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10 minutes | Mar 27, 2015
Can't Get Pregnant? Determining if IVF Is Right for You
If you've been struggling to get pregnant with no success, what are your next options?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Alyssa Dweck... Christopher Springmann: Thanks for joining us today on Body Language on RadioMD. It is always a joy, Dr. Dweck. Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD: Thank you for having me. CS: Let’s talk about fertility and infertility, and how you do a workup and treat folks. And much of this was inspired by an article that was carried throughout the world the other day quoting Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana … AD: Right. CS: They were quoted in the Telegraph saying, “I oppose gay adoptions. The only fami-ly is the traditional one with no chemical offsprings or a rented uterus.” An interesting phrase. “Life has a natural flow and there are things that should not be changed. You are born to a fa-ther and a mother, or at least that’s how it should be. I call these children ‘children of chemistry,’ ‘synthetic children,’ with semen chosen from a catalog.” Needless to say, that didn’t play very well to the larger population. But it’s an interesting segue into our discussion about fertility issues. Tell me about your practice and what you see and hear in terms of your patient population about fertility issues. Because frankly, Dr. Dweck—and, of course, you are the author of V is for Vagina: Your A to Z Guide to Periods, Piercings, Pleasures and So Much More—this is a whole new world out there in terms of conception. AD: Yes, it really is. Look, I don’t like to make any political comments and… CS: Oh, go ahead. AD: …share opinion. CS: Jump right in. AD: However, yes, I see all comers in my office. So I will see your traditional male-female couples who have attempted pregnancy for, you know, by definition, more than a year without success, which is when we really start to get more aggressive into looking they into why they’re not getting pregnant. And I do also see gay female couples who are looking to be pregnant. So we deal with both. But just to talk about the general fertility workup. The standard definition of infertility is trying to get pregnant for a full year without success. And once you reach that point, it’s very reasonable to consider a workup. A lot of women, particularly in my community, get a little bit impatient, and will come in after four to six months of trying religiously without success, and that’s just fi
10 minutes | Mar 20, 2015
I Don't Do Vaccines, Doctor: How Patients Feel
Most doctors recommend vaccines. But, what if you're a patient who simply doesn't want them?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Danielle Ofri... Christopher Springmann: I used a line the other day at the end of a show with Dr. Paul Offit, who is a pediatrician and a vaccine co-developer. Dr. Danielle Ofri, MD: I know of him very well. CS: Nice guy. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. And I ended the show by saying, “And, Doctor, much like measles, we’ll be back.” (Laughter) That was a pretty funny way to end the show. DO: Yeah. CS: But today we’re discussing an article that you wrote for The New York Times entitled “My Patient Doesn't Do Vaccines.” You say the visit started out ordinary enough. A new patient, a healthy man in his late thirties, obviously hip, who hadn't seen a doctor in years. Well, that doesn't surprise me, because he’s in his thirties. When we got to preventative health, something I am, well, obviously you advocate, I, meaning you, Dr. Danielle Ofri, recommended a flu shot. He politely declined by saying, “I don’t do vaccines, Doctor.” What is that all about and how did we get to this point where people won’t accept what I consider to be a pretty reasonable suggestion. And by the way, disclaimer here, I had a flu shot a couple of months ago. And I guess it worked. Something worked. (Laughs) What’s going on, Doctor? DO: A lot of what people respond to, with all kinds of facts, and vaccines is one aspect. Politics is another. It has to do with their emotions and philosophy more than facts per se. So it’s clear that vaccines, if you look at the great scientific advances of the twentieth century, vaccines are up there in the top 10 of lives saved. CS: Well, actually, from a public health standpoint, they’re up there with the top three: Clean water, sanitation and vaccines. DO: Nothing comes close to them in terms or eradicating small pox and polio, diphtheria, things that people died from routinely have all but been eradicated. So the facts are quite clear that vaccines as a whole have had profound benefits in terms of lives saved for humanity. CS: All right, so let’s get back to our 30-year-old healthy man in his late thirties. You say you glanced at the clock debating whether or not I should wade into these troubled waters. I added the word “trouble.” Given that we are knee-deep in flu season, the flu shot conversation comes up at every sin
10 minutes | Mar 6, 2015
The New Puberty: Children Aren't Just Small Adults
Talking to your kids about puberty can be challenging, but you have to remember... they're not just smaller versions of you. They still have a lot to learn.The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Lois Greenspan... Christopher Springmann: Dr. Greenspan, thank you so much for joining us today on Body Language on Radio MD. Dr. Lois Greenspan, MD: Thank you very much for having me. CS: You are the co-author with your colleague psychologist Dr. Juliana Deardorff, PhD, of the book The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls. Tell me, Doctor, why did this book need to be written? LG: Well, there has become an overwhelming body of literature showing that girls are showing first signs of puberty, which are breast development and pubic hair at a much young— CS: Let’s back up for just a second. Of course, I interrupted you. Tell me, Doctor, what is the difference between the onset of puberty and menarche, a girl’s first menstrual period? LG: Yes, a lot of people think that they are one in the same. But in fact, hormonally and developmentally the first period, menarche, is a very late event in the process. And the process starts at least two to three years early, earlier in typically developing girls. With the first sign of puberty being breast development and pubic hair. CS: And that occurs, I believe, at different times in women’s lives, depending on their ethnicity. Is that correct? LG: Well, it’s interesting. There is a, there’s more and more research that’s been looking at how old girls are when they start with, say, breast development. And we used to say that it had to be at least after age eight, and that before age eight was considered abnormal. And by age eight, which was considered the normal cut-off for having any, 27% of girls have breast development. For pubic hair, the numbers are at age seven now 10% of girls have pubic hair, 20% overall at, by age eight. But when we break it down by ethnicity, we find that African-American girls and Hispanic girls are starting earlier than the white and the Asian girls. CS: It’s interesting that there is a statistical parallel, and this is anecdotal on my part, between the numbers you just gave and the numbers that relate to teenage pregnancy. For example, 75% of black children are born to unmarried black women. 50% of children are born to unmarried Latino women, and 25% of white children are born to unmarried Anglo women
10 minutes | Mar 1, 2015
Doctor at Your Funeral: A Welcome Guest?
Death is inevitable and inescapable, oftentimes earlier than expected. But, would you expect your loved one's doctor to show up at the funeral?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Danielle Ofri... Christopher Springmann: Lovely article in the New York Times, entitled “Doctor at the Funeral,” by Dr. Danielle Ofri, MD, who is also the author of What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine. Dr. Ofri, how are you today? Dr. Danielle Ofri, MD: I’m very good. Thank you. CS: You have said that death is a given in medicine. That truism, though, doesn’t offer much comfort when it’s your patient who has just died. Tell us about that, and, frankly, how that affected your emotions in the practice of medicine. DO: I have a student every month, so I was showing a student the ropes of the clinic, and he was very excited. And in the middle of this, one of the nurses came by and mentioned that one of my patients had passed away. And I was so shocked, because I hadn’t been expecting that… It was just like someone came over and punched me in the gut. And here I was with this brand-new student all ready to start, and I was devastated. CS: This comes with the territory, doesn’t it? And, even though the way the information was presented seemed a little informal, that’s, unfortunately, probably the way it’s done. “Oh, by the way, Dr. Ofri…” DO: Yeah. It—I mean, often, the deaths are expected. Someone’s been ill, they have cancer, end-stage heart disease, and so we know it’s coming. I had a patient die a few months back who had been declining for the last few years, in severe pain, difficulty breathing. And so I wasn’t surprised when she died. I was still very sad, but I knew it was coming. I knew that it was relief for her and her husband, who was around-the-clock caregiver. So those are the deaths that put you in a somber and sad mood. CS: Please give us a little bit of the back story and the context, here. The patient, a woman, was 55 years old, who came to you a while ago, and said, “You know, Doc, I haven’t had a checkup in years,” she confessed, “but I’m planning to retire next year when I turn 55, so I should probably do one now.” Take it from there. DO: She was actually a nurse aide in our hospital. DO: We had worked together for many years on the Cardiac Ward. And one day, she said to me, “Would you be my doctor?” You know, getting ready to ret
10 minutes | Feb 20, 2015
Measles: It's Back & It's BAD
The recent measles outbreak has given the virus global attention. What do you need to know about its return?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Paul Offit... Christopher Springmann: I’m Christopher Springmann and you’re Dr. Paul Offit. Welcome to Body Language. It’s great to have you on the show. Dr. Paul Offit, MD: Thanks, Christopher. CS: You’re the author of a wonderful book entitled Do You Believe in Magic? Vitamins, Supplements and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain. What has happened in the culture to keep vaccination not only on the front page, but literally glued to our consciousnesses? PO: It’s the measles epidemic. Last week we had a measles epidemic that involved about 650 people. That was the biggest outbreak we’ve had in about 20 years, but it didn’t get a lot of media play, nor did it get, I think, much attention from parents. And maybe the main reason for that was that more than half of those cases occurred in an insular community in Medina Coun-ty, Ohio that was virtually entirely Amish. CS: Versus a non-insular community like Disneyland in Anaheim, California. PO: Exactly. And Disneyland is seen as shared space. And, I think even more importantly, it’s seen as this sort of mystical sort of magical place where children go to, in many ways—and adults—go to escape, you know, the routine drudgeries of the world. And now, what have we done? We’ve brought, you know, the measles virus into this Garden of Eden. I think it’s biblical. So for whatever reason, the last two weeks have been a tipping point. I have never seen people so angry at those who have chosen not to vaccinate their children, putting not only their children but other children at risk, as I have now. It’s remarkable. I think it’s a tipping point. CS: Well, Disneyland has been billed as the happiest place on Earth. But here’s one of the issues that people seem to forget. Disneyland attracts millions of visitors a year from all over the world, and people literally who hours before just got off planes in Los Angeles from wherever they had been—South America, Africa, Europe, Asia. They’re tired. They’re weary. Who knows what physical condition they’re in? And they all show up at Disneyland, all these, in many cases—well, with the measles outbreak—people we would call vectors were there and they spread the wealth. PO: Right. And it’s always been true that Disneyland was th
10 minutes | Feb 9, 2015
Birth Control: Which IUD is Best for You?
There are now several excellent choices and varieties of IUDs that are helpful on many levels.The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Alyssa Dweck... Christopher Springmann: How are things back wherever you are? Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD: They’re very snowy and icy, thank you. CS: I’m so glad you asked. (laughter) CS: Our guest is Dr. Alyssa Dweck, FACOG and obstetrician/gynecologist. The book is V is for Vagina: Your A-Z Guide to Periods, Piercings, Pleasures and Soooo Much More, as I always say. CS: How are you today? It’s nice to have you back on Body Language. AD: Thank you. Nice to be back. CS: The subject for today is ripped from the pages of V is for Vagina with our next guest, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, obstetrician and gynecologist. We’re going to talk about IUDs. What does that acronym stand for, doctor? AD: IUD stands for Intra-Uterine Device, and there are now several really excellent choices and varieties of IUDs that are helpful on so many levels, but of course their predominant purpose is for birth control and contraception. CS: My understanding that, at least in the US, there are two types of IUDs available—the non-hormonal copper IUD, otherwise known as ParaGard, and a hormonal IUD, which go by the names of—is it Mirena? AD: Yes. There are actually two hormonal IUDs now. One is called Mirena, which is been around for some time. CS: And the other, I’m reading your mind here, is called Skyla. AD: You got it. CS: Oh, my goodness, I’ll tell you what. It’s amazing what you can do on the radio. Let’s talk about ParaGard, which is a non-hormonal copper IUD. Why would that be indicated? AD: Right. So, the ParaGard IUD is excellent, and has benefits in the sense that it’s usable and workable for 10 years. So this is a long-term IUD, although it certainly is reversible and can be pulled out at any point. This IUD is appropriate for women who are looking for long-term birth control that’s reversible, but sort of a no-brainer type of contraception, because you don’t have to think about it day to day. It works by secreting copper, which incapacitates sperm, and also acts by being a foreign body in the uterus, which may, in and of itself, prevent pregnancy as well. CS: Now, even though these are foreign bodies, we should also differentiate between barrier methods, which prohibit—we hope, if all works out well—sperm from entering the vagina, and migra
10 minutes | Jan 29, 2015
Is Obamacare About Controlling Our Lives?
The Affordable Care Act is trying to make health insurance more affordable. Is it succeeding?Christopher Springmann: Oh, my goodness. Guess who’s on Body Language again? It is Nurse Theresa Brown, author of Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life and Christopher Springmann. Well, and everything in between. [Laughter] CS: How are you, Nurse Brown? Theresa Brown, RN: I am good. And it’s lovely to be back. CS: And congratulations on writing for CNN. That’s a wonderful, wonderful outlet. And great talent, as we know, bubbles to the top. And you have bubbled to the top of TV. TB: Well, thank you very much. CS: What have you been writing about that our listeners need to know? TB: Well, Chris, I made another impassioned, and I hope reasonable defense of The Affordable Care Act, because I know the legislation is very unpopular with many people, including many nurses. And I respect their feelings about that. But what I was trying to say was that The Affordable Care Act is trying to make sure that as many people as possible can get the care they need by making health insurance more affordable. That’s all sort of its strength and its weakness. It’s not doing more than that. It’s not doing less. It’s not the government controlling our whole system, which some people might say is a shame. CS: Well, it’s curious that you should mention that because The Affordable Care Act, and frankly, I agree with you, I’m hardly fair and balanced about that, to use a Fox term, as we are relating to CNN. But, seriously, The Affordable Care Act does not allow government to interfere in our lives. On the contrary, it compels government to keep us as safe and as healthy as possible. The same point that author Steven Brill made in his new book entitled America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System, which is the idea behind our discussion today, isn’t it? TB: Yes, it’s what motivated me. And that is a heck of a book. It’s 435 pages, but it really is a page turner once you get started. It’s so hard to put down. I know it’s hard to believe that, but the whole story of how The Affordable Care Act got put in place and the opposition to it and the deals that had to be made. And then the failure of the online rollout and how it got fixed by all these Silicon Valley geniuses who took huge pay cuts to work on it. And the good that it’s done so many people who now
10 minutes | Jan 22, 2015
Getting Pregnant (or Not): Choices & Options
Are you interested in having a child or perhaps avoiding pregnancy? What are your best options for either?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Alyssa Dweck... Christopher Springmann: I’m Christopher Springmann and you’re listening to Body Language. Are you interested in having a child or perhaps avoiding pregnancy? Both are attainable, sustainable and worthy goals; however, the ideal to time consider the alternatives and consequences is right now, before you dive into your lover’s... heart. Our next guest has had this discussion on a daily basis with her patients and their partners; she is Dr. Alyssa Dweck, OB/Gyn, obstetrician and gynecologist. Speaking of health literacy, Dr. Dweck – and thank you for joining us again on Body Language. I learned something today. Well, I learn something every time I read your book, V is for Vagina: Your A-Z Guide to Periods, Piercings, Pleasures, and So Much More. I learned today, in your chapter on birth control, which is quite extensive, that a woman’s cervix feels like the tip of your nose. I had… Well, obviously, I had no idea. Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD: Right, this is correct. And you know, so many women will come in, and they might be doing a little self-exploration, and feel inside the vagina, and they panic, thinking that perhaps they have a lump or a mass, or something really scary on the inside. And it turns out that it’s really just their cervix they’re feeling. So, often, I will try to reassure someone, and tell them, “This will feel like the tip of your nose. It’s that same cartilaginous type of tissue.” CS: I am reading “Chapter D as in Diaphragm, Ring, Pill, Patch, Sponge, Condom, Cap, IUD, Abstinence and All That Stuff About Birth Control,” in V is for Vagina. You say in the beginning that you often speak to ladies about birth control. Since you’re an OB/GYN, that probably happens all the time. And you hear a heap of horror stories. Everything from broken condoms to a surprise trip to “Baby-ville . . . ” Most of us, Doctor, who need, want, and just gotta have birth control, want the safest, easiest, and most fool-proof method in the whole wide universe. Is that too much to ask? Is that too much to ask, Dr. Dweck? AD: I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all. We’re very lucky that we have a lot of different choices at our disposal, and I like to try to individualize different forms of birth control
10 minutes | Jan 22, 2015
Memo to Medicine, Inc: Stop Wasting Doctors’ Time
Doctors go through a re-certification process. But is the "industry" of medicine asking too much of them?The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Danielle Ofri... Christopher Springmann: Dr. Ofri, it’s a joy to have you on Body Language again. Thank you. Dr. Danielle Ofri: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you. CS: Oh, you're getting the program down. You are the author of the wonderful book What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine. You're going through an emotional time these days, as you're preparing for your once a decade review of your Boards. What am I talking about, and what’s going on with you? DO: Well, you're talking about the process that’s called recertification. So back in the day you did your medical school. You did residency. You took a licensing exam that every medical student took. And then, once you completed your residency training in your field, be it surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, you would take a Board Exam to be board certified in that field. And this exam was administered by the specialty organization, for me, the American Board of Internal Medicine, or for someone else, the American Board of Surgery. You took it; you're board certified and that’s it. You put down your number two pencils and never look at a fill in the blank test again, but you're right. CS: Well let’s back up just a little bit. Why is it important to be board certified? What does that mean to your career and your employability? DO: Well it should acknowledge that you have a high level knowledge of your specialty. That if you are a surgeon, you have taken a very rigorous test in surgery, and the same for nephrology, infectious disease. So many institutions won’t hire you if you're not board certified. CS: Ah ha. So there’s money involved there. DO: Yeah. And many patients rightly would like to know that their internist has a good working knowledge of internal medicine. CS: Well all that sounds very reasonable. So what’s the problem, Doctor? Why are you having difficulty preparing for this test, which seems to me as a civilian, as a patient, a pretty mandatory thing? DO: Well and so initially, as I was saying, you took the test once, you were board certified for life. But obviously medicine changes. CS: Ah ha. DO: I think we all recognize that. So in 1990, they changed the requirement. You had to re-take the test
10 minutes | Jan 22, 2015
Homeless Housing: Providing Solutions & Dignity to Those in Need
Well-made, quick to install modular housing can accelerate the process of getting people off the streets.The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Stuart Emmons... Christopher Springmann: I'm Christopher Springmann and you're listening to Body Language. Affordable housing equates to healthier families, a safe, secure setting for children, victims of domestic violence, and people with chronic medical conditions who sleep in door ways or in cars. I spoke with architect Stuart Emmons about those issues... and how well-made, quick to install modular housing can accelerate the process of getting people off the streets, while giving them a sense of dignity and a place to call home. Thank you, Stuart, for joining us today on Body Language. Stuart Emmons: Thank you, Christopher. Nice to be here. CS: You continue to have a distinguished career as an architect. However, you also focus on several areas that relate directly to healthy housing, homes for seniors, homeless children and adults, and you're also involved in Portland, Oregon, with remodeling schools to bring them up to current earthquake standards to make them safer and healthier for all the kids and the folks who work there. First of all, let's discuss your work with schools and health issues surrounding the construction. But also, something you mentioned to me called couch surfers. What is a couch surfer? SE: Couch surfers are essentially homeless youth who don't have a place to call home. They don't have a bedroom, and a couch surfer is somebody who stays with friends on their couch for short amounts of time and then moves to another place. CS: Now how did you become aware of this working with the schools? SE: I became aware of it through a Native American organization that has a lot of homeless youth in their high school, their special high school. CS: And some of these kids are also sleeping in cars too. Is that correct? SE: Yeah. They could be sleeping on the street or in cars. CS: This all ties into your interest in modular housing. First of all, what is modular housing? Because I know some sort of image pops into the heads of folks who are listening. SE: Well, modular housing to me five years ago was essentially a very cheaply built house or a trailer or something like that. But it was – I would equate it with something that was very temporary or very poorly built. Modular to me now can be a higher quality housing and school product than what's bu
10 minutes | Nov 21, 2014
Should You Give Your Doctor a “Second Chance” with Your Body?
Patients fire doctors all the time, that’s nothing new. But why do patients “stick around” after a bad experience?Christopher Springmann: I'm Christopher Springmann and you're listening to Body Language. "What can I help you with today?" That's the first question that Dr. Danielle Ofri, our next guest, asks of every patient. It makes sense but the responses she sometimes receives will shock you. They are instructive, especially if you're committed to being an effective patient who gets real value and satisfaction from that all-important doctor relationship. You wrote a fascinating article for the New York Times entitled, Giving the Doctor a Second Chance, which was very generous on the part of a patient who announced to you, "You know, doctor, I almost didn't come back today. I was ready to choose another doctor, but I decided to give you a second chance." I have a fairly good idea as to how I would respond to that. I would certainly try biting my tongue. How did you respond to that? What was it, challenge? Dr. Danielle Ofi, MD: It was quite the shocker. You know I said good morning, how are you, how can I help you, my usual pleasant overture. I knew I'd seen this patient once before about a year ago, and quick glance at the notes suggested it was a relatively healthy patient. There wasn't anything big going on. So I was kind of shocked when she said this, because usually that kind of thing comes when you've had a major clash, a big disagreement on treatment. And I didn't see anything in the chart to indicate that. CS: From the patient's standpoint, the conversation didn't get any better. She said, "Someone said you were a good doctor, but I was not impressed. You know, Dr. Ofri, my previous doctor, even though he was just a resident in training, was much better than you." What are we dealing with here in terms of unrealized expectations? And frankly, I guess the larger issue is who trains people? In this case, who trained this woman to be a patient? DO: Well nobody does, but she came in. Clearly, she had an experience with me that was much less than what she was expecting, and certainly much worse than what she had with her prior doctor, even though that doctor was only a doctor in training, and I'm one of the senior physicians. So I was quite shocked, a little bit hurt. It really stung, I will say that. And I kind of had this moment of freezing, what on earth had I done? Had I yelled at her? I didn't know and again, I quickly looked at the chart an
10 minutes | Nov 14, 2014
Tuning-Up Patients: What Doctors Can Learn from Musicians
Doctors work hard to keep up with medical knowledge, but scant attention is paid to how this knowledge is dispensed day-to-day.The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Danielle Ofri... Christopher Springmann: I’m Christopher Springmann, and you’re listening to Body Language. Put four doctors together and what do you get? A quartet! Typically piano, cello, violin, maybe a flute or piccolo trumpet -- and that’s all because of the values of the parents of physicians who typically raise their children to love education, work hard, be successful and learn second and third languages, like music and Latin. So, the question is for our next guest, what can doctors learn from musicians that will make them more effective physicians and please their audience of patients? For answers, we’ll speak with, Dr. Danielle Ofri, MD, author of What Doctors Feel and a cellist... Dr. Ofri, it’s great to have you back on Body Language. Dr. Danielle Ofri, MD: Glad to be back. CS: Are you working on your CME, your continuing musical education today? DO: I absolutely am. I have my cello homework assignment, and I’d better get cracking. CS: You wrote a wonderful article in the New York Times entitled, "What Doctors Can Learn from Musicians." You say, “Last week in my cello lesson, I spent an hour and a half on a single line of music. It was a snarly line and I botched it heroically for 90 solid minutes.” My, you are persistent. DO: Oh, yes. CS: “My teacher”—your patient was your teacher. Your teacher was patient too “but apparently I’m compromising, as I was met with blunt feedback at every step and left feeling wholly dispirited." Oh my goodness, a doctor feeling insecure? That’s amazing. DO: It happens once in a while. CS: What is the relationship between playing an instrument as a musician and using an instrument as a physician or a surgeon? DO: In writing this article, I was making the connection about how we learn to master a subject, in essence irrelevant of the topic itself. But what I found so interesting, in medical school we are always learning and we have information really shoveled at us by lecturers, textbooks, Power Point slides, and our job is to swallow it up, take the test and then move on. Although that comes to a grinding halt once you complete your training. Then you're kind of on your own. Whereas in music, when I sit with my teacher, it’s constant feedback every minute, every tw
10 minutes | Nov 7, 2014
Doctor Shopping for an OB/GYN
Shopping for a doctor who is right for you can be a daunting task.The following is a transcript of an interview between host Christopher Springmann and guest, Dr. Alyssa Dweck... Christopher Springmann: I'm Christopher Springmann and you're listening to Body Language. Have you ever gone "doctor shopping," seeking a medical professional who shares your priorities, beliefs, ethnicity . . . someone you're comfortable with, especially if you're overweight and you're sick-and-tired of doctors getting in your face and on your case about losing weight? I had a discussion about this and much, much more with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, OB/GYN, and the author of V Is For Vagina. We started our discussion about firing patients, pretty fascinating stuff. Tell me, Dr. Dweck, have you ever fired a patient? Is that the correct term? Alyssa Dweck, MD: Yes, that is the correct term. I sometimes have had to dismiss a patient; although, thankfully, this is a fairly rare event in my practice. CS: What are the reasons for dismissing a patient? AD: I think the biggest reason that I feel that I need to dismiss a patient is if somebody exhibits behaviors which put me or her at risk. So, for example, let's say I get back a report of an abnormal mammogram or an abnormal pap smear and I advise a patient to come back for a follow-up visit and be further looked into, or I advise a patient to have a consultation with a surgeon, with something along that line. And, after repeated attempts to have someone try to do the right thing for medical care, in my opinion, and they absolutely refuse or have a blatant disregard for my advice, I feel that I may need to dismiss them from my practice because they're not only putting themselves at risk, but they're putting me at risk. And I think that's probably the most common reason. But again, thankfully, it's a rare reason. CS: Well, compliance and issues and people not adhering to the program, as it were, or your advice is a very serious, I feel, breach of confidence in your abilities, and kind of makes you wonder, I assume, as an OB/GYN, why they came to see you in the first place. AD: Right. I think it's really important to establish a real trust between patient and healthcare provider. And I feel if someone just continuously does not heed advice that I think is so reasonable, there is already a mistrust going on, and maybe this isn't the best relationship. So, perhaps this person might be better served by a different healthcare provider. Another reas
10 minutes | Oct 17, 2014
Let's Put a Period on Your Menstruation Questions
Does your period feel more like a question mark? Does your period feel more like a question mark? What does your menstrual cycle mean for your body anyway? A period is one name for the monthly bleeding of the menstrual cycle for reproductive aged women. The period happens because pregnancy did not occur and the lining of the uterus, which got thick with blood to prepare for pregnancy, is lost because it is not needed. The whole point of having periods is to be able to get pregnant. (NoPeriod.com) A lot of women suppress their periods for medical or even social reasons - they just don't like having it, or have a specific event coming up where they would prefer not be menstruating. Fortunately there are very safe ways to avoid your period. Some women go on birth control in a continuous fashion where they do not get their period at all. Other women will menstruate every three months, which is also acceptable. Once you are past your childbearing years, there is a gynecological procedure called uterine or endometrium ablation. Endometrial ablation is a procedure that destroys (ablates) the uterine lining, or endometrium so that menstruation typically ceases completely. Alyssa Dweck, MD, Ob/Gyn, delivers medically-sound, comprehensive information for you on your "coming of age" point in your life.
10 minutes | Oct 10, 2014
Train Your Brain to Hard Drive Your Memories
Your memories are a very concrete process. It's comparable to saving data onto a hard drive.From the moment you are born, you are exposed to a life of sensations and information. All of your experiences... childhood memories, first kisses, familiar places, sad goodbyes, and vacations have the potential to end up as autobiographical memories. Autobiographical memories are a memory system consisting of episodes recollected from an individual's life, based on a combination of episodic (personal experiences and specific objects, people and events) and semantic (general knowledge and facts) memory. (Brain HQ) Your memories are a very concrete process. It's comparable to saving data onto a hard drive. What qualifies as a memory in the first place? How does a person know what should be remembered? People oftentimes convey a memory to someone as a story, which is a craft that is learned. People remember events to tell them over and over as stories. Children whose parents communicated with them about their feelings, emotions, and elaborate on the details of their experiences are better equipped to recall early memories later in life. Dr. Azi Grysman, PhD, a cognitive psychologist, explains that girls are typically encouraged and trained from a very young age by their mothers to link feelings and emotions to important information and events, which creates more entry points and “retrieval cues” in the brain. “Boys never remember anything” is a gender stereotype and cliché, yes; but is it true? Women have a better, more accurate long-term memory for health information. In fact, women have superior memories in general as compared to men. How can you consciously instill valuable memories in yourself and your children? Dr. Grysman talks about the memory module and how you can train yourself and your children to effectively enable memory triggers.
10 minutes | Oct 3, 2014
Finding the Strength to Survive Cancer
"No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" - Maria Robinson. "No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" - Maria Robinson. Don’t bet against cancer survivor, Lesli Moore Dahlke, author of The Best Is Yet To Come, who has had three cancers. One down, two to go, with the help of Los Angeles City of Hope Medical Center. Two cancers, leukemia and lymphoma, are still active. But, these cancers do not define Lesli nor her life. They are simply a portion to her life story... just not the whole story. The fact she’s still alive is a tribute to her relentlessly cheerful, positive and inspired attitude. What is the greatest quality that cancer survivors exude? Perseverance. Cancer has given Lesli an immediacy of life. Lesli shares her whole life story and how it has become a gift of understanding and enjoying life’s amazing moments.
10 minutes | Sep 19, 2014
Palliative Care: More than Simply Hospice
Yes, palliative care does help people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, but it isn't entirely ominous. Patients (and even some doctors) tend to associate palliative care with hospice, and that they need this care because they are nearing death. Yes, palliative care does help people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses; but it isn't entirely ominous. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are dying. Palliative care can help with anyone who is sick and needs intense symptom management, including difficulty breathing, pain, even depression and anxiety. Some people are cured and no longer need the care. Sadly, the palliative care team is typically consulted late in the process of a patient's terminal illness, with one of the major reasons being money. To put it crassly, the care earns little compared with the expensive drugs and scans used in curative treatment. (Opinionator) Having the tough conversations about the lives of people you love is a special interest of nurse Theresa Brown, RN, who is a oncology nurse and the author of Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between. She reveals how palliative care can extend the quantity and quality of life.
10 minutes | Sep 12, 2014
A Forensic Pathologist Takes You Inside a Morgue
You see them on TV and in the movies all the time. But what's the secret story behind a real morgue?Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her co-author and husband T.J. Mitchell holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the intense, challenging world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking us behind the scenes of some of the most harrowing deaths in New York City. Dr. Melinek discusses her fearless memoir, the story of a young forensic pathologist as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases -- all hair-raising, heartbreaking and complex -- that shaped her as both a physician and a mother. Dr. Melinek and Mitchell reveal the secret story of the real morgue.
10 minutes | Sep 5, 2014
Switching Careers? How to Make it as Stress-Free as Possible
Nicholas Robbins shares his story of taking a leap of faith while finding a way to maintain his family life.How do you repackage your automotive sales-and-finance skill set in order to pursue a career in medicine? Nicholas Robbins did just that after he was laid off from his job at an automotive dealership. But, with a supportive, working wife (and two children), he decided to follow his dreams and heart... all the way to a medical school scholarship at Oregon Health and Science University. Going back to school, while your wife is working two jobs and managing two kids, sounds like a lot of stress, sleepless nights and ambition. Heck, if you and your spouse can survive that, you can survive anything right? Robbins shares his story of taking a leap of faith while finding a way to maintain his family life. Robbins' story is one of a family's persistence and sacrifice, driven by a vision to serve the community, make a difference in people's lives and contribute to the improved health of under-deserved Americans.
10 minutes | Aug 29, 2014
Breastfeeding in Public: How Does Race Play a Role?
The controversy over breastfeeding in public receives even more attention when involving African-American women.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women breastfeed for 12 months, with six months of exclusive breastfeeding. Many people feel uncomfortable when they see a woman breastfeeding in public. The topic has become controversial and somewhat of a political debate. To breastfeed in public or to not breast feed in public? That has become the question. Nay sayers feel as though this is something that should be done behind closed doors, much like having to excuse yourself to use the ladies room. Yay sayers express that covering the breast with a cloth should be considered perfectly acceptable. Women breastfeed when the baby needs to eat. It isn't always something that you can plan out perfectly. In this segment, Kimberly Seals Allers discusses the media and public reaction to a photo-gone-viral of an African-American mom nursing her three month old daughter at her college graduation. Why did this photo in particular receive such attention? The controversy over breastfeeding in public receives even more focus when it involves African-American women. But why should race be so impactful surrounding this topic? According to Kimberly, who is African-American, the controversy correlates with the hyper-sexualization of black women, historic racism, myths, and gender stereotyping. Kimberly, author of The Mocha Manual, refutes these myths and helps to educate every community on the importance of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding Myths: Women's breasts sag when they breastfeed. Women can't supply enough milk, especially for twins. Only less fortunate women breastfeed.
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