallett

Peer Reviewed 

For decades, surveys and public data have shown staggeringly high rates of suicide, suicidal ideation, and depression among physicians when compared to the general population.1-4 Male doctors are 40% more likely to commit suicide than other men, and female doctors are 130% more likely to do so than other women, according to a 2004 analysis in the American Journal of Psychiatry.5 With expanded access to care and new regulatory requirements under the Affordable Care Act increasing pressure on doctors, a …

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Physicians and Medical Innovation

April 15, 2016
Physicians and Medical Innovation

By Vivek Kumar

Peer Reviewed

As healthcare workers, we learn about the most intimate factors governing patients’ lives. We learn about their fears, goals, and motivations on a daily basis. We are on the front lines and see the cracks in the system that prevent optimal health. With all of this privileged knowledge, healthcare workers should be at the forefront of medical innovation. Surprisingly, however, very few physicians engage in entrepreneurship, despite the significant need and variety of roles available .

In the current medical …

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Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis: How Fitness May Actually Be Hurting You

March 17, 2016
Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis: How Fitness May Actually Be Hurting You

By Jessica Morgan

Peer Reviewed

CrossFit and SoulCycle. To many people these words mean nothing. However, ask any twenty-something or college student and they will probably tell you they have participated in a class or two, or have a friend who participates. Depending on whom you approach, you might even get the sense that these are not just exercise classes, but more like a spiritual experience or a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals, all striving for physical excellence. Some have accused these programs of being …

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Don’t Tie Me Down! Do Neckties Spread Infection?

February 24, 2016
Don’t Tie Me Down! Do Neckties Spread Infection?

By Gabriel Campion

Peer Reviewed

For over a century, neckties have been a staple accessory in the wardrobe of the American professional man. Although white-collar dress codes have trended toward a more casual style, the quintessential physician still wears the white coat, a stethoscope draped around the neck, and, if male, a necktie. This is understandable. No one would accuse a profession using an oath that originally swore “by Apollo the Physician and by Aesculapius ” to be one that easily strays from tradition. However, …

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Hirudotherapy: An Ugly Means of Avoiding Uglier Outcomes

January 22, 2016
Hirudotherapy: An Ugly Means of Avoiding Uglier Outcomes

By Jonathan Bekisz

Peer Reviewed

“Do you want to see something gross? Go into the soiled utility room and check out what’s in the jar.” Never one to pass on the opportunity to “see something gross,” I poked my head in and examined the tiny glass jar that sat on the counter. Living up to its billing, within the container sat about a half dozen leeches. Contrary to my assumption that any role these segmented worms had in the field of medicine went away with …

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Lies My Patients Told Me: “I Take My Medications Every Day.”

January 15, 2016
Lies My Patients Told Me: “I Take My Medications Every Day.”

By Rebecca Sussman

Peer Reviewed

Reviewing medical evidence has become such a habit that sometimes it feels almost impossible to think independently. I’ve always been a top-down thinker; I go with my gut instinct, and then look for the evidence to support my assessment.

The problem is that very often it feels like what patients need most is not the precision of a particular etiology or the selection of a medication that is perfectly and precisely tailored to their condition and comorbidities; what they need …

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Is It Time to Reconsider Who Should Get Metformin?

December 11, 2015
Is It Time to Reconsider Who Should Get Metformin?

By Lauren Strazzulla

Current FDA guidelines for the use of metformin stipulate that it not be prescribed to those with an elevated creatinine (at or above 1.5 mg/dL for men and 1.4 mg/dL for women). It is also contraindicated in patients with heart failure requiring pharmacologic treatment, and people over age 80, unless their creatinine demonstrates that renal function is not reduced. These guidelines are in place to prevent lactic acidosis, an understandably feared complication of metformin. However, metformin is, by consensus, the initial drug …

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Are We Overusing Proton Pump Inhibitors?

November 13, 2015
Are We Overusing Proton Pump Inhibitors?

By Shimwoo Lee
Peer Reviewed
Case: A 31-year-old man with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes was hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. His home medications included esomeprazole. When asked why he was receiving this medication, the patient said it was first started during his prior hospitalization for “ulcer prevention” eight months ago and that he had continued to take it since. He denied any history of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Esomeprazole was tapered off during this admission. When being discharged after successful treatment of his pneumonia, he was …

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Supporting Evidence

October 30, 2015
Supporting Evidence

By: Amy Ou

During a weekend off at my parents’ home, the subject of this chronic cough that I had developed for the entirety of the winter season came up. My mother, noticeably more concerned about it than I, asked: “Did you get a flu shot? Did you get your cough after you got your flu shot? You know this happened when you were little, right? I just don’t know about those flu shots, I think they have some bad side effects. Your dad and …

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There’s an App for That: Fitness Apps and Behavior Change Theory

September 18, 2015
There’s an App for That: Fitness Apps and Behavior Change Theory

By Alyson Kaplan

Peer Reviewed

According to recent reports by the CDC, more than one-third (78.6 million) of American adults are obese. Approximately 17% (12.7 million) of children and adolescents ages 2-19 also meet criteria for obesity . Obesity-related health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and stroke are among the leading causes of preventable death. Yet, obesity is not the sole contributor to these diseases. Other health risk behaviors, including smoking, alcohol abuse, and lack of physical activity all interact to …

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The Great Marijuana Debate – Effects on Psychosis and Cognition

August 13, 2015
The Great Marijuana Debate – Effects on Psychosis and Cognition

By Kristina Cieslak, MD

Peer Reviewed 

The heavily debated gradual decriminalization and legalization of marijuana will likely result in easier access for all ages. An informed debate has been stymied, however, by a lack of prospective data examining the various long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain, particularly among adolescents who use it heavily. This year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) initiated the “National Longitudinal Study of the Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Substance Use.” This study will follow a large cohort of children …

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Chronicles of a Second Year Medical Student

August 6, 2015
Chronicles of a Second Year Medical Student

By Matthew Siow

Peer Reviewed 

Day 1 of the medicine rotation: complete. I was on long call today, which meant three things. One, the hours during which I had to pretend I knew something were longer. Two, I saw a lot of things I had never seen before, from more common things like COPD exacerbations and acute pancreatitis to more obscure things like erythrodermic psoriasis and multiple brain abscesses. And third, it’s 8 PM and I am absolutely exhausted.

As I lie down and start …

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