Archived Blogs

Largesse and Schizophrenia at the USDA by Pat Conrad MD

Readers of this space will note a longstanding antipathy for government-sponsored compassion, as beautifully exemplified by this fun little juxtaposition:  The Wall Street Journal tells us that “an estimated 14.5 million American households had difficulty providing enough food for their families last year, according to a recent government report.”  Said report was from the U.S.…

Ready, Aim?

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.  Really?  I mean I can see letting them have driver’s license (but only if they have a seeing eye dog) but this may be going too far.  Just saying. Tweet

E Cigarettes

A new study shows that electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches are equally effective at helping smokers quit.   Even more interesting, e-cigarettes were more effective in reducing cigarette use among smokers who didn’t quit.  The findings suggest that e-cigarettes are comparable to nicotine patches in helping people quit smoking for at least six months.  Also, people…

IBM Loving the Exchanges

As a way of lowering costs,  IBM plans to move U.S. retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and shift them into new public insurance exchanges.  This is hundreds of thousands of people. People this is real.  This is big.  I just found out that there will 35 Silver and Bronze plans available for health exchanges…

Good Bacteria May Keep You Thin

I keep reading more and more research on how important good bacteria is for us.  We have ten times the amount of bacteria than cells in our body.  We are not alone.   In fact, our gut bacteria is so much more important for us than we know.   Obviously, the yogurt companies have been…

Mini Brains Being Grown

The WSJ is reporting that “researchers have used stem cells to grow pea-sized structures that resemble the developing human brain”.   These “mini brains” are grown in the lab and are imperfect with a long way off from matching the real thing.   That sucks.  Looks like we have a whole new crop of hospital administrators…

More Generics, Fewer Freebies

Last week I mentioned my sadness when I heard the American Medical News publication had shut down.  Well, The Atlantic made a connection between the decline of Big Pharma’s profits to the decline of AMNews: That trade publications and medical journals suffer as a downstream effect of cheaper generic medications becoming available (which many physicians advocate, in…

The Markup

I was tipped off about this paragraph in the NYT and it should blow everyone’s mind.   The story was about how a hospital that is serving mostly the poor is doing what it has to do to survive.    Buried in the middle was this nugget: On average, hospitals across the country charge private…

Putting an 80 Year Old on Steroids

As a doctor I see a lot of elderly men with lung problems who  need to go on steroids.     That is why I was surprised to see the headline about an 80 year old man getting busted for being on them.   Am I doing something illegal with these patients?  I’m kidding.  The…