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I remember the first time I saw a young patient with older person’s diseases.  I was in a public clinic, not far from the industrial waterfront in California.  She was 24 years old, weighed 380 pounds, had already had what she claimed was a “slight” heart attack.  She had type 2 diabetes which I thought was virtually impossible to get at such a tender age.  She was able to do little other than to shrug her shoulders.  She said something about health problems having been in her family.  Me, the only thing I could think of was that I was only through 3 years of so of a seven year medical school at her age.  I was quite overweight, but if I had been struck with her degree of obesity or her medical problems, I don’t think I would have had the stamina to get by.  Sure enough, she was neither working nor going to school.  When you are an adolescent, you think you are going to be strong and healthy forever.  I remember looking at patients and never thinking I would be as ill as they were. I remember seeing patients in intensive care in comas, never thinking for a moment that I would have three of them in my life before I was able to figure out the hereditary metabolic that had caused them. Read more on Patients Avoiding Hospitals and Doctors…

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Wait a sec … there are more women applying to college than men, and more women in college than men, so we have to attract more men and women have tougher admissions standards, and nobody seems very worried about this?

I think sometimes anonymity is a damned good idea, especially when you are selecting for intelligence, which is not a terribly bad idea in higher education.

When I was in medical school in France, everyone was assigned a “code number” for anonymity, and there was a ceremony for the “raising of anonymity” when the French medical school at Amiens (now known as “Jules Verne University”) found out that #38 out of 650 students in the “elimination examination,”  (as there were only 110 places for clinical students in the hospital) was myself, and they were lovely about all of this even though they were stuck with me for all of seven years. Read more on Gender Bias in University Admissions…

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I kind of like ABC news, since they at least reported the news about azithromycin and a lot of other folks didn’t.

For more information, here is the original article, and here is the FDA safety announcement (this link leads to a PDF which will load in a separate window, but you must have the Adobe Acrobat reader – free – installed). Read more on Azithromycin Scare…

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Maybe there are people out there who do not know what Down Syndrome is, although at 1 per 691 births it is the most common of chromosomal abnormaities.

I still remember my next door neighbor, little “Stevie,” who was the youngest in a large family (seven children as I recall) so mother may have been a bit advanced in age when she had him.  I thought of him then (I was not over six or seven) as a sort of human stuffed animal, as he loved hugging and was profoundly retarded, able to do little on his own.  I learned even then that people said what such children lacked in intelligence (and muscle tone and

Read more on Down Syndrome — Human Choice Doesn’t Catch Up With Technology…

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I have heard just a little too much about suicide among the religious — from patients, from others, now this; to the son of a published pastor who gave an invocation for the Obama folks.

I really do feel for the family, for death of the younger generation before the older one by any means including suicide by his own hand, is a horrible thing that is anti-nature and has a profound wrongness, a too-deep effect on all involved.

I was way back in residency when I attempted to gather some statistics on the association between religion and psychiatry in Kansas, sending a basic questionnaire on feelings about mental illness (and referral patterns to mental health professionals) to a big list of Wichita area “religious professionals.”
First, I had already made the assumption from the French part of my education that not too many people actually went to church, but none of them seemed to much care about mental health professionals.

In Kansas, with the world’s worst statistics (no major support on this from my

Read more on Religion — And Suicide…

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baby with open cabinet full of poison household chemicalsWe have taught our American consumers to be cheap –to be obsessed with the lowest possible price — and the cost is higher than we should be expected to pay.

Retailers have been urged to remove products from their shelves that might contain harmful (toxic) ingredients.

Why is everyone surprised?  Does anybody actually expect cheap products to be safe?  things you buy at Target or K-Mart to have been made with your safety or well being in mind?  why?

Not that I am demonizing these particular companies.  It is impossible to expect them to spontaneously think of these things.

They want to make profits to send their own kids to college, and improve their own lifestyle.  This is the sort of thing businesses in America DO — the greed

Read more on You Want It Cheap or Safe? Try Grandma’s Solution…

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I used to really enjoy going to the kind of tiny circuses that tour the small towns in rural areas.  Much of my adult life has been as a wandering gypsy doctor through such areas and it seems that many of the little towns had little to offer and went wild when the circus came to town – no matter how modest the offerings were.

Of course I had experience with the really big shows.  When I was a kid my folks took me once to the Greatest Show On Earth — Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey — where I think now the plethora of amusements in three rings is probably best suited for those who really enjoy their attention deficit disorder.
But it was in a tiny field in France by a beach on the English Channel that I saw a lovely one ring circus. I was most impressed with the lion tamer — a person of African descent, large and muscled and handsome — but I was close enough to see each time he put his head in the lion’s mouth, and he did it multiple times.

The old, indifferent lion had no teeth, but the effect was still thrilling.

The image was vivid, and I have not thought of it for many years.

I think of it when I hear talk about the Food and Drug administration (FDA).

The FDA has no teeth, and as you can tell from the interview below, is simply

Read more on FDA: A Toothless Old Lion…

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So who is or is not going to pay for contraception under Obamacare?  And this is a religious question?

The truth of the matter is that even though the United States has promised religious freedom from the very start, they have not done a very good job, historically, of delivering on this promise. Read more on Whose Birth Control is it, Anyway?…

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I used to say I was not a political animal.  Pharmacology has become political.  Not my fault; that’s for sure.

Marijuana has suffered a legal setback.  This has not been covered by a lot of the media.  I had a heck of a time finding it. Read more on Rescheduling of Marijuana Suffers Legal Setback…

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Men.  They really are different. They are psycho-socially different; this has provided for generations of standup comedy material about their inability to ask for directions when they are driving and lost, as well as their inability to move toward a restroom in groups. They got issues.

I learned a lot about this when studying and teaching psychotherapy.  It seems you can’t get men into psychotherapy unless they are adolescents, post-andropause, or gay. Read more on Men Aren’t What They Used To Be…

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