I Like Patients Vertical

If I can help it, I like patients vertical, not horizontal. I want to make sure that nobody gets a disease that could have been prevented. Sure, accidents happen. And illnesses show up every day in the lives of patients and their families who did nothing to deserve them, and who could have done nothing to prevent them. But not all illnesses. Continue reading


It’s Not Really Health Care

Everyone has a lot going on this week, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

There continues to be a lot of talk about why measures of obesity and infant mortality are so high in the U.S. relative to other Western countries. These kinds of measures are commonly employed to assess the overall health of a population. As a country, the U.S. spends significantly more for medical care. Why, then, does it not translate into improved health outcomes? Continue reading


United We Continue to Stand

When I cared for adults in an internal medicine practice in suburban Cleveland, I frequently observed a wonderful phenomenon. It was not at all unusual for patients to bring along their children and grandchildren, fresh from a prior appointment across the hall with their pediatrician. Beautiful, bright-faced, fresh-scrubbed, engaging, chubby, usually well-behaved, American children. The pediatricians’ well-intended recommendations on reducing the rate of weight gain continued to be unsuccessful, and my patients’ faces told me that the ongoing exhortations had become tiresome. If they knew how to fix this problem, they told me, they already would have. Continue reading


Research: One Cup of Broccoli at a Time

This past week I went to hear Dr. Mark Hyman speak to our medical students about functional medicine. My brain was spinning a mile a minute. That happens whenever I spend time thinking about actually preventing illness instead of chasing it. I channeled my energies by spending a good part of the time busily writing tweets to send out on my Twitter feed: Continue reading