“The Doctor Is In”

A Special Tribute to Charles Schultz’s Peanuts by Leonard J. Hoenig, MD Since 1950, people of all ages have enjoyed the popular comic strip Peanuts created by the American cartoonist Charles Schultz (1922-2000). One of the endearing young children who star in the strip is Lucy Van Pelt, whose many talents include operating a psychiatric booth and offering humorous insights about life to her brother’s best friend, Charlie Brown. At the front of the booth is a sign that usually reads: “The Doctor Is In”. Recently, Lucy has had a change of heart and has decided to specialize in dermatology. Her first patient, Charlie Brown, seeks her advice because he … Continue reading

Why Nothing Works

More humanism and less science, that’s what medicine needs. But humanism is hard work, and so much of science is just Tinkertoy. Robertson Davies Why Nothing Works An Introduction to the Placebo New York Times, November 11, 2018 I have been interested in the placebo response for many years. This recent NY Times article is a good introduction to the topic. Here are some excerpts and random thoughts: The author, Gary Greenberg, attended the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies in Leiden, Holland (2017). He met some key researchers in placebo there. There is a conviction among many that the placebo is a powerful medical treatment that is ignored by doctors … Continue reading

Thoughts on Gawande’s “The Upgrade”

In the end, we are dependent upon the creatures we have made. Goethe The Upgrade (Full New Yorker Text) Why Doctor’s Hate Computers by Atul Gawande The New Yorker, November 12, 2018 Gawande’s thesis is that the electronic medical record (EMR) has contributed greatly to the epidemic of physician burnout in the United States. A 2016 study found that physicians spend about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Something has gone terribly wrong. The software created for the EMR has spawned this massive monster of incomprehensibility. So much of what physicians … Continue reading

My Pediatrician

by Puja Nayak “Doctor,” I say, my voice fading. I hear footsteps running and shut my eyes. Hours later, I have a wire in me. I try and pull it out but my doctor stops me. “No, don’t do that sweetie.” I give her a look. I don’t understand why I’m here. My head is hot, I am sweating, and many students surround me, taking notes. Are they talking about me? “Honey, you have something called Kawasaki.” I raise my eyebrows. “Your body and I are fighting it, so you will be okay.” She hands me a juice box and leaves the room with my parents. My pediatrician inspired me … Continue reading

Social Impact of Skin Conditions

Social Impact of Skin Conditions                                                                              Christopher Dallo, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Corresponding Author: Christopher Dallo, B.S. 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555 915-929-9703| chdallo@utmb.edu Keywords: Social determinants of health, Medical sociology, Acne, Beauty, Behavior The psychological impact of skin diseases in patients is a discussion that has been thoroughly discussed in medicine in recent years. The advancement in the understanding of the skin and its diverse disorders have yielded new … Continue reading

Was Marx’s Probable Enemy Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis Suppurativa – Marx’s Probable Enemy Christopher Dallo, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Corresponding Author: Christopher Dallo, B.S. 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555 915-929-9703| chdallo@utmb.edu Abstract: This manuscript describes the history of a famous political figure who likely dealt with the hidradenitis suppurativa. This manuscript provides insight into Karl Marx’s skin disease and how it influenced aspects of his personal and professional life. Keywords: humanities, history, hidradenitis suppurativa, Karl Marx, skin disease No funding sources for the manuscript. No Conflicts of Interest. What was Karl Marx’s greatest enemy? Capitalism seems like the obvious answer. However, Karl Marx fought a foe that threatened his ability to write during his … Continue reading

On Infomercials and Experimercials

Dr. Bernard J. Carroll, an academic psychiatrist, died on September 10, 2018. His work demonstrated that the psychiatric drug literature had become so polluted as to be virtually meaningless, He called most drug trials “infomercials.” See his NY Times Obituary. Over the years, I have observed in my specialty, dermatology, the same is true. The Biologics are being aggressively and venally marketed. The result is that Humira, with sales of $18.5 billion in 2017, is the top selling drug in the world thanks to AbbVie’s multi-pronged marketing strategy. Where are the other Dr. Carrolls in medicine? Does dermatology have one? So many of our academic “stars” have been co-opted and feed … Continue reading

Medically Unexplained Dermatologic Symptoms (MUDS): Hiding in plain sight?

By David J. Elpern, M.D. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Jul;32(7):e265-e266 Keywords: medically unexplained symptoms, somatoform disorders, symptoms, illness, disease Illness is not the same as disease. Illness refers to “the innately human experience of symptoms and suffering.”1 Disease “is what the practitioner creates in recasting illness in terms of theories of disorder.” A person’s subjective experience of how she feels may not assume an underlying pathology. Illness can be organic, psychological or spiritual. A person can feel ill, but not have a disease. Consider Sara (not her real name), a 31-year-old social worker who sought dermatological care for a seven-year history of painful vulvodynia and generalized pruritus. Her … Continue reading

In Full Bloom

Anita Gade, BA; Cassandra Johnson, MS; Nikhil Anbarasan, BS; Matthew Apicella, MS Keywords: Art, Nature, Pleomorphic Lipoma, CTCL, dermatomyositis, IgA Pemphigus, Varicella, Tuberosclerosis, Pityriasis Rosea, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Erythema Gyratum Repens, SLE, Alopecia Areata, Melanoma, Pseudomonal Pyoderm Springtime evokes a sense of revitalization. Sprouting plants emerge from fertile soil nourished by rainfall and sunshine. Blades of grass sway in the cool breeze, synchronizing with the melody of birds chirping. The essence of spring, exquisitely captured by revolutionary American writer Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) in her autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl1: The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to … Continue reading

My Illness Narrative: the Autopathography Project

You may have a complex health problem that doctors have not solved. When you enter a new doctor’s office, a perky young person at the reception area asks who referred you and then requests your insurance cards. Next, you will be given numerous forms to fill out. Then you are seen by an assistant who records your weight, blood pressure, pulse, and even the oxygen saturation from a fingertip. Finally, the physician or his “extender” sees you for 10 – 15 minutes, at least half of which time he is focused on your electronic medical record. After this ceremony, what does the medical professional know about whom you are and … Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...