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"It's comparable to the death of a close friend or relative"
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An FOBT is a simple test, but it can make some people queasy.
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In a welcome development, 40 years after publishing the first Essential Medicines List (EML), WHO is poised to begin the development of an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). An EDL should help amplify the impact of the EML. After all, patients need access to both diagnosis and treatment.
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Unnecessary care could be a prescription drug, a diagnostic test or a medical procedure that does not improve a patient's health outcomes and is not backed by the best available evidence. It may also involve risks and harmful side-effects. In other words, this is medical care that offers no value to patients and strains health care resources.
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When I see patients, I try to understand what underlies their concerns, and how I can provide reassurance. And reassurance doesn't always come from ordering a test or treatment. In fact, sometimes a test or treatment may not be needed and can lead to harm.
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When it comes to the smaller financial activities, such as the purchase of a birthday gift, some may feel that if the one with dementia cannot remember the occasion then it is no longer necessary to give a gift. After all, what they don't know won't hurt them -- right?
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The MRI showed that the number of lesions on his brain had doubled, and that the medication was not working. I immediately started to tear up and the genius doctor looked at me and then at my husband and said, "Graeme, I believe I have said something to upset your wife." This doctor was seriously intuitive.
There are two types of inflammation -- acute and chronic. Doctors can tell these apart by understanding the history of the inflammation, and by carefully examining the inflammation under their microscope of education and experience.
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After spending about half an hour discussing a diagnosis and treatment plan with a patient in my office, she pulled out her phone and Googled it. In my office. With me there. When did Google become a reputable second opinion?
The big "A." The elephant in the room. The dreaded disease you've been forced to think about thanks to Dear Alice and Glen Campbell and so many others whose stories have raised awareness and brought Alzheimer's right into your living room -- and now, maybe right into your life.
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For those who are unfamiliar with this latest science story, researchers in the U.S. claim they can diagnose depression using a blood sample. Why would we need a blood test to do something professionals can already accomplish on their own in a fairly short period of time? The most touted benefit of this test seemed to be that it would offer the first "objective" measurement of depression. In the present case, the problem with trying to find an "objective" method of diagnosing depression is that "depression" and "diagnosis of depression" are two separate things.
Colour can be used as a powerful identification tool. Even our personal feelings can be described in colourful ways. If we're feeling melancholy, we're blue; if we're jealous, we're green with envy. But there has been one environment where colour has traditionally been less than useful: medical diagnostics.
I've been reflecting on the fun experiences my family and friends had this summer. My thoughts inevitably also turn to those with new health challenges and disabilities, and their caregivers, the people who are supporting them. I've learned that there are many wonderful opportunities to get out and create lasting happy memories, participate in things that bring joy, and still manage the care.