745 posts tagged with Medicine.
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Junior doctors protest

Junior doctors protest in London this evening regarding contract changes
posted by threetwentytwo on Sep 28, 2015 - 27 comments

“Each person that has difficulty has different reasons,”

Can’t Swallow a Pill? There’s Help for That [New York Times]
Most children start swallowing pills around age 10, said Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician in Calabasas, Calif., and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. And 20 percent to 40 percent are unable to swallow a standard-size pill or capsule, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics. [...] Many never outgrow the problem.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2015 - 76 comments

Not a dry eye in the house

'Dry Eye' Has Ruined People's Lives — And Stumped The Medical Community
Some people suffer eye pain so excruciating they feel suicidal, yet ophthalmologists see nothing wrong. Meet the 82-year-old doctor whose radical idea about the real source of this pain is turning heads.
posted by Pfardentrott on Sep 11, 2015 - 42 comments

Red Duke (1928-2015)

James Henry "Red" Duke passed away today at the age of 86. With his Texas accent and folksy expressions, Dr. Duke was most famous for his 15 year running TV series Health Reports which covered topics like hyperthyroidism, kidney stones, and even stress management. [more inside]
posted by fremen on Aug 25, 2015 - 17 comments

"I know this is my silence to break."

Today, respected medical medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine published a short, anonymous account called "Our Family Secrets" of two different sexual assaults (or, in the journal's words, situations with "overtones" of sexual assault) by surgeons on their unconscious patients. (trigger warning for sexual assault and misogyny) [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Aug 18, 2015 - 36 comments

Singing Schubert While Having Brain Surgery, No Bigs

"Hey, Ambrož, what are you up to?" "Little brain surgery, little opera, quiet day for me."
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Aug 14, 2015 - 18 comments

Startups Vie to Build an Uber for Health Care

"House calls, which accounted for 40% of all doctor visits in 1930, dwindled to less than 1% by 1980 as physicians found it far more efficient to see 20 or 30 patients a day in an office than just a handful in their homes. But in-home care is starting to be seen as cost-efficient again—particularly for the most expensive patients." [SLWSJ]
posted by Jacqueline on Aug 11, 2015 - 41 comments

RIP Frances O. Kelsey, Ph.D., M.D.

Frances Oldham Kelsey, the doctor who kept thalidomide from becoming available in the United States, has died at age 101. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 7, 2015 - 49 comments

Good science is boring science

A study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that measures currently afoot in nearly every area of science to increase the transparency requirements for research will mean we can expect to see more of these seemingly dull results in the future -- and that's a good thing. Far from boring, those trials that find a drug doesn't do what we hoped can be equally as important -- or even more so -- than the ones that do.
posted by sammyo on Aug 6, 2015 - 10 comments

ICU Nurse, Blogger

An ICU nurse with a way for words details her shift reports elise the great is a Something Awful poster (in the hidden Goon Doctor section) who has a long history of frank and well-written posts detailing her shifts at work in a busy ICU. After a long period of trying to convince her to write a book, and a subforum experiment involving diary-style entries, she has agreed to a blog. [more inside]
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood on Aug 3, 2015 - 111 comments

The Frontier of Biotech

The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 31, 2015 - 7 comments

Game changer

New Ebola vaccine shows 100% success rate in clinical trial. Today the World Health Organization has announced that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine had a 100% success rate in preventing onset of the disease if administered within 10 days of exposure (n=4,000). In response to the current outbreak in West Africa that has afflicted over 27,000 and killed over 11,000, this collaborative effort led by the WHO pushed the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months. Official paper from The Lancet here (pdf).
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 31, 2015 - 23 comments

What is thy name?

"Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior" by Peter Kramer and Paola Bressan discusses the idea that an individual homo sapiens is only one component of the human superorganism we call a person, focusing on the psychological and psychiatric ramifications thereof. (Paola Bressan previously.)
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jul 27, 2015 - 17 comments

a waste of muscular flesh

Worm fever, headmouldshot, quinsy, Derbyshire neck, and other medical terms of the 18th and 19th centuries.
posted by theodolite on Jul 20, 2015 - 31 comments

Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Dr. Keiko Okami, and Dr. Sabat Islambouli in 1885

This photo depicts Dr. Anandibai Joshi of India, Dr. Keiko Okami of Japan, and Dr. Sabat Islambouli of Syria, three women who became doctors in 1885, at least two the first female physician in their own country, and 36 years after Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. (All three completed medical school at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.) Be sure to click "See More" to read the full post at the first link. (Previously, on the lives of trailblazing women in medicine.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 17, 2015 - 20 comments

Creating a treatment for Ebola--and maybe other diseases

Moses, meanwhile, stepped out into the searing midday heat and stretched her legs. She saw six people sitting on the concrete steps of an office across from her lab. Some had been nurses and researchers at Kenema; a couple were part of a newly formed survivors’ union. That’s how they’d heard about Moses’ mission. All six had been infected with Ebola and survived. Hypothetically, that made them immune to the disease. That’s why Moses had returned—to harness that immunity to try to ensure Ebola never killed anyone again.
posted by sciatrix on Jul 8, 2015 - 3 comments

“I've been a boy for three years and I was a girl for six.”

Esteemed PBS series Frontline has produced a new documentary profiling a number of trans children and their families in the U.S. today: Growing Up Trans. There will be a Google Hangout with the producers and several of the film's subjects on July 1, at 3 PM EST. Inside, please find a number of articles released by Frontline to flesh out the film. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 1, 2015 - 35 comments

Male and female mice process pain differently, study finds

New research into the pain processing of mice has found male and female mice process pain differently, and the discovery may also apply to other species, including humans. Scientists are now questioning what this means for the future of medical research, which until now, has had a strong bias towards experimenting on male mice. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on Jun 30, 2015 - 21 comments

To bid them farewell.

For most of US history, our relationship with death was more intimate than it is today. Americans often died at home and remained there until burial, where they were washed, wrapped in shrouds, and laid out on boards while the family made preparations for a funeral feast and an at-home funeral. In addition to family, women known as “Layers Out of the Dead,” helped take care of the immediate tasks following a death. This homespun approach to death largely persisted until the Civil War, when embalming, hospitals and eventually funeral directors changed the way we dealt with our deceased. But now, with home funerals and even green burials slowly regaining acceptance, a new generation of “Layers Out of the Dead,” are emerging.
posted by zarq on Jun 30, 2015 - 17 comments

The first time I coughed up blood, I shook it off.

Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me Sex educator Rebecca Hiles (Frisky Fairy) details the years of being told to lose weight to deal with her persistent cough before doctors finally diagnosed her with lung cancer. Part I of her cancer story.
posted by emjaybee on Jun 27, 2015 - 184 comments

Bring the fat back

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report, submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, makes a historic change: for the first time since 1980, the report no longer recommends the restriction of dietary cholesterol nor of total dietary fat. An article published today in JAMA calls on HHS and USDA to heed the DGAC report. The article goes on to praise the report's new emphasis: reducing consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, and increasing consumption of whole foods (even those high in fats).
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jun 23, 2015 - 124 comments

"I think we have to respect when people say, 'No—that is enough.'"

Euthanasia for psychiatric patients was rare in the early years of the law, but patients complained that they were being unfairly stigmatized: psychic suffering, they argued, was just as unbearable as physical pain. Like cancer patients, they were subjected to futile treatments that diminished their quality of life. Dirk De Wachter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Leuven and the president of the ethics commission for the university's psychiatric center, said that he reconsidered his opposition to euthanasia after a patient whose request he had rejected committed suicide. In 2004, she set up a camera in front of a newspaper office in Antwerp and set herself on fire.
Rachel Aviv traveled to Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, to report on the complications and consequences that surround the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia for psychiatric patients: The Death Treatment.
posted by divined by radio on Jun 22, 2015 - 52 comments

Minutes Matter

A Sea Change in Treating Heart Attacks (NYT) Dr. Mahesh Bikkina, the director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., tells his trainees about the old days: heart muscles that tore, with blood leaking out of holes, and valves that ruptured, leading to sudden death if not repaired immediately with open-heart surgery. “I tell them you will read about these things in textbooks,” Dr. Bikkina said.“You will almost never see them.”
posted by CrystalDave on Jun 21, 2015 - 14 comments


Panda Cubs Wrestle with Breeder to Avoid Medication (SLYT)
posted by Joe in Australia on Jun 11, 2015 - 42 comments


New U.S. government research indicates that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women and at rates nearly equal to that of male veterans -- a finding that surprised researchers because women are generally are far less likely than men to commit suicide. The findings raise questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the United States' armed forces. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 10, 2015 - 39 comments

A breakthrough in prosthetic technology.

"The limb, developed by Professor Hubert Egger of the FH Upper Austria (University of Applied Sciences), allows wearers to tell which surface they are walking on and dramatically improves amputee's balance and coordination. The development could wipe out the phenomenon of phantom pain, where amputees can experience severe discomfort as the brain receives no neural feedback from their missing limb." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol on Jun 9, 2015 - 5 comments


Jewish German Woman, 102, Finally Receives the PhD denied to her by the Nazis.
posted by infini on Jun 9, 2015 - 16 comments

Doctoring, Without the Doctor

Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law that makes it possible for nurses in a variety of medical fields with most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight. Maryland’s governor signed a similar bill into law this month, and eight more states are considering such legislation, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Now nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or better, known as nurse practitioners, no longer have to get a signed agreement from a doctor to be able to do what their state license allows — order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and administer treatments.
posted by wondrous strange snow on May 27, 2015 - 53 comments

“It’s disheartening. They should have known better.”

Loaded with Lead. America has an estimated 10,000 gun ranges and 40 million annual recreational shooters. But when guns are fired with lead-based ammunition, they spread a toxin: lead vapor and dust. A year-long Seattle Times investigation shows that due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, thousands of workers, shooters and their family members have been contaminated and been made sick at shooting ranges nationwide. Reckless range owners/operators, unenforced regulations as well as a lack of oversight and inspections are to blame. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 26, 2015 - 75 comments

What I want is to die on my own timetable and in my own nonviolent way.

The Last Day of Her Life. When Cornell psychology professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when? [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 15, 2015 - 42 comments

I breathe deeply, banish all distractions, and focus on the chicken.

For the past few years, a small group of psychiatrists, researchers, educators, and game designers have run a quiet but intense footrace to become the first to earn FDA approval for a medically sound, prescription-strength video game for ADHD. That’s not a metaphor. They are seeking approval for a game that a doctor can actually prescribe..
In this excerpt from his new book, posted on Medium, journalist Greg Toppo discusses a variety of new neurogames and how they may in the future treat conditions like ADHD and anxiety, strengthen skills like multitasking and mindfulness, and reduce the need for pharmaceutical interventions for children. (Fair warning, the article has an animated header image that may annoy, so you may want to scroll right on down past it before you start reading.)
posted by Stacey on May 11, 2015 - 11 comments

America's Epidemic of Unnecessary Care

An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it? By Atul Gawande, previously on Metafilter.
posted by ellieBOA on May 7, 2015 - 69 comments

Charging toward an era of genetically modified humans

The CRISPR Revolution [ungated: 1,2,3] - "Biologists continue to hone their tools for deleting, replacing or otherwise editing DNA and a strategy called CRISPR has quickly become one of the most popular ways to do genome engineering. Utilizing a modified bacterial protein and a RNA that guides it to a specific DNA sequence, the CRISPR system provides unprecedented control over genes in many species, including perhaps humans. This control has allowed many new types of experiments, but also raised questions about what CRISPR can enable." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 16, 2015 - 28 comments

Our bodies, our lives

In the coverage and discussions, our voices are unheard, our lived experience silenced from a discussion that impacts our lives in a way that journalists and think-piece writers and even doctors cannot understand. I struggle sometimes when I hear stories of people with cancer that most likely would be cured if only they followed the treatment regime suggested by their doctors who make the decision to follow a [complementary and alternative medicine] remedy. Not even your doctor will judge you though.
Elizabeth Caplice writes about of living with (likely terminal) cancer, the temptation to believe in miracle cures when the reality of having to undergo cancer treatments are so dire and how little cancer patients themselves are heard in the ongoing debates about treatment and alternative medicine.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 8, 2015 - 13 comments

There's something fishy about fish oil

Fish oil: it's been touted as a solution to heart health, dementia, glaucoma, and a host of other ailments. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of the evidence for its benefits is equivocal at best. And it turns out that fish oil isn't particularly useful for our pets, either. Worse, it turns out that the foundational study that kicked off interest in fish oil as a supplement is not quite as promising for fish oils as it is usually construed and cited. Given that fish oil can induce strokes in high quantities (and may interfere with treatments like chemotherapy), is poorly regulated, and is expensive, should we be promoting fish oil supplements as strongly as we do?
posted by sciatrix on Apr 6, 2015 - 113 comments

The Overdose - Harm in a Wired Hospital

The nurses and doctors summoned to the hospital room of 16-year-old Pablo Garcia early on the morning of July 27, 2013, knew something was terribly wrong. Just past midnight, Pablo had complained of numbness and tingling all over his body. Two hours later, the tingling had grown worse.

A five part series from Backchannel at Medium.

Part One - How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose
[more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Apr 3, 2015 - 54 comments

My First Life as a Nurse

I am in my first month of nursing school. It is the early 70s and this is a three-year program, hospital-based, all practical training. It is my first day in my first ward...
A remembrance, by English professor and disability studies scholar, Janet Lyon.
posted by Toekneesan on Mar 24, 2015 - 15 comments

The Man who gave us “Mesmerize”

Franz Anton Mesmer (1735-1815) was a Viennese doctor who incorporated hypnosis (which he called “Animal Magnetism”, meaning that planets had a “tidal” influence on the human body) into his medical practice. His peers considered him a charlatan, but he grabbed the attention of the rich, royal, and famous. And then he volunteered to cure the blind composer and pianist Maria Theresia von Paradis. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 24, 2015 - 10 comments

"There is no cure for our addiction to medical hype"

Every day, news sources report on medical studies that describe promising new treatments. Most of them don't pan out in the end. Julia Belluz reports on "why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study." Her article includes a figure showing which foods are reported to cause cancer and which ones are reported to prevent it. (Spoiler: they're the same foods.)
posted by grouse on Mar 23, 2015 - 25 comments

Rogue wounds

In the asylums, the garrison hospitals, the rogues’ hovels, and so on back through time, it is possible to see medicine moving toward this moment, when the malingerer ceases to be a monster and becomes a mirror to ourselves.
posted by zeptoweasel on Mar 18, 2015 - 3 comments

"If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul."

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2015 - 46 comments

The World's First Successful Penis Transplant

The world's first successful penis transplant has been performed in South Africa.
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 15, 2015 - 70 comments

Does having "good posture" really matter?

Health-conscious people are haunted by the idea that they “should” correct their posture, and many fight a chronic, uncertain and tedious battle against crookedness. But is it necessary? After working as a massage therapist for many years, I became confident that poor posture is a “real” thing. I think it is sometimes a factor in chronic pain, mostly later in life, and probably can also be improved in some cases with a little effort. But it’s not a straightforward business, this posture stuff! There aren’t many “easy wins” for people here. And there’s plenty of potential to waste time and money — or even get hurt. Delving deeper into the topic as a journalist, studying the scientific literature and learning more from countless readers and experts, I have developed many reasonable doubts about posture’s importance.
posted by sciatrix on Mar 13, 2015 - 40 comments

The extraordinary life of Janet Vaughan

Douglas Starr, in Blood, quotes the British Secretary of War, asked in 1937 what the nation proposed to do about a mass blood supply. The secretary was dismissive. Blood could not be stored for long or in great quantities, he said. On the hoof was better. “It was more satisfactory to store our blood in our people.” Janet Vaughan did not agree, and Janet Vaughan did something about it. Her medical director gave her £100, and she sent off her assistants in taxis to find all the tubing that London shops could provide.
Longreads profiles Janet Vaughan, a British scientist who found better treatments for anemia than arsenic using herself as a test subject, was a major force in creating London's first blood banks using cheap tubing and ice cream trucks, studied emergency nutrition in a post-liberation concentration Nazi death camp, and continued active research into blood and radiation into her eighties, while occasionally serving as a model for Virginia Woolf characters.
posted by Stacey on Mar 12, 2015 - 6 comments

Shame and Ideology

Study Confirms That Abstinence Education Has Utterly Failed At Preventing AIDS In Africa
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2015 - 22 comments

"I thought of it as an enterprise software problem I could solve."

Your new kidney is in the cloud. When former software developer David Jacobs was fortunate enough to get a kidney transplant eleven years ago, it occurred to him that there had to be a better way to match recipients with potential donors... so he bankrolled a company, and designed the cloud-based software needed to do it. As a result, thanks to paired kidney exchanges, a single kidney donation in San Francisco is saving six lives over the next few days... and will soon be saving a total of twelve lives, while removing people from the kidney waiting list, reducing the organ wait time for patients who don't have the time to spare.
posted by markkraft on Mar 6, 2015 - 10 comments

short documentary: NYU psilocybin cancer anxiety research

Eddie Marritz, a cinematographer and photographer in remission from small-cell carcinoma, was a participant in one of NYU's Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies. Marritz, and the researchers, take us through the experience. Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip. (7 min) [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Feb 27, 2015 - 7 comments

Fiction influences reality: Quincy M.E.'s role in the Orphan Drug Act

How Quincy M.E. Changed American Law and Saved Lives discusses the serendipitous way that a young man's need for medication for Tourette's syndrome came to the attention of a family member of actor Jack Klugman and resulted in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. (main article by MeFi's own Garius) [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Not everything broken can be fixed

In memoriam: Dr. Michael Davidson, cardiac surgeon, killed while doing a job he loved. A reflection on bad outcomes versus mistakes and taking risks versus playing it safe.
posted by treehorn+bunny on Feb 5, 2015 - 18 comments

Smartphone, finger prick, 15 minute diagnosis

Medical researchers at Columbia University have developed a smartphone accessory that can diagnose HIV and syphilis in 15 minutes. The device is estimated to cost $34 to manufacture, compared to $18,450 for existing equipment. It also does not require an external power source, which is a major benefit for use in areas without reliable access to electrical power.
posted by tocts on Feb 5, 2015 - 44 comments

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