News and Views

When people hear of Miss America or Miss USA and the like, they tend to conflate the organizations and dismiss them as “beauty pageants” and whatever that must mean. Having just judged the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen (MAOTeen) scholarship competition—Miss America’s sister program— in Orlando, Florida, I would argue to do so would be a disservice to some extraordinary, talented young women who not only are currently impacting their communities, but will no doubt reflect future leadership in society.

Momentarily, I will take you behind-the-scenes of my experience and demonstrate how this group of 13-17 year olds and the ancillary programs Miss America provides (that range in age from childhood to young adulthood) could be an opportunity for...

Five months ago this week, a 30-year-old named Jade Erick died after receiving an intravenous infusion of curcumin - the compound in turmeric that is thought by naturopaths to have medicinal qualities (but doesn't).

When the death happened, we hypothesized on what could have killed Ms. Erick? We wrote, 

The most obvious possibility is that Ms. Erick has an allergy to turmeric itself. However, there are other possibilities. In order to get the turmeric powder into a solution, it has to be solubilized (dissolved into a solution.) If this was not done properly, tiny particles of turmeric would be present in the solution - something that would stop a...

It's not easy being a teenager. Since time immemorial, teens have had to grapple with the raging hormones and quest for self-identity that are hallmarks of this stage of life. However, coming of age in an era of social media -- in which every moment of a person's life can be live-tweeted and publicly scrutinized -- makes an already difficult situation that much worse.

New data released by the CDC highlights the hardship of modern teenage life. Since 2007, the suicide rate among boys aged 15 to 19 has increased by 31% (from 10.8 to 14.2 per 100,000), while the suicide rate among girls has more than doubled (from 2.4 to 5.1 per 100,000). In fact, the suicide rate for teenage girls is at a 40-year high*.

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Given the depth and breadth of penis articles recently, our editorial board thought not covering them would do the public a disservice. Since some in our office are gun shy about the topic (e.g. males), I was tasked with the assignment. 

No big deal. I got this junk. Being a medical doctor means being so used to penises and vaginas, to me they are interchangeable with any body part, from brain to anus. 

Some people will always test boundaries, that is why I wrote an entire series of articles on inanimate objects found in bodily orifices by doctors, and those covered the penis and urethra. Doctors are used to it, from general practitioners to surgeons.

So, let’s deep...

The headline promises information about a "NEW LANDMARK STUDY" linking aspartame consumption to lymphoma and leukemia in humans. Now that's a global crisis if I ever heard one! But wait — before you toss your diet sodas, let's delve a little deeper into what this website is really doing.

I suppose you could call this a "Lazarus" site because they're resurrecting some old data and claiming it's new. But it isn't. The site, called Realfarmacy, supposedly is alerting true believers to the results of the "longest running study on aspartame as a carcinogen in humans." The study they refer to was published in 2013, for one thing — hardly new. For another, it was a combination of 2 observational studies — the Nurses’ Health...

Given modern medical advances extending survival rates for chronic diseases like cancer along with the population aging at an exponential rate, companies are seeing opportunities for niche markets. Hormel —of Dinty Moore stews and Spam canned meat fame—has designed its Vital Cuisine meal line specifically to target cancer patients, for example. 

This veil of social responsibility manages to obscure what is likely at its core an economic decision. Patients are more and more frequently being managed as outpatients for cancers, so hospitals and long-term care facilities are no longer the only avenue to access them. Enduring chronic illness while living at home and still going to work is very much a...

He was widely considered the smartest player in the NFL.

That assessment wasn't defined by how he played or approached football, but rather by what was under his helmet and between his ears. That's because when John Urschel wasn't defending his quarterback on the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line, the deep-thinking, soft-spoken genius was working towards his math doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But at the age of 26, Urschel, the well-liked and highly-regarded lineman, abruptly retired from the NFL after just three seasons. His decision came two days after a high-profile study was released, which stated that in the brain tissue studied of 111 late NFL players, 110 were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a type of irreversible...

A pesky parasite lurks warm freshwater lakes and ponds in the dog days of summer.. It's not serious, but it's certainly itchy!

A walk through Brooklyn's Prospect Park this summer may not be as relaxing as it sounds.

At least five people are known to have been attacked by a squirrel between July 18th and July 20th. Oddly, the squirrel attacks are reported as being unprovoked. This is not the case of mistaking a finger for a peanut. The squirrel attacked people (in one case, jumped up on a seven-year-old child) as they walked or jogged by.

Although it is not clear what is going on with the squirrel, or why it's biting people, the NYC Health Department has put out a warning that it may be rabid and that people who have been bitten should seek medical immediately for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. This recommendation makes sense, given that rabies is nearly 100% fatal when contracted.

But,...

Physicians and surgeon have a long history of differences. Surgeons descended from barber-surgeons and even today are called "Mister" in the United Kingdom. Physicians practicing medicine seem to have descended from the alchemists and are often felt to be more thoughtful and reflective while surgeons are seen more as doers.

A thought provoking systematic review in the British Medical Journal, "Use of Placebo Controls in the evaluation of surgery" examines one of the ways that differences persist. For example, a new therapy involving a medication requires the approval of the FDA, and that requires evidence that the new drug is at least “non-inferior” to what is already available. Not so for a new surgical technique or device...