Fountain of Youth

Maximum lifespan is defined as the maximum number of time members of a species have been observed to live. According to the Hebrew Bible, Methuselah lived until the age of 969. More contemporaneously, Jeanne Calment, holds the distinction for the longest recorded human lifespan of 122 years. When she was born in 1875, the germ theory of… Continue reading Fountain of Youth

Mobility and Mortality (M&Ms)

Mobility is defined as the ability to move freely and easily. After the initial magical moments when we take our first steps and until we begin to lose this mobility under the insidious burden of chronic disease, this mobility is mostly taken for granted. However, it is the hallmark of our humanity, evolutionarily and developmentally.… Continue reading Mobility and Mortality (M&Ms)

Hunger games

Hara hachi bu is a Confucian adage that dates back 2500 years and instructs people to eat until they are 80% full. The Okinawans from Japan use this mantra before every meal, enabling them to be mindful of their food consumption. Elderly Okinawans have among the lowest mortality rates in the world from a multitude… Continue reading Hunger games

Over-Pharmaceuticalized

I recently read an interesting book titled, Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in Pursuit of Health. In the book, Dr. Welch talks about the dangers of over-diagnosis and how it is “biggest problem posed by modern medicine.” Over-diagnosis is defined as the diagnoses that will never cause symptoms or death and generally occurs because doctors seek… Continue reading Over-Pharmaceuticalized

What’s the DALY

Aging is the defined as the gradual functional and structural decline of an organism, resulting in an increasing risk of disease, impairment, and mortality over the life span. It is thought to be reliant upon a balance of exposure and resiliency. By 2050, the world population aged 80 years and above will more than triple… Continue reading What’s the DALY

The State of the Emergency Department

Almost 1.5 years ago, I wrote a blog piece titled Compassion Fatigue, in which I spoke about the high rate of physician burn out especially amongst front line physicians such as Emergency Physicians and Primary Care doctors. Anecdotally, the problem seems to be only worsening especially amongst ER physicians. There is not a week that… Continue reading The State of the Emergency Department

Metabolic Ghetto

The staggering increase in the prevalence and incidence of metabolic syndrome and its various components is especially alarming amongst minority populations worldwide and within the United States. For example, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has doubled in India in the last 30 years, obesity rates have increased 3 fold or more since 1980 in… Continue reading Metabolic Ghetto

My Journey with Metabolic Syndrome

In January 2013, I had blood work drawn and to my shock and dismay I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. My fasting blood sugar was elevated and I had atherogenic dyslipidemia. In hindsight, the results of the lab should not have been a surprise as I not only had a strong family history of metabolic… Continue reading My Journey with Metabolic Syndrome

The Digital Divide

The idea of precision or personalized medicine is gaining a lot of attention. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama launched the Precision Medicine Initiative “that will help deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.” Additionally, I recently came across a press release announcing the appointment of a… Continue reading The Digital Divide

Data rich but Information and Knowledge poor

The processing capacity of the conscious mind has been estimated at 120 bits per second. To put that in context, in order to understand one person talking to you, we need to process 60 bits of information per second. Primary care physicians on an average deal with three problems per patient and it is estimated… Continue reading Data rich but Information and Knowledge poor

How do we get patients engaged in their care?

According to a meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2012), Americans are failing to comply with medication prescriptions and it's costing them anywhere between $100 billion to $289 billion a year. 20 to 30 percent of prescriptions are never filled and almost 50 percent of medications aren't taken as prescribed. (Annals of Internal Medicine,… Continue reading How do we get patients engaged in their care?

I eat, therefore I am

            Meta-analyses of health outcomes studies show that medical care affects long-term health outcomes by about 10%, genetics determine about 20%, and the other 70% is a combination of social determinants – environment and behavior. Despite these percentages, the focus of the health care industry and policy makers in the… Continue reading I eat, therefore I am

Sagarmatha Beckons

At the beginning of last year, I was reading a travel magazine and came across an article for a trek to Everest Base Camp. The pictures of the world’s highest peak and its surrounding landscape were breathtaking and I immediately wanted to experience the trek to the third pole. However, the article also mentioned that… Continue reading Sagarmatha Beckons

Compassion fatigue

As reported in a recent JAMA article, approximately fifty percent of physicians report burnout symptoms such as detachment, emotional exhaustion, and a low sense of accomplishment. Frontline specialties such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Emergency Medicine were reported to have the highest rates of burnout. Why are so many frontline physicians experiencing burnout? Most physicians… Continue reading Compassion fatigue

Death panels (or living with dignity)

The US population is aging, as by 2030 the number of people in the US over the age of 85 is expected to double to 8.5 million. Furthermore, as the population ages, the number of people with chronic conditions will increase rapidly. These patients often not only suffer from low quality of life but also… Continue reading Death panels (or living with dignity)