Top 10 Most Read Medical Stories of 2018

As 2018 wraps up, it is always worthwhile to take a walk down memory lane to remind us of what captivated our attention this year. My Top 10 pieces with the greatest readership spanned the fascinating macabre of forensic science and the human condition with respect to survival, medical oddities and self-injury to the realms of bioethics, healthcare trends and statements regarding our cultural ails. 

My Top 10 of 2018 proves an eclectic read (click on blue links): 

  1. Medieval Woman's Remains Show She Gave ‘Birth’ In Coffin After Death, Had Brain Surgery
    • With a rather self-explanatory headline, this account is a riveting read that features ancient brain surgery, maternal-fetal physiology and the investigative challenges of forensic medicine.
  2. The Steady Demise of Pediatrics
    • The good, the bad and the ugly of the trend of truncating pediatric care through regionalization and consolidation (eg surging inter-hospital transfer rates for common conditions due to declining capabilities).  
  3. Giant Genitals: Bigger Isn’t Always Better If You Don’t Want To Become Extinct
    • Basically, exaggerated male sex organs may intensify an organism’s focus so much that they pay a hefty cost when it comes to their own survival. In some cases, they facilitate their own extinction.
  4. Thanks, Dr. Gary Tigges, For Saying ‘Female Physicians Do Not Work As Hard,’ ‘Should Be Paid Less’
    • A male physician disparages female doctors. Things don't go well for him. However, we now can have an honest discussion about the issue. 
  5. Anti-Anxiety Meds Given To Boys For Rescue Mission From Thai Cave - An Important Lesson On Risk
    • Risks change in healthcare when imminent life or death are your alternatives.
  6. Hey CDC, Please Stop Pathologizing Infancy
    • When it comes to infant feeding, recent survey data from the Centers for Disease Control does more to add to the guideline burden than benefit a baby – let alone the parent.
  7. Neonatal Nurses Do Way More Than Hold Babies
    • It's time to recognize and champion the invaluable, grueling work of neonatal nurses. What many believe they do is a far cry from what they actually do.
  8. Anus & Rectum: Objects In Orifices

    • As my series Inanimate Objects in Orifices worked its way down from the eyesears, nose and throatvaginaurethra and penis to objects in orifices of the anus and rectum, audience interest on the topic of self-injury failed to disappoint (click on blue links).

  9. Though A Concerning And Serious Condition, AFM Is Rare

    • The media reports of a polio-like condition mostly impacting children sound pretty scary and are ripe for the dispatchers of news. But here, acute flaccid myelitis, also known as AFM, is given some well-needed context.

  10. Are Electronic Medical Records Ethical?
    • Electronic medical records (EMRs) were pitched as a long-sought concept of computerized universal personal health material that would mitigate issues with access and barriers to care. In reality, what they actually delivered to physicians were billing platforms that marginalize meaningful patient data necessary to inform diagnosis and therapeutic interventions. Having been thrust on patients and physicians via mandatory rollout, without their involvement or consent, begs the question of whether they stand in violation of the basic tenets of bioethics. 

Looking forward to the enthralling health discoveries and medical innovations the New Year will bring - happy 2019!