1. American medicine is the best in the world when it comes to providing high-tech care. If you have an esoteric disease, you want to be in the United States. God forbid you have Ebola, our academic medical centers are second to none. But if you have run-of-the-mill chronic diseases like congestive heart failure or diabetes, the system is not designed to find you the best possible care. And that’s what has to change.

    — 

    Dr. Sandeep Jauhar

    Dr. Jauhar’s book is called Doctored: The Disillusionment of An American Physician

  2. medicine

    doctors

    medical system

    fresh air

    interview

  1. The new Cinemax series The Knick is set in a New York hospital in 1900, where surgeons were developing new, ground-breaking techniques. The series mixes new developments in medicine (like an x-ray machine) with more mainstream things like electricity.  Show writer Jack Amiel explains how they filmed it to capture the turn-of-the-century aesthetic: 

"The dim lighting was [director] Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant choice and it was real. This was not an era when you had high-wattage light bulbs and everything was lit, it was an era when this was all new and not everything was wired for electricity. We wanted the reality of the darkness and the grit and what life was really like. Technology, ironically, helped us with this because Steven uses a camera called “The Red Dragon” and it has such an incredibly sensitive light sensor that you can be in a room where two characters are only lit by one candle in the center of a table and you can shoot that scene. It can bring more light or less light, it is extraordinary. Steven really took advantage of that and allowed us to see what the darkness really was back then."


Today’s interview is with show writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler and The Knick’s resident medical historian, Dr. Stanley Burns.  View in High-Res

    The new Cinemax series The Knick is set in a New York hospital in 1900, where surgeons were developing new, ground-breaking techniques. The series mixes new developments in medicine (like an x-ray machine) with more mainstream things like electricity.  Show writer Jack Amiel explains how they filmed it to capture the turn-of-the-century aesthetic: 

    "The dim lighting was [director] Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant choice and it was real. This was not an era when you had high-wattage light bulbs and everything was lit, it was an era when this was all new and not everything was wired for electricity. We wanted the reality of the darkness and the grit and what life was really like. Technology, ironically, helped us with this because Steven uses a camera called “The Red Dragon” and it has such an incredibly sensitive light sensor that you can be in a room where two characters are only lit by one candle in the center of a table and you can shoot that scene. It can bring more light or less light, it is extraordinary. Steven really took advantage of that and allowed us to see what the darkness really was back then."

    Today’s interview is with show writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler and The Knick’s resident medical historian, Dr. Stanley Burns

  2. the knick

    cinemax

    fresh air

    interview

    medicine

    clive owen

  1. A Scientist’s Mission To Break The Itch-Scratch Cycle
Dr. Gil Yosipovitch is a leading scientist in the field of itch. He says he hopes to gain more respect for the debilitating power of chronic itch — and to get more doctors on the search for a cure. Here’s what’s happening in your brain when you’ve got chronic itch: 

"The neural system is significantly involved. It transmits itch signals from the skin, where itch emanates, up into the spinal cord and up to the brain… The nerves are acting wacky. When these patients have chronic itch [they] become very sensitive, [so] even small activities… that would not usually cause us to itch, like changing our clothes or changes in temperature or environment or exposure to soaps could irritate the system." 
View in High-Res

    A Scientist’s Mission To Break The Itch-Scratch Cycle

    Dr. Gil Yosipovitch is a leading scientist in the field of itch. He says he hopes to gain more respect for the debilitating power of chronic itch — and to get more doctors on the search for a cure. Here’s what’s happening in your brain when you’ve got chronic itch: 

    "The neural system is significantly involved. It transmits itch signals from the skin, where itch emanates, up into the spinal cord and up to the brain… The nerves are acting wacky. When these patients have chronic itch [they] become very sensitive, [so] even small activities… that would not usually cause us to itch, like changing our clothes or changes in temperature or environment or exposure to soaps could irritate the system." 

  2. itch

    itchy and scratchy

    medicine

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal says soon we could be swallowing mini computers with our pills: 

What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?
It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.
David O’Reilly, the chief product officer at Proteus, says he believes that someday soon every single pill a doctor prescribes will come with an electronic component embedded right in it that tracks the pill’s absorption in your body.


Here’s how it works

image via techie feed View in High-Res

    Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal says soon we could be swallowing mini computers with our pills: 

    What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?

    It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.

    David O’Reilly, the chief product officer at Proteus, says he believes that someday soon every single pill a doctor prescribes will come with an electronic component embedded right in it that tracks the pill’s absorption in your body.

    Here’s how it works

    image via techie feed

  2. technology

    medicine

    computers

    alexis madrigal

    fresh air

  1. Bioethicist and internist Dr. Barron Lerner spoke to Fresh Air about his new memoir, The Good Doctor. His father was a doctor in an era before advance medical directives—doctors often made end-of-life decisions without consulting the patient or family. In today’s interview he talks about how bioethics have changed. When his mother had breast cancer his father took control over all of her medical decisions. Lerner explains why that is problematic: 

"I think there’s a consensus these days that it’s a bad idea to treat your family members. There’s all sorts of potential problems there. First thing, you’re not going to be as objective as you otherwise might be. You’ve got an emotional attachment to these folks, and they have an emotional attachment to you. It’s pretty hard to imagine a family member saying no to their relative who is their doctor. Most ethics organizations, or people who have weighed in on this, say that it’s OK to be interested in your family, maybe give them some advice, guide them to other doctors, but to actually be involved in the day-to-day care, you’re probably not going to give them the best care and there’s just an inherent conflict of interest there."
View in High-Res

    Bioethicist and internist Dr. Barron Lerner spoke to Fresh Air about his new memoir, The Good Doctor. His father was a doctor in an era before advance medical directives—doctors often made end-of-life decisions without consulting the patient or family. In today’s interview he talks about how bioethics have changed. When his mother had breast cancer his father took control over all of her medical decisions. Lerner explains why that is problematic: 

    "I think there’s a consensus these days that it’s a bad idea to treat your family members. There’s all sorts of potential problems there. First thing, you’re not going to be as objective as you otherwise might be. You’ve got an emotional attachment to these folks, and they have an emotional attachment to you. It’s pretty hard to imagine a family member saying no to their relative who is their doctor. Most ethics organizations, or people who have weighed in on this, say that it’s OK to be interested in your family, maybe give them some advice, guide them to other doctors, but to actually be involved in the day-to-day care, you’re probably not going to give them the best care and there’s just an inherent conflict of interest there."

  2. bioethics

    medicine

    doctor

    barron lerner

    interview

  1. Dr. Martin Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, about 70 to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms. 
Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes, and speculates that overuse of antibiotics causes food allergies, asthma, and intestinal disorders.
If antibiotics are wiping out these micro-organisms, then probiotics are putting some of them back in. 
Here’s what Dr. Blaser says about the use of probiotics: 

"There are many different probiotics. If you go to the grocery store, the health food store, the drugstore, there are shelves and shelves full of probiotics [with] different names, different compositions. I think I can say three things: The first is that they’re almost completely unregulated; second is that they seem to be generally safe; and third is that they’re mostly untested about the important reasons that people even want to take probiotics because they don’t feel well or they have particular symptoms …
Right now, it’s the Wild West. I’m actually a big believer in probiotics; I think that’s going to be part of the future of medicine, that we’re going to understand the science of the microbiome well enough so that we can look at a sample from a child and say this child is lacking such-and-such an organism and now we’re going to take it off the shelf and we’re going to give it back to that child … Just as today the kids are lining up for the vaccines, in the future, maybe the kids are going to be drinking certain organisms so that we can replace the ones that they’ve lost.”
View in High-Res

    Dr. Martin Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, about 70 to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms. 

    Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes, and speculates that overuse of antibiotics causes food allergies, asthma, and intestinal disorders.

    If antibiotics are wiping out these micro-organisms, then probiotics are putting some of them back in. 

    Here’s what Dr. Blaser says about the use of probiotics: 

    "There are many different probiotics. If you go to the grocery store, the health food store, the drugstore, there are shelves and shelves full of probiotics [with] different names, different compositions. I think I can say three things: The first is that they’re almost completely unregulated; second is that they seem to be generally safe; and third is that they’re mostly untested about the important reasons that people even want to take probiotics because they don’t feel well or they have particular symptoms …

    Right now, it’s the Wild West. I’m actually a big believer in probiotics; I think that’s going to be part of the future of medicine, that we’re going to understand the science of the microbiome well enough so that we can look at a sample from a child and say this child is lacking such-and-such an organism and now we’re going to take it off the shelf and we’re going to give it back to that child … Just as today the kids are lining up for the vaccines, in the future, maybe the kids are going to be drinking certain organisms so that we can replace the ones that they’ve lost.”

  2. medicine

    science

    research

    probiotics

    microbiome

    dr. martin blaser

    microbes

    allergies

    interview

    fresh air

  1. Literally two days later, she started feeling better and a couple weeks later, when they went to sample the bacteria that was there, they couldn’t find the C. difficile anymore. It was just gone. The only thing they had done was essentially restore her ecology, essentially like restoring a wetland.

    — Carl Zimmer wrote about a patient infected with the Clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea and can frequently return, even when treated with antibiotics. The patient was treated with a transfusion of gut microbials from a healthy individual’s fecal material to restore the bacterial flora in her intestinal tract.

  2. fecal transplant

    carl zimmer

    medicine

    science

  1. Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented.

    — 

    From NPR’s Two-Way Blog:

    That’s one of the rules in the Statues of the Nobel Foundation, and it’s suddenly pertinent because it’s just been announced that Rockefeller University scientist Ralph Steinman died on FridayToday, Steinman and two other scientists were awarded the Nobel in medicine for their discoveries about the human immune system.

  2. nobel prize

    medicine

  1. Guidelines have an enormous amount of very useful information and I think they can be extremely helpful. But they shouldn’t be applied in a blanket way without thinking about the individual patient.

    — Drs. Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband have teamed up to write Your Medical Mind, a guidebook for patients trying to sift through medical choices and make the best decisions for themselves and their family members.

  2. medicine

    your medical mind

    best practice

    guidelines

    ebm

  1. There’s a misunderstanding that if you just go to the E.R., that’s healthcare. It’s not. … And I don’t think the public or politicians really understand that. I think the last health reform attempt which is being bandied about — we don’t know what’s going to happen — is likely to fall short with regards to equity.

    — Dr. David Ansell on how the current payment system drives health care inequalities.

  2. david ansell

    health care

    health insurance

    health reform

    county

    medicine

  1. Today: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of Dr. David Ansell, who treated the uninsured in Chicago for 17 years.

    Today: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of Dr. David Ansell, who treated the uninsured in Chicago for 17 years.

  2. public health

    health care

    chicago

    medicine

  1. Source: CDC
Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital, where most of the patients are uninsured. View in High-Res

    Source: CDC

    Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital, where most of the patients are uninsured.

  2. health insurance

    medicine

    sociology

    health care

    united states

    cdc

  1. Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital. We speak with Dr. David Ansell, whose experiences treating patients at Chicago’s public Cook County Hospital make a strong case for national health care reform.


chicago — (by Melody Kramer)

    Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital. We speak with Dr. David Ansell, whose experiences treating patients at Chicago’s public Cook County Hospital make a strong case for national health care reform.

    chicago — (by Melody Kramer)

  2. david ansell

    county

    chicago

    medicine

    public health

    health care

    sociology

    1970s

    history

  1. A song for all of the colorectal surgeons out there. (h/t @Tom_Godell) Enjoy?

  2. colorectal surgery

    proctology

    medicine

  1. The word ‘cancer’ is credited to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who noticed the crab-like (carcinos) spread of the disease throughout the human body.
crab (by origamiPete)

    The word ‘cancer’ is credited to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who noticed the crab-like (carcinos) spread of the disease throughout the human body.

    crab (by origamiPete)

  2. crab

    cancer

    medicine

    hippocrates

    origami