When a patient looked anxious before emergency surgery, it turned out he was worried about the hospital bill, not the surgery. He was uninsured.

By Jeffrey Swisher, M.D.

If you’re uninsured, the fear of having surgery may be related to the bill not the procedure. ( Photo source: iStock)

Some years ago, a few months after I had made the decision to leave academic medicine for the greener pastures of private practice anesthesia, I was called in one night to evaluate a young man in his early thirties with a presumptive diagnosis of appendicitis.

He had classic symptoms(1), was febrile, and had an elevated white blood cell count. A quick ultrasound…


By Patricia Salber, MD, MBA

Medically reviewed by Dov Michaeli, MD, PhD

Updated on April 19, 2021

Bringing on a personal trainer can be a key to finally getting fit. Here are 10 questions you should ask before hiring one.

Be sure to ask your new personal trainer what equipment you need to have before your first session. (Photo source: iStock)

Have you decided (once again) that this is the year you are going to get fit? And, this time, you are really going to stick with it way past the third week in January. Then hiring a personal trainer might be the ticket to your sustained success. Not only will a personal trainer help you optimize your exercise routine but…


Small bursts of exercise throughout the day can be just as beneficial as one longer session. Set your phone alarm to remind you to do it throughout the day.

By Ilchi Lee

April 13, 2021

I believe everyone can integrate multiple one-minute exercise sessions into their day. Read on.(Photo by @beachbumledford via Twenty20)

When people comment about not getting enough exercise, they usually say they can’t develop a good exercise routine (1) because they don’t have enough time. I can sympathize with this to some degree since people today are indeed busy, rushing here and there with a long list of appointments and tasks to accomplish.

However, I believe that they


Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US so It’s critical that doctors incorporate safe prescribing in their practice.

By Roneet Lev, M.D.

There are two supply chains for drug overdose mortality: illicit drugs and prescription medications. The latter is in the control of the healthcare community. (Photo source: iStock)

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.(1), with an all-time record high of 81,000 total drug-related deaths for 2020.(2) Therefore, it is more important than ever that doctors understand how to incorporate safe prescribing in their practice.

The drug mortality supply chain

The supply chain of drug mortality can be divided into the illicit market and the medical market. The illicit market is dominated now…


An anesthesiologist points to the useless, troublesome appendix as he explains why he favors the theory of natural selection over creationism.

By Jeffrey Swisher, M.D.

- Medically reviewed by Samuel Kojo Amoakohene, M.D.

  • April 11, 2021
Graphic source: iStock

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them
.

…Genesis 1:27 New International Version

In the beginning

Years ago, when I was a freshman at Stanford, I acted in a few college plays. One of my favorite roles was E.K. Hornbeck, the cynical wise-cracking reporter in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s drama Inherit…


It is likely that most of us will experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.

By Norm Wu

Medically reviewed by Patricia Salber, MD, MBA

Updated April 6, 2021

(Photo source: iStock)

According to a seminal 2015 report on diagnostic errors(1) by the Institute of Medicine,

“It is likely that most of us will experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.”

Indeed, studies on diagnostic error in the U.S. have suggested overall misdiagnosis rates from 5% (2)to 15% (3) and as high as 97% for certain diseases like Celiac Disease(4).

Misdiagnosis…


By Warren Fowler

Medically reviewed by Patricia Salber, MD, MBA
Updated on April 2, 2021

Research has found that imbalanced activation of the neck muscles related to sleep posture can be a cause of neck & shoulder musculoskeletal pain.

Bothered by pain in the neck? You’re not alone. A 2017 population-based study determined the prevalence of neck pain (1) in a population of adults aged 20 and above was 20.3% or 1 in 5 people. Although a variety of risk factors for neck pain have been identified, including your posture/positioning while at work, one risk factor that isn’t often talked…


Dentists administering vaccines during public health emergencies is not a groundbreaking idea.

By: Myechia Minter-Jordan, M.D.

Dentists possess a crucial factor in the vaccination process: Trust. (Photo: iStock)

We have entered a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. A phase that is not only critical but that also offers great hope. It encompasses the monumental task of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans with the newly available COVID-19 vaccines. And, to do it as rapidly and safely as possible in order to get this crisis under control. To accomplish this enormous task, we must produce enough vaccine to cover the population. Equally important, we need to ensure the vaccine is readily available…


By: David Adamson, M.D.

Medically reviewed by Patricia Salber, MD, MBA

Secondary infertility is the inability to get pregnant after a prior pregnancy. It affects approximately 3 million couples.

You may be well-informed about a variety of healthcare topics but there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of “secondary infertility.” It’s the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after a previous pregnancy whether or not there was a live birth. While it may not be a mainstream topic, secondary infertility affects nearly three million couples, double the number from 1995. …


Early experiences with death, including the failure to revive a drowned fisherman, spurred a young man to become a doctor.

By: Jeffrey Swisher, M.D.

- Medically reviewed by Patricia Salber, MD, MBA

(Photo source: iStock)

We live in an old chaos of the sun,

Or old dependency of day and night,

Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,

Of that wide water, inescapable.

Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail

Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;

Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;

And, in the isolation of the sky,

At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make

Ambiguous undulations as they sink,

Downward to darkness…

The Doctor Weighs In

Dr. Patricia Salber and friends weigh in on leading news in health and healthcare

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