In medicine, there is a long tradition of starting case presentations with a three-part description of the patient’s age, sex, and race. “This 53-year-old White woman presented to the ER with abdominal pain.” “The patient is a 50-year-old Black man with chest pain.” In December 2021 two doctors wrote a… read more "Race and Medicine"
Lindsey Fitzharris’ book describes the amazing innovations in plastic surgery brought about because of the horrors of World War I. War is hell, but often it leads to advances in medical technique that translate to peacetime. In The Facemaker, Lindsey Fitzharris tells the inspiring story of Harold Gillies, a visionary surgeon… read more "The Facemaker"
No medical treatment is risk-free. Paul Offit’s new book covers the history of innovations that went awry and advises how to balance the risks of new medical innovations with the risk of not treating. It is always risky to use a new treatment before all the evidence is in, but… read more "Deciding Which Risks to Take"
Joe Schwarcz has done it again! His new book is not only packed with good science-based information, but is highly entertaining. Joe Schwarcz’s prolific output continues. His latest book is Science Goes Viral. It’s not actually out yet (I read an advance copy) but can be pre-ordered on the Amazon website. As usual,… read more "Science Goes Viral"
This book about the first woman doctor in America contains fascinating details about the Blackwell sisters, their struggles, and the times they lived in. Elizabeth Blackwell is to be commended for her accomplishments, but it appears that she was not a nice person. This is a review of the book The… read more "The First Woman Doctor in America"
When the President’s doctor, Sean Conley, came down the front steps of Walter Reed Army Medical Center to brief the nation on the President’s health, it caused consternation in some quarters. His name was followed by the letters DO rather than MD. Some people questioned “why the president was being… read more "Osteopathy Then and Now"
This book is a handy compendium of everything worth knowing about the anti-vaccine movement and how to challenge the misinformation. Jonathan Berman’s new book Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement has two goals: to provide a complete picture of the anti-vaccine movement and to provide a counterpoint to some of… read more "New book: Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement"
Big Pharma is not a misnomer. Pharmaceutical drugs are big business. The US is the world leader in producing new drugs and is responsible for nearly half of the new molecular entities (NME’s) that come on the market. Americans spend well over $300 billion yearly on prescription drugs. Both Big Pharma and the FDA have come… read more "How a Drug Is Born"
Introduction Homeopathy is a system of health care that was originated in 1796 by a single individual, Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor who was critical of the medicine of his time. It is a discipline practiced by homeopaths, but homeopathic remedies are also sold over the counter in pharmacies for… read more "Homeopathy"
David Orenstein and Abby Hafer have written a delightful new book, Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times, and How the Battle Continues. Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. In the 160 years since then, much has been written about Darwin and evolution, but this entertaining,… read more "Darwin’s Apostles: The Battle Continues"