Friday, March 30, 2012

Something to chew on...
If you happen to be a fan of Carl Hiassen (or not), try his latest book for kids of all ages. 


It's a fun read. I even laughed out loud!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Human Genome Mapping

It took 3 billion dollars and 10 years to sequence the human genome, and now it looks like later this year it’ll cost about a $1000 and can be done in a matter of weeks. Smaller portions will be even cheaper and faster. (You can find out your mongrel dog’s breed mix for $60 dollars in 2 weeks.) A huge amount of information is accessible and maybe a computer can handle it, but I worry that these “advances” may move doctors farther away from the patient.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sharing medical research results

The National Institutes of Health spend more than 3 billion dollars a year on clinical trials, yet sharing the results doesn’t happen in a timely fashion, if at all. According to researcher Joseph S. Ross, 54% of the studies are unpublished 30 months after completion and 33% remain so after 51 months. The NIH doesn’t require publication, so Ross suggests this change: withhold a final percentage of the current grant and any future grants until the studies are published. Sounds like a plan. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Medicine demystified: acupuncture.

            In checking back to see if modern medical science has succeeded in explaining how acupuncture works, it turns out our understanding has become more complicated. At first it looked as if a “simple” electrochemical activation changes how the nervous system perceives pain, but now it seems the needle simultaneously stimulates multiple body systems. The blood circulatory, lymphatic, and electromagnetic bio-information systems are activated as well.

            ‘The more you know, the less you know.’ (Paraphrased from Lao Tzu, Socrates, George Bernard Shaw, Don Henley…)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Modern medicine demystified: the doctor-patient relationship.

Doctors and patients are more aware nowadays that attention should be directed to the patient as opposed to the disease. “Patient-centered care” is the describer used for this approach. The patient’s values are paramount, and the doctor should comply with them. Sometimes, there is one obvious best way to go, but when that’s not the case, the doctor’s job is to work with the patient to help him/her understand the options, pro and con. The patient should recognize the right and responsibility to actively participate as well. In this way, shared decision making can evolve.