Class Act

Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

September 6, 2013
Confocal Microscopy To Noninvasively Detect Skin Cancer: An Emerging Technology To Avoid Unnecessary Skin Biopsy

By Brian Park

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. In the United States, the incidence is rising, with over two million people diagnosed each year . More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. The lifetime risk of developing skin cancer is estimated to be 20% . Although nonmelanoma skin cancer is rarely fatal and associated with a very low mortality rate, melanoma can be highly fatal. Approximately 76,000…

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Down-And-Out With Diabetes: Caring For The Homeless Diabetic Patient

August 23, 2013
Down-And-Out With Diabetes: Caring For The Homeless Diabetic Patient

By Sara Gallant

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Each year in the US, an estimated 2.3–3.5 million individuals are homeless . Homelessness has a complicated association with poor health. People at risk for losing their home tend to have heavier disease burdens. In New York City, 6.3% of a subset of newly homeless people had diabetes mellitus, compared to 1.9% of the same age group in the general US population . In return, homelessness poses unique challenges to receiving and adhering to treatment for diabetes. The rewards…

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Why You Should Think Twice About Using Medical Abbreviations

July 31, 2013
Why You Should Think Twice About Using Medical Abbreviations

By Benjamin Rodwin

Faculty Peer Reviewed

It seems like a simple enough history: an 18 year old with a past medical history significant for GBS. They probably gave him some antibiotics for a Group B Strep infection and sent him home. Or did he need IVIG (that’s intravenous immunoglobulin) and plasmapheresis for Guillain-Barré syndrome? When a patient is prescribed MS will he receive morphine sulfate or magnesium sulfate? Abbreviations, used to save time and space, have become ubiquitous in prescriptions and medical records. However, they…

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Not for Human Consumption: Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists As An Emerging Drug Of Abuse

July 26, 2013
Not for Human Consumption: Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists As An Emerging Drug Of Abuse

By Ryland Pace

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Cannabinoid receptor agonists (CRAs) have been recently popularized as “legal” alternatives to marijuana and are becoming increasingly common, especially among teens and young adults. These new artificial “highs” consist of a blend of various dried herbs, spices and plant material that have been sprayed with one or more CRAs and are sold under names like Spice, K2, Mr. Smiley, Mr. Nice Guy, Black Mamba, Purple Haze, Spice Gold, and Smoke .

CRAs are thought to have first appeared in…

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Music Therapy: The Art of Healing

July 10, 2013
Music Therapy: The Art of Healing

By Chelsey Forbess, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

United States congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head over two years ago on January 8, 2011. She was reported to be in critical condition, surviving a bullet that entered her posterior cranium, coursed through her left hemisphere, and finally exited above her left orbit. ABC News reported just a few months after her injury that the congresswoman was already finding ways to communicate, despite permanent and significant damage to her speech center. Through the use of…

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Primary Care for the Transgender Population

June 26, 2013
Primary Care for the Transgender Population

By Ishita Aggarwal

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Ms. B is a 60-year-old female transsexual patient with a past medical history of asthma who presented to the clinic with a dry cough. While at first glance I had not questioned that she was a woman, as I continued the interview I noticed her broad shoulders and masculine hands. Not having worked with transgender or transsexual patients before, as I was gathering her medical history I found myself consciously trying to use the correct pronoun in addressing her…

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Is There Evidence to Support a Vegetarian Diet in Common Chronic Diseases?

June 20, 2013
Is There Evidence to Support a Vegetarian Diet in Common Chronic Diseases?

By Christopher Graffeo

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In the age of prevention, primary care is more empowered than ever to educate patients on reducing their risk for common chronic diseases by promoting behavior modifications early in the natural history. In the clinic, this means a focus on hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes—risk factors that play synergistic roles in causing a wide array of diseases with tremendous morbidity and mortality. Given the large number of risk factors that co-exist for so many patients, astute clinicians are aiming for…

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Too Much of a Good Thing: The Evidence Behind the Need for a Bisphosphonate Holiday

May 9, 2013
Too Much of a Good Thing: The Evidence Behind the Need for a Bisphosphonate Holiday

By Jenna Piccininni

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Bisphosphonates are a relatively new medication having only been approved to treat osteoporosis in the US since 1995 . In addition, large placebo controlled trials have, at most, 10 years of follow-up data. Thus, there are still questions regarding the long-term use of these agents. There are a few well-established side effects of bisphosphonates including rare osteonecrosis of the jaw and more common esophageal irritation. However, several more recent case reports suggest a correlation between prolonged bisphosphonate use and…

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Health Care: Do Celebrities Know Best?

April 25, 2013
Health Care: Do Celebrities Know Best?

By Emma Gorynski

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The power that celebrities have over Americans is undeniable. We look to them for guidance on what to listen to, what to wear, and even what to name our children. Celebrities even affect the decisions we make about our own health care. With the increasing popularity of direct-to-consumer advertising, celebrities are promoting pharmaceuticals and other health-related products.

Is there a role for celebrities in health advocacy? On one hand, celebrities can increase public awareness of medical conditions and encourage…

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Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

April 19, 2013
Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

By Anna Krigel

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The iconic image of Abraham Lincoln is ubiquitous in our lives, from his small face on the penny to his large figure looming over the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Lincoln fascinates historians because of his significant role in American history when our nation was bitterly divided, but he intrigues physicians because of his remarkable stature. A reporter once described the 16th president as a “tall, lank, lean man considerably over six feet in height with stooping shoulders, long…

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Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

April 12, 2013
Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

By Tyler R. McClintock

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“Red Meat Kills.” “Red Meat a Ticket to Early Grave.” “A Hot Dog a Day Raises Risk of Dying.” Such were the headlines circulating in popular press last year when the Annals of Internal Medicine released details of an upcoming article out of Frank Hu’s research group at the Harvard School of Public Health . Analyzing long-term prospective data from two large cohort studies, researchers found that individuals who ate a serving of unprocessed red meat each day…

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The Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Incretin Hormones and Glucose Homeostasis

April 4, 2013
The Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Incretin Hormones and Glucose Homeostasis

By Michael Crist

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Until recently, little thought was given to the important role played by the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum in glucose homeostasis. The involvement of the gut in glucose regulation is mediated by the enteroinsular axis, which refers to the neural and hormonal signaling pathways that connect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with pancreatic beta cells. These pathways are largely responsible for the increase in insulin that occurs during the postprandial period. In 1964 McIntyre and colleagues first reported the phenomenon…

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