When the Mighty are Stricken

Americans were shocked yesterday to hear of John McCain’s recent challenge – a malignant brain tumor known as a glioblastoma. When I heard that McCain had a brain tumor I suspected that he had a spread of the malignant melanoma that has plagued him for the last decade, requiring multiple surgeries and removal of his […]

On My Mind

I cannot remember the last time that national politics and medicine have been on such a collision course. Americans have becomes accustomed to the groundbreaking but imperfect medical coverage of the Affordable Care Act. And poll after poll shows that people are concerned about losing their coverage if GOP Senators are able to repeal Obamacare […]

The Shameful Zika Saga

Don’t look to Congress for help battling Zika. The members are on vacation. And their timing could not be worse. The CDC has now confirmed four cases of Zika that have been transmitted in Broward or Miami-Dade counties in Florida. That means these cases weren’t in people who travelled outside the United States and infected […]

ALKERMES APPOINTS DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN

  Alkermes Appoints Nancy Snyderman, M.D., to Board of Directors May 26, 2016 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alkermes plc (NASDAQ: ALKS) today announced the appointment of Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., to the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Snyderman most recently served as Chief Medical Editor at NBC News, and has more than three decades of experience […]

HPV – The Cancer Prevention Vaccine

I am unapologetic about my belief in the overall importance, efficacy, and safety of vaccinations.   I believe that vaccinations were the greatest scientific breakthrough of the past century, even surpassing the role of antibiotics. And while most of us think of vaccinations for preventing infections like measles, polio, and influenza, they are increasingly playing roles […]

A Hard Won Victory Over Ebola

The past two years have been painful for the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The first case of Ebola was diagnosed in Guinea in 2013 and the world watched in horror as this flamboyant virus jumped from countryside to city, and then hopped via airplane to surrounding nations and even to […]

Why New Year’s Resolutions Matter

So here I sit on January 2nd, trying to figure out whether I should bother with a New Year’s resolution since I have never made one before that has lasted 365 days. But then it dawns on me that making a resolution has nothing to do with the length of time that it lasts. It […]

The Day That Changed My Life Forever

It was on a poker hot July afternoon 27 years ago when I drove from Little Rock, Ark., three hours west to the small town of Fort Smith. Just 48 hours earlier, a 16-year-old-girl had delivered a baby and knew throughout the pregnancy that she would be giving the baby up for adoption. That drive […]

From Physician to Healer

Every doctor goes through a transformation from physician to healer. In medical school, we memorize and regurgitate information; as interns and residents, we strain to learn every new procedure. As young doctors, we keep patients at arm’s length and try simply to cure them. We can’t know then what we will come to realize later […]

Skin Cancer and Early Detection

Two technologies — MelaFind and dermatoscopy — use light waves and sophisticated data analysis to diagnose suspicious lesions. In a 2011 study, MelaFind was able to detect 98 percent of melanomas, compared with 78 percent by a dermatologist’s examination alone. Because melanoma can be difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages, when it’s most treatable, […]