Class Act

The Myth of the Helminth: Can Worms be the Next Therapeutic Breakthrough for IBD Patients?

March 16, 2011
The Myth of the Helminth: Can Worms be the Next Therapeutic Breakthrough for IBD Patients?

By Michael Guss, Class of  2012

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Helminths–parasitic worms that have co-evolved with humans and colonized our gastrointestinal (GI) tract for millennia–have developed the ability to modulate our inflammatory responses and evade our immune systems to survive . Until the 1930s, the helminth colonization of humans was almost universal, owing to poor sanitation conditions and an impure food supply . This changed as the economic development of the last century created improved sanitary conditions: clean running water,…

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Culturally Competent Care: Primary and Preventive Health Care for Lesbian and Bisexual Women

March 2, 2011
Culturally Competent Care: Primary and Preventive Health Care for Lesbian and Bisexual Women

By Elizabeth P.  Gurney, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In the United States, population-based studies estimate that 1-4% of women self-identify as lesbian or bisexual and 4-17% have had same-gender sexual activity since puberty. Since the publication a decade ago of the Institute of Medicine report urging investigation of health issues for lesbian and bisexual women, sensitivity to the unique challenges faced by this group has increased. Despite improvements in cultural competence and awareness training for physicians, lesbian and bisexual…

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Ramadan, Fasting, and Diabetes

February 25, 2011
Ramadan, Fasting, and Diabetes

By Sana Shah, Class of  2011

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The Islamic faith is characterized by five central pillars: the public declaration of one’s faith, five daily prayers, an annual tax to the poor, a pilgrimage to Mecca, and annual fasting. Muslims fast together during the month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and will next occur from August 1st-30th, 2011. The month begins 10 to 11 days earlier each year in the…

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The Resurgence of Pertussis: Is Lack of Adult Vaccination to Blame?

February 23, 2011
The Resurgence of Pertussis: Is Lack of Adult Vaccination to Blame?

By Ijeoma Ejigiri, Class of 2011

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Whooping cough. 100 day cough.  Pertussis.  These are the various names for the disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.  This small gram-negative coccobacillus, transmitted via respiratory droplets, is responsible for causing coughing paroxysms followed by a long inspiratory gasp, during which the characteristic high-pitched “whoop” occurs.  These coughing paroxysms can last for ten weeks or longer, hence the moniker “100 day cough.”   The paroxysmal phase is usually preceded by…

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A Vaccine Against Nicotine—New Hope or Mere Hype?

February 18, 2011
A Vaccine Against Nicotine—New Hope or Mere Hype?

By Carolan Hass, Class of 2012

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Cigarettes remain an anathema to many physicians.  Like so many unhealthy behaviors over which a clinician has little control, it can be frustrating to deal with a habit that can do so much harm to a patient, but which may be deeply entrenched in his daily life.  Although the percentage of current cigarette-smoking US adults has steadily decreased from 34.1% in 1978 to 19.8% in 2007 there remains vast…

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Medical Work-Up of Uveitis

February 16, 2011
Medical Work-Up of Uveitis

By Mary Whitman, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Clinical question:  What should the medical work-up be for an adult newly diagnosed with uveitis?

 Uveitis, defined as intraocular inflammation of the eye, can be idiopathic and limited to the eyes, or can be a manifestation of systemic inflammatory diseases and infectious diseases. 

 The single most common cause of uveitis is idiopathic. However, uveitis is a manifestation in spondylarthropathies, inflammatory bowel disease, Behcet’s Disease, and sarcoidosis, and may…

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Resveratrol: The Modern Fountain of Youth?

February 9, 2011
Resveratrol: The Modern Fountain of Youth?

By Lee Rasamny

Faculty Peer Reviewed

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated with the idea of slowing and perhaps even reversing the process of aging. From Ponce de León to modern research into substances like telomerase and resveratrol, philosophers, explorers, and scientists have dedicated countless hours to this pursuit.

Resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of red grapes and other plants such as eucalyptus, spruce, and lily, has developed a buzz for its hypothesized potential to slow the…

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The Doctor Versus the Google Search: How to Enrich the Provider-Patient Relationship in the Age of Internet Health Information

October 15, 2010
The Doctor Versus the Google Search: How to Enrich the Provider-Patient Relationship in the Age of Internet Health Information

By Suzanne MacFarland, MS4

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 There is a stranger in the clinic room, and it is not your patient.  This stranger is a multifaceted, opinionated entity with likely conflict-of-interest.  This new acquaintance has already spoken to your patient and influenced the direction of this visit in the form of health statistics, symptom explanations, and feared complications.  Now your patient wants to know what you think.  In an age when patients will often have diagnosed their problem before…

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Does Vitamin D Supplementation Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Events?

October 6, 2010
Does Vitamin D Supplementation Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Events?

By Karina Vivar, MS4

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the U.S. and worldwide, and the problem appears to be worsening.  By definition, vitamin D deficiency is a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) level of less than 20 ng/mL.  Vitamin D insufficiency is defined as a serum 25-OH D level from 20 to 30 ng/mL.  Unless there is a high risk for fracture and a clinical suspicion of deficiency, it is not routine to…

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Pass the Salt? A Look at Population-Based Sodium Reduction Interventions

September 24, 2010
Pass the Salt? A Look at Population-Based Sodium Reduction Interventions

By Ryan Macht, MS4

Faculty Peer Reviewed

On January 11th, the New York City Health Department announced its plans for the National Salt Reduction Initiative, a public health proposal designed to decrease sodium consumption throughout the country. High levels of dietary sodium have frequently been associated with increased rates of hypertension and adverse cardiovascular events. The mean salt intake in the United States is extremely high in all age groups and well above the current recommendations of 5.8 g…

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The Heart in Acromegaly

September 1, 2010
The Heart in Acromegaly

By Ari Pollack, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The onset of acromegaly is subtle, and its progression is usually very slow. In fact, the usual interval from the onset of symptoms until diagnosis is about twelve years. The manifestations of acromegaly result from excessive secretion of growth hormone (GH), which targets the liver, resulting in stimulation of hepatic secretion of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which causes many of the clinical manifestations of acromegaly.  The most common cause of acromegaly is…

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Do I have a Concussion?

July 21, 2010
Do I have a Concussion?

By Radhika Sundararajan, M.D., Ph.D

Faculty Peer Reviewed

A healthy 18 year-old female presents to Urgent Care after slipping and falling this morning in the bathroom and hitting her head on the tile floor. She denies any loss of consciousness, vomiting, or current neurological deficits, but does have a mild occipital headache where she struck her head. She has heard a lot about recent research regarding concussions in young athletes and asks if you think she suffered a concussion and what this means for her.

What…

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