Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

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Bad Parenting

14 June 2008

Imagine that you have an 11 year old child who has been diagnosed with diabetes. Now imagine that this condition is treatable with insulin (it is). So we have a clear picture there, right?

So this child enters a coma as well as DKA. Now, DKA is a life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus, more often type I than type II, but either way it is not a good situation for a diabetic to be in, at all. In fact, it was the major cause of death before insulin injections became available. So, if your child were suffering from such a complication, what would the correct course of action be? It’s multiple choice:

A. Give your child the insulin that would have no doubt saved her life

B. Do nothing to save her life and assume that God will rescue her

read more after you choose

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Naturopathy in New York

12 June 2008

When I wrote my post about naturopathy a few days ago, I neglected to research the status of “N.D.” licensure in my home state of New York. Well it turns out that as of now, Naturopathic doctors can not be licensed in New York State. However, there is a group called the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians that is lobbying the State Legislature to allow such licensure. The intent of the legislation they sponsor is, from their site: “to expand access to natural medicine by licensing naturopathic doctors to diagnose and treat under a defined scope of practice”.

The only problem is that naturopathy is, like other forms of “natural” healing, full of quackery. Naturopathic “physicians” rely on terms like “healing energy” and “qi”, and at accreddited Naturopathic universities courses are available in a multitude of disproven methods and the old stand-by homeopathy. So while the NYANP would like you to write letters in support of their goals, I would urge you to do the opposite: Write to your legislator and let them know that you do not support pseudoscience replacing real, science-based medicine. If you are in favor of or believe in such healing methods, I suggest you check out the Denialism blog as well as Respectful Insolence for some very well-written posts about all sorts of woo.

Read more about Naturopathy, written by a real physician here.

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Shadowing: Part II

11 June 2008

Early this morning, (12 AM – 7 AM), I did some more shadowing in the ED. The preparation for this really started about 7 hours before I went in, when I took a 3 hour nap before getting ready to go. I wasn’t really sure what to expect to feel like, but I wanted to at least see what one overnight shift was like, since as an EM doctor that is part of the job.

So, to make things more interesting, there was a pretty decent storm that knocked out power to the doctors’ house. So when I went over to get a ride to the hospital, it was quite interesting to see ALL the lights out, although I sort of expected it to be dark, considering it was midnight.

So we eventually got to the hospital, and apparently the overnight shift the night before had been really busy and everyone was really sick, but when the docs got signout, it was much slower than the night before. Thus the night began.

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“Doctors” of Naturopathy?

11 June 2008

How unfortunate, the state of Minnesotta is actually giving recognition to what are now “doctors” of naturopathy.

For those of you who don’t know what exactly naturopathy is, here’s a basic rundown:

– Naturopathy is a “complimentary and alternative medicine” system that emphasizes the bodies

power to heal and maintain itself.

– Practitioners of naturopathy believe that this power is innate.

-Here comes the woo: Said practitioners use debunked methods such as homeopathy, not to mention the whole claim that the body has an “innate” power to heal itself without synthetic drugs.

– From the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians ( I feel that physician there should have an asterisk next to it): “This dependable orderliness is believed to be guided by a kind of inner wisdom that everyone has. This inner wisdom can be assisted to return a person to their best balance by naturopathic treatments”. Hmm, “inner wisdom”. So maybe we should just tell people coming to the hospital or to their doctors that their “inner wisdom” is just off? I don’t think so.

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Shadowing: Part I

9 June 2008

Tomorrow night, well technically Wednesday morning I’m shadowing for the second time this summer. I’ll be in the ER from 12 am until 7 am.

I really can’t wait. The first time (1 June, 4pm – 12 am) was really cool, but being the first time I was a little nervous about what was going on and what it would be like. It turned out that none of my worries came to pass and the night (4 pm -12 am) went really well. The doctors I’m shadowing said it was a slow night, but there was enough going on to keep me interested the whole time.

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