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I was interested to see that the daytime, syndicated television show, "The Doctors" is doing well. Oh PLUHLEEZE! Here we go once again with two things that really bug me: 1) doctors are featured as experts and there is no patient on the panel and 2) it makes health concerns entertainment, putting an emphasis on the looks of the doctors and their "star power" more than the humanity and real "pain"of the issues. As an aside, I heard that that the lead doctor on the show, Dr. Travis Stork, had already been a big hit on "The Bachelor." Then, in...

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Our new President takes office in a few days and he has targeted healthcare as a way to save money, create jobs, and do public good. I agree! It's estimated that 200,000 jobs can be created by putting a priority on creating a widely used system of electronic medical records (EMR's) also know as personal health records (PHR's). But beyond that, it is a surefire way to prevent waste, inefficiency, mistakes, and the continued use of outdated information. By the patient themselves playing an integral role in these records, as with Microsoft's HealthVault.com, (where Patient Power content is featured on...

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I go to the gym near my house every morning at 6 a.m. There are two TV monitors on for all to see and as we sweat on the bikes and treadmills there has lately been a constant stream of TV commercials pitching the latest ways to lose weight and get in shape. Chuck Norris has the new and improved "Total Gym," a former Navy Seal has invented a device to do military pushups anywhere, and then there are the weight loss programs. Marie Osmond lost weight with Nutri-system, or was it Weight Watchers? I can't remember. But she was...

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I am writing this from sunny Southern California where the USC Trojans are killing Penn State in the Rose Bowl. Along Pacific Coast Highway in "the O.C." (Orange County) everyone looks so healthy. Perfect lives. Perfect families right? Dig deeper and you quickly see it's not so. One man told me about his diabetes and high blood pressure. He has sleep apnea and Graves Disease (a thyroid condition) too. He is worried about it. My brother-in-law, visiting for the day, worries about his teenage son with a bone cyst. The doctors don't agree on what to do. And back home,...

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This is a holiday story. Here in Seattle we rarely have snow. And when we do, the rain soon comes to wash it away. That's a good thing because we have few snow plows and our environmental way of thinking prohibits putting salt on the icy roads. Plus no one knows how to drive in a real winter. So the truth is snow and Seattle don't mix. Nevertheless, it will be a white Christmas for folks who long for that. And when you can't drive much you walk. That's a good way to get to know your neighbors better and...

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Megan Barcroft of Dallas, Oregon is 30. She'd been trying to get pregnant for years. When she wasn't successful she turned to fertility treatments. And, like so many others, she developed a multiple birth pregnancy – triplets. By definition such a pregnancy is high risk, to the mother and the babies. A mom like Megan is monitored closely. In her case, it resulted in four weeks of bed-rest in the hospital and then an emergency C-section when she developed preeclampsia, dangerous hypertension that can lead to a stroke. She gave birth to two girls and a boy at the end...

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The other night we had a very provocative discussion about prostate cancer treatments. There are many treatments and, unfortunately, no clear answers as to which is the right one and when. Yes, there are strong recommendations to do this or that in a given situation, but is anyone in urologic oncology really sure what's best for cancer control and quality of life? No. And can you have total confidence in every study? No. Some are just plain self-serving for shaded" for practitioners of this approach or that. That point was driven home by urologic oncologist Dr. Bruce Dalkin, a new...

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Some weeks it is hard to decide what to blog about BUT NOT THIS WEEK! First: I am thrilled to call your attention to our new pages on patientpower.info. We've added video that showcases "Powerful Patients," we've added stories and photos from these people and others, we've added "Voices from the Heart" inspiration, and started our "Hall of Fame" to recognize people who've made a difference to patients. Please take a look, tell others, and share your story! Second: You may know that I often attend the big medical meetings, mingle with the doctors, and bring patients news about what...

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