Full Attention

Future studies will likely show that mobile devices are more harmful to humans than smoking — for a variety of reasons, not just physical. Photograph: Stephen Wise

Live Strong

Lance Armstrong (far right) was part of a panel today, at the Clinton Global Initiative, on Addressing Cancer In The Developing World. Dr. Sanjay Gupta led the discussion, that included: HRH Princess Dina Mired, Charles Patrick Almazor, Paul Farmer and Felicia Knaul. The conversation focused on cancer, joining the communicable diseases: HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria etc, as a killer in developing countries — and the need for…

Back To Basics

The 19th Annual Twin Towers Classic International Martial Arts Championships were held this weekend in New York City. Partipants included boys and girls, some under 5 years of age, along with men and women, many over 50. The instructors I spoke with talked about the holistic nature of martial arts training, including personal development and mental toughness. They said that young people who train in martial arts…

Keep Smiling

For various reasons, an increasing number of people are losing their teeth — two million in the U.S. last year, just from sports injuries. In addition, many are losing teeth due to poor health, nutrition and advanced age. Research has shown that missing teeth can lead to additional health problems, mental illness, reduced life span, and even dementia. Dr. Carlo Marinello, of the University…

Lower Blood Pressure

With at least 32% of American adults suffering from hypertension and 70% of that group walking around untreated, the drug companies see big growth opportunities and profits coming from America’s lifestyle choices. Which is why it was nice to find a “non-drug” option for treating hypertension, at the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, going on this week in New York. A…

St. Joseph Aspirin

On January 15, 2010 the McNeil Company, a division of Johnson & Johnson, announced the recall of some of its over-the-counter products, including Tylenol and St. Joseph aspirin. Two days ago I went into a Manhattan Duane Reade and bought what I had been told (by a Duane Reade employee) was “good” (post-recall) St. Joseph aspirin. But when I got home and checked the batch numbers against…

St. Vincent’s Hospital

Yesterday, St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York’s Greenwich Village closed, after serving the community for 160 years. The mood outside was emotional as workers left the building for the last time. One employee, a trauma technician, who had worked at St. Vincent’s for nine years summed up the feelings of many when he said — “We were a dysfunctional family, but we saved a lot…

Dealing With Autism

April is Autism awareness month. With over 700,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, many people are involved with caring for children and adults with autism. YAI, a national institute for people with disabilities, is holding their 31st Annual Conference this week in New York City. One of the sessions yesterday, dealt with the benefits of using classroom “meditation” for children with…

Formerly Fat Guy

“A turn of the crank              is all that you need to start a revolution.”             Scarlett Parker

Health Care Hustle

The health care bill before Congress is supposed to help reduce the number of uninsured Americans. But in fact, if approved it will hit up the uninsured the same way this sidewalk hustler hits up visitors to New York City.  The way it works is — the hustler offers the tourist a music CD, presumably for free. If the tourist accepts, the huster signs the disc and then…

Lotions & Potions

With all that is happening in health care today, nutrition is more important than ever. But at the same time we have to understand that we are “spiritual beings,” and need to know how the whole “person” works, in order to really live.

Psycho Analytic Collisions

The American Psychoanalytic Association just completed their Annual Meeting in NYC. One of the panels dealt with “Uses and Misuses of Temptation” — in the relationship between the analyst and patient. This description of the panel is taken word-for-word from their program guide: “How far can we let ourselves go in our wishes, fantasies, and temptations at work? What are the limits of our desires as…

Save The Children

Often times the children most at risk today, are those from the most affluent and seemingly advanced segments of our society. It is now quite common for fetal MRIs to be given to unborn babies. It is common practice  for young children to be given antipsychotic medicines. It is common for young children to be given human growth hormones — and the list goes on…

“Thank You, Thank You!”

Those were the words of this woman, greeting Chris Slattery, Director of EMC — Expectant Mother Care, at their recent Christmas party. EMC, based in New York City, exists to help expectant mothers who are planning to have an abortion. Through counseling and services, EMC helps women understand the gravity of their situation and assists them in having their babies — rather than aborting. The guests at…

Misguided Feminism

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. When it comes to what matters most in life, women have the power to lift men up or take them down. One such woman is Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton White House. As Secretary of H&HS, she helped to lift the ban on Federal…

Our Plastic World

“One Word — Plastics,” that iconic line from the 1967 movie, The Graduate, points to a future shaped by our relationship with plastics — literally and metaphorically. From plastic bottles, to polyester clothing to plastic surgery, we are inundated with the stuff. This week the Department of Preventative Medicine, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC held a conference that explored some of the environmental factors associated with…

Growing Cost Of Living

Vascular Surgery has evolved from General Surgery into its own specialty, dealing with diseases, aneurysms, and blockages of the veins and arteries. As the number of people suffering from high blood pressure and cholesteral increases, vascular medicine has a grown along with it. At this years Veith Symposium, an annual gathering of the Vascular community, the manufacterers of the “devices” — catheters, stents and grafts, used to…

Screening for AAA

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. One million people are living with undiagnosed AAA and 15,000 – 20,000 will die from it this year. An AAA is a balloon-like bulge in the body’s main artery that can burst unexpectedly and cause sudden death. The risk of AAA rises if you’re age 60+, a male, have a history of smoking,…

Got Being?

The New York Conference On Well-Being And The Person, is meeting this weekend in NYC. The International Network of Person-centered Medicine and the Anthropedia Foundation organized the conference as a forum for discussion of what they can do to promote well-being and health. One of the group leaders is Dr. Robert Cloninger, Director, Center for the Science of Well-Being at Washington University School of…

Environmental Factors

At the Lymphoma/Myeloma 2009 Congress, there were no breakthroughs to report as far as cures or treatments are concerned. But there was agreement that various forms of Lymphoma are increasing around the world. When asked about probable causes of Lymphoma, the default response of most doctors is “genetics.” However, several of the Oncologists, who I spoke with, were willing to speculate about environmental factors. One doctor…

“So, How Are The Children?”

The New York State School Boards Association Annual Convention is going on this weekend in New York City. One of the talks, on “substance abuse,” was given by James E. Copple, a prominent educator and leader in the nation’s struggle to confront “methanphetamine” use. He spoke about risk factors as well as various “resiliencies” — including: Hope and Significant Adults, that can help to mitigate…

Mental Health

Psychiatry is a field where a person who believes in God and “sin” might be considered delusional and suffering from hallucinations. The good news is that some in the field are increasingly open to learning about the spiritual realm and are trying to figure out how to incorporate a patient’s spiritual history and belief system into their mental health care. At a conference this week, held by the Institute…

Raised Expectations

In his song “The Good Life,” Tony Bennett sings: “It’s the good life to be free and explore the unknown.” The contemporary Western model for the good life was on display at a recent conference held in New York City, for European Pediatricians and Pharmaceutical reps. In the last 40 years, the good life has come to include medicine for everything — especially self-esteem. With the…

Seamless Garment

Imagine a world where liberals recognize the injustice of abortion and conservatives recognize the injustice of torture, and they both worked for a more just health care system — one where people are guided by a more holistic view of life.

Reverence For Truth And Life

Any reform of the health care system, in the U.S., needs to include a more ethical mindset within the FDA, especially regarding the approval of new drugs. The current system (between the FDA and drug companies) is not unlike that which existed between the ratings agencies (Moody’s and S&P) and investment banks, which caused so much trouble on Wall Street. Many new drugs are…