Evolution and Medicine

Fever: Friend or Foe?

November 20, 2013
Fever: Friend or Foe?

By Fernando Franco Cuadrado, MD, Julia Hyland Bruno, MD and  Mark D. Schwartz, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

When flu season returns, we will all see patients with sniffles, aches and a mild to moderate fever. History, tradition and habit have made the treatment of fevers almost automatic; however, how many of us pause and consider evolutionary principles before recommending acetaminophen for a fever? Could fever have an adaptive function? Are we sure we are doing more good than harm by recommending antipyretics?

To most…

Read more »

From The Archives – Evolution and Medicine: Why do we age?

July 19, 2012
From The Archives – Evolution and Medicine: Why do we age?

Please enjoy this post from the archives dated January 30, 2010.

Mark D. Schwartz and Julia Hyland Bruno

Jeanne Calment rode her bicycle until age 100, quit smoking at 117, and died in 1977 at 122 years of age in Arles, France. This news-worthy story raises some questions: Why do we age at all? Why don’t we live forever? And many of us are asked by our patients, is old age a disease we can cure?

First, some useful distinctions: Aging is getting chronologically older,…

Read more »

Medical Etymology: The Origins of Our Language

March 28, 2012
Medical Etymology: The Origins of Our Language

By Robert Gianotti , MD, Todd Cutler, MD and Patrick Cocks, MD

Welcome. We are proud to present the first installment of a new section dedicated to exploring the roots of common medical terminology. We hope this will give you a chance to incorporate a historical perspective into your daily practice and to reflect on the rich and often unexpected stories lying at the heart of our profession. This is our ode to the days of the giants…..

It was the winter of 1933 and something…

Read more »

Evolution and Medicine: Why do we age?

January 30, 2010
Evolution and Medicine: Why do we age?

Mark D. Schwartz and Julia Hyland Bruno

Jeanne Calment rode her bicycle until age 100, quit smoking at 117, and died in 1977 at 122 years of age in Arles, France. This news-worthy story raises some questions: Why do we age at all? Why don’t we live forever? And many of us are asked by our patients, is old age a disease we can cure?

First, some useful distinctions: Aging is getting…

Read more »

Evolution and Medicine: Practicing medicine with only half of biology?

August 5, 2009
Evolution and Medicine: Practicing medicine with only half of biology?

Mark Schwartz MD

Why do we age? Why is congestive heart failure so common? Why do so many of us wear glasses? Why is there a menopause? Why must we sleep? Why do we get febrile when infected?

Medical students, trainees, and physicians are drawn to questions of how the body works, so your likely first response to these intriguing questions is to think about pathophysiologic answers. These proximal, mechanistic explanations form the conceptual and cognitive framework for our…

Read more »