What does it mean for your doctor to be board certified? Let’s start from the beginning of how your doctor becomes educated in the first place. Believe me, it’s hard enough for your doctor to keep track of the next test to take, much less keep track as a patient. Medical education begins in college as wannabe doctors take prerequisite college courses to prove their mettle in hopes of securing a medical school interview. Successful applications for medical school require a competitive GPA, good scores on standardized tests (MCAT), glowing references, and a first-rate impression during interviews. You would think that would be grueling enough to become a doctor, but there’s more! Once you’re accepted into medical school, you must take a series of exams to demonstrate that you are competent to become “board-certified”. Continue reading Do You Care if Your Doctor is Board-Certified?→
Over-the-Counter Allergy Medications Warrant Caution for Some
Nasal allergy sprays can now be purchased without prescription.
The next time you’re at the local pharmacy, you may be surprised to see your prescribed allergy nasal spray available over-the-counter. Many drug manufacturers are pushing for this move to make finding relief easier for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies. But this warrants caution for some.
“Allergy sufferers may no longer need a prescription for certain allergy nasal sprays, but they might need an allergist’s advice. Some medications merely mask symptoms without tackling the root of the allergy. And often patients will find what medication once suppressed their symptoms, no longer does.”
The over the counter availability of this new nasal spray may lead to questions from local Tulsa allergy sufferers. To help eliminate confusion, Dr. Lynn Wiens, along with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) have answered the seven most common questions. Continue reading Do you Pick Your Nose?→
New Year’s resolutions, gotta lose weight, exercise more. It does get a bit annoying to read all of our good intentions and then we fall off the wagon one more time! As I look ahead to 2015, I begin my term (one year) as president of Tulsa County Medical Society (TCMS). No resolutions I can’t keep, just hard work and lots of meetings. The best way for me to share my thoughts and vision for 2015 is to let you in on my first newsletter of the year. (unabridged)
It’s Monday morning and I haven’t rested well from the weekend. With a full schedule at the office, I don’t have time for interruptions. I check my e-mail first thing in the morning and today I wish I hadn’t. I have four prior authorization phone calls to complete today, and two of them have already been denied. “What?” I asked as the insurance representative informed me that the patient in question didn’t qualify for the CT sinus study because they hadn’t been on antibiotics for 2 months. “Aren’t we supposed to use antibiotics judiciously?” I asked. But my troubles today were just beginning. Continue reading What Do Doctors Read?→
I’ve had asthma for as long as I can remember. I can also remember as a child being told that it was likely that I’d just ‘grow out of it’. But I got older and older, and now here I am at 26, still an asthmatic.
Like most people, I have certain triggers that make asthma worse. The biggest trigger I have is cold weather. Asthma is a major problem for me in winter – the cold air coupled with spending more time indoors with central heating on full blast plays havoc with my ability to breathe comfortably.
It makes training so much harder – the running in general is harder, with inhaler breaks mid run. Harder runs in turn lead to dreading runs, which in turn leads to missed runs. It’s a vicious cycle.
I remember once being at a BBQ, and getting out and using my inhaler. Bemused…
Is It Legal To Buy Drugs Online Or From Outside Of The United States?
Consumers always want to find the best price to purchase their goods and medications are no different. The drugs that treat our many illnesses and disease states can help us lead healthier and better lives, but they can also come at an enormous cost. We now live in a digital age, where many of our purchases that once took place in brick and mortar stores, now take place online. There has always been a sort of stigma regarding online pharmacies. Are their prices too good to be true? Are they safe? Will you get the same medication online as the medication that is at your CVS down the street? The big questions though are those concerned with the legality of it all. There are two legal questions that people always want answered. The first is if it is even legal to buy drugs online. The second is, if it is legal to buy drugs online, can…
Although my exposure to Dr. Oz has been limited, he is not one of my favorite TV doctors. He often offers opinions in areas where he clearly is not an expert. By presenting himself as a doctor who is knowledgeable in so many areas, he has the potential of undermining the credibility of physicians more broadly. A recent report provides some welcome pushback and at the same time indicates that “detox” treatments are unlikely to be helpful.
Despite bold promises that the treatments would purify, detoxify and boost energy and optimize organ function, the cleanses lacked any scientific evidence of efficacy, or clear idea of what toxins they would actually diminish…
“In looking at the medical literature on these things, there has never been a properly conducted scientific investigation of any of these treatments…
Think kindly of the dragon Smaug. Shed a tear for Gollum. And give an orc a hug.
If only they had tucked into the occasional quiche and salad or a touch of smoked salmon, or had a few sessions on a sunbed. How much kinder history would have been to them.
So suggests an offbeat study, released on Sunday, which concludes that the evil characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” lost their battle against men, elves and dwarves because they suffered from vitamin deficiency.
Shunning sunlight, surviving on a sketchy or unbalanced diet based on rotten meat or (in Gollum’s case) the occasional blind fish, they lacked vitamin D, a key component for healthy bones and muscle strength.
The next issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on electronic cigarettes, which have lately received considerable space in the popular press. With LED bulbs at their tips and flavors like chocolate, it becomes easy to forget that what they bring to the table is nicotine, which has caused a lot of trouble in its day.
Researching our article led us to an excellent old (1998) book called Nicotine Safety and Toxicity, edited by Neal L. Benowitz, which does a fine job of teasing out the toxicity of nicotine, particularly its cardiovascular toxicity, from that of all the other toxins found in cigarette smoke. The increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in smokers, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, is well documented, but the exact cause is unclear.
Benowitz points out that carbon monoxide and oxidant gases are plausible contributors, in addition to nicotine. But he goes on…
Food allergy is a constant source of anxiety to parents of children who could in fact die or suffer a severe reaction to foods. Believe it or not, the government has done a nice job with information pertaining to public safety, in this case, food allergy in schools. In case you think I’m kidding about the severity of food allergy, the YouTube link below should change your mind. The second link from the CDC is the “official word” on food allergy in schools.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what is modern hospital medicine really like? Follow Dr. Benjamin Kirkland - a Doctor working in Australia - through the pinnacles and pitfalls of everyday hospital medicine!