Me, My Spouse, and COVID

I watched you in the garage, with your wipes and your mask, your gloves and bottles of sprays and potions. I admired your fealty to CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta as he demonstrated the proper technique for disinfecting groceries. I watched sterile protocol being broken and quietly closed the garage door. Dr Alison Hero I listened … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

Why Do We Want to Tough It Out?

We physicians come to the noble profession to heal and help others. Over years of education and training, we learn to be compassionate and empathic not only toward our patients but also to people around us. Patients’ safety and care become our priority. And at some point, we forget about ourselves. We forget that we … Read more

Easing the Trauma of Terminal Illness

Something was gnawing at Manish Agrawal, MD. Every day, the oncologist treated patients with standard cancer therapies, but his care could never touch their deepest pains: their despair about death. “In 20 years, I’ve treated close to 100,000 patients,” Agrawal says, “and the one thing I know we don’t do well is dying.” Hospitalist Shoshana … Read more

Detachment Predicts Worse Posttraumatic Outcomes

Feelings of detachment following a traumatic event are a marker of more severe psychiatric outcomes, including depression and anxiety, new research suggests. The results highlight the importance of screening for dissociation in patients who have experienced trauma, study investigator Lauren AM Lebois, PhD, director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean Hospital … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Treating the Growing Population of Centenarians

For about the past year, Priya Goel, MD, can be seen cruising around the island of Manhattan as she makes her way between visits to some of New York City’s most treasured residents: a small but essential group of patients born before the Empire State Building scraped the sky and the old Yankee Stadium had … Read more

Mindfulness ‘Changes the Biology’ of Pain

New research provides novel insight into how mindfulness alters pain-related activity in the brain, in findings that point to more targeted pain management. In a randomized trial, more than 100 healthy individuals were assigned to an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, a health improvement program (HEP) of the same length, or a waiting list. … Read more

Women With Fear of Pregnancy Call for Clinician Compassion

Cee Elliot is afraid of pregnancy. The 29-year-old retail manager in Connecticut said she has felt that way since puberty, when she “finally understood” pregnancy and reproduction. Always squeamish around babies and pregnant people, she said, as she she learned about complications birth can cause, the idea of ​​carrying a child herself became repulsive. Later, … Read more

Postsurgical Opioid Refills Risky for Entire Household

Postsurgical opioid refills are associated with an increased risk for opioid misuse among family members — and the more refills, the higher the risk, new research suggests. Further results showed that if a surgical patient became a chronic opioid user, the likelihood of a family member misusing these drugs increased 2.5 times. “Patients requiring ongoing … Read more