Wednesday, 17 Oct 2018

Blog

Pain: Objectifying a Subjective Symptom

My typically pleasant 76 year old male was livid when I walked into the exam room. He was pacing back and forth with furrowed eyebrows.

Rheumatology Dead Word Cemetery 2019

I recently heard of a secondary school assignment wherein students were challenged to “bury” a word that was no longer useful or appropriate. Their exercise has now evolved into an unofficial RheumNow task force to retire diagnostic terms that have grown into misuse in rheumatology and medicine. How did we decide which words should perish? And by what criteria? Who has the final say?

The "No Show" Problem

As the healthcare landscape continues to change, “no show” rates will be an important factor for clinical practice. Implementing even one or two of the following proposed changes may help improve your no show rates.

The Medical History – Pitfalls and Preferences

By recognizing the limitations of memory and patient recall, I tend to focus historic elements that have high predictive value and avoid time consuming worm-holes in history-taking that have low predictive value. This leaves me with more time to listen to the patient.

Prescription Drugs and the Effect on Access to Biosimilars in the US

The word “access” is thrown around a lot these days, particularly regarding health care and specifically, prescription medications. Access to medications essentially revolves around two things: availability and affordability. Immediately, pharmaceutical manufacturers come to mind, as they are responsible for production and setting the list price. However, ultimate availability and affordability of medications is shared with another entity. The final arbiter of access is the Pharmacy Benefit Manager. Their power resides in the fact that they control the formulary and determine the “preferred drugs” list. How does this relate to the uptake of biosimilars?

Best of 2017: Across the Table: Cush & Erkan on Antiphospholipid Syndrome

DErkan

The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a common disorder affecting patients with and without autoimmune disease. Despite wider recognition of APS among physicians as well as the expanding research collaborations, many clinical questions are still encountered in clinical practice, which require further evidence-based studies. In this “Across the Table” edition, Drs. Cush and Erkan discuss some of these APS-related questions. Our guest expert, Dr. Doruk Erkan offers up his approach to diagnosis and management of APS.

Best of 2017: Online Reviews - of Burritos and Doctors

A new patient came in today; he noted that he made an appointment with me after reading a favorable online review on YELP about our practice. 

Best of 2017: Rules for Drug Cessation with Infection

Everyone gets their education about drug-related infection risk from television ads. Rheumatologists should know what the real risks are and educate their patients that they have a higher than normal rate of nonserious infections. But the infection risk is way more related to inflammation than any specific drug risk.

Best of 2017: The Retiring Rheumatologist

Just last week, I went to a doctor’s retirement party. It was festive, with honors and ribbing for the lucky one, but there was an asterisk to his milestone. Retirement was not anticipated or planned for. What is your retirement plan?

Death of the Dinner Meeting

Many years ago, rheumatologists would assemble with lunar regularity to discuss cases, journal articles or listen to a great visiting speaker or le

How to Present an Abstract at EULAR

Good News!  Your research submission has been accepted for presentation at a national congress (i.e., ACR or EULAR).  This is often a first step in the lifetime of a project – Abstract, Presentation, Full Write-up and Publication.  Instead of being enthralled or overwhelmed with the notion of doing your first abstract, review my approach to creating, presenting and reviewing abstracts for a major medical meeting.

The Gender Gap in Rheumatology Leaders

Leadership positions in medicine are disproportionately filled by men. Although the enrollment of medical schools are equal male: female or even some have more women, 40% of American medical institutions lack programs for recruiting women, or for retention and promotion of female faculty.

This may also be true in rheumatology, which is now attracting more women than men as trainees. I recently wrote an article in the Lancet about mentoring women in medicine and suggested ideas for improving the gender gap in leadership.