BQ365 Weeks 3-5: The Science of Sleep

by Brian Kim, MD, MS

“… Sufficient sleep is not a luxury—it is a necessity—and should be thought of as a vital sign of good health.”
- Wayne H. Giles, MD, Centers for Disease Control

“I think sleeping was my problem in school. If school had started at four in the afternoon, I’d be a college graduate today.”
- George Foreman

A few months ago, while rounding the floor of the medicine wards, I stepped into the room of a patient who had been admitted the previous night. A successful businesswoman in her 30’s, she had managed to ascend the corporate ladder with ease, despite being, to the surprise of her close friends and family, a high-functioning alcoholic. That is until, one day, she (and her liver) stopped functioning. She had a laundry list of medical problems, a number of which could have taken her life in a matter of weeks to months. And, yet, the only issue that seemed to be on her agenda that morning (or at least the only one she wanted to talk about) was how poorly she had slept last night and wanted to know what I could do about it. We talked about her sleep every morning for the next 30 days, until she was finally discharged from the hospital.

It seemed incongruous, maybe even absurd, to have spent so much time discussing an issue that ranked #11 on my list of 13 problems for this patient. But, as I have seen with countless patients, both in and out of the hospital, there are few concerns (other than pain and constipation) that are voiced as consistently as poor sleep. Read more →

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04 2013

Yeast Infections: A Ladies’ Management Guide

by Shannon Connolly, MD

Ladies, if you have ever been in the unfortunate position of having a rip-roaring vaginal yeast infection, this is the article for you. If you have never had a rip-roaring vaginal yeast infection, this article is also for you…for the future. Because chances are, if you are in possession of a vagina, you will, at some point in your life, have a yeast infection.  It’s just one of those things that happens to those of us that are fortunate enough to have a vagina. Luckily, a yeast infection is a temporary problem that can be treated pretty easily.  How, you ask?  Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the key steps to the healthy vagina you’ve grown to love. Read more →

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04 2013

BQ365 Week 2: The Power of Placebo

by Brian Kim, MD, MS

“Preservation of sound judgment both in the laboratory and in the clinic requires the use of the “double blind” technique, where neither the subject nor the observer is aware of what agent was used or indeed when it was used. This latter requirement is made possible by the insertion of a placebo…into the plan of study.”

The world took notice in 1955 when Henry Beecher published his influential paper “The Powerful Placebo,” in which he reported that, on average, 35% of patients respond favorably to nothing more than a placebo, or “sugar pill.” For decades thereafter, it was widely assumed (erroneously) that a similar proportion of people, whatever the circumstance, could expect to have their fortunes changed with the help of a placebo. Read more →

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03 2013

BQ365: Week 1

by Brian Kim, MD | kim@myhousecallmd.com

BQ - two letters that have become the ultimate goal in racing; an obsession that weighs in the minds of countless runners, but is realized by few. For some, it’s a check box on a lifetime bucket list. For others, it’s a tangible benchmark between the anonymity of “marathon finisher” and the impossibility of Olympic gold. Whatever the motive, the Boston Qualifier (the time standard to qualify for the Boston Marathon) has become lore during the decades long boom that has democratized marathon running to welcome (whether you like it or not) finishers like Oprah (4:29:20), P. Diddy (4:14:54), Lance Armstrong (an EPO-boosted 2:59:36), Paul Ryan (also “two hour and fifty-something,” or actually, 4:01:25), and probably even your mom or weird uncle. Read more →

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02 2013

HIV/AIDS: Breaking the Stigma

by Manny Mendoza, MD | mendoza@myhousecallmd.com

Let’s talk about sex! Okay, by sex we mean sexually transmitted diseases and one in particular: HIV/AIDS. Did you know that it has been thirty years since the virus that changed sexual politics and sexual health forever was discovered? Did you know that the stereotypical face of HIV/AIDS is no longer what it used to be? Many people believe that HIV/AIDS is an illness that exclusively affects the gay community.  Although men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the largest single affected community (representing more than half of all new HIV infections) the virus has also become a serious threat to African Americans, Latinos, and women. Read more →

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01 2013

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