The problem with medical TV shows. A surgeon sets the record straight.

Source: The problem with medical TV shows. A surgeon sets the record straight.

I never really watched medical shows, even before and during medical school. I watched maybe one season of ER, a couple of seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and House MD and maybe one episode each of Private Practice, Chicago Hope, Emily Owens MD and other random medical shows. The only medical show I made an exception for was Scrubs, because it was funny and poignant and the closest to replicating what life is actually like in a hospital (but still a long shot I’m afraid!). Oh, and I want to be able to whistle like Dr. Cox.

I’m sure like every profession, seeing your own profession on the big or little screen is generally frustrating because of the gross misrepresentation of your profession, daily life or working environment. Hollywood likes to play fast and loose with facts and science. Entertainment is great and all but that doesn’t stop me from yelling at the television: “That’s not real!” So I thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite fictional faux pas. Continue reading

Hello health-lovers! Take our poll ;)

Are you drinking too much alcohol?

If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than:

  • two units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 10 for women.
  • three units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 15 for men.

“A unit” means:

  • 341 mL / 12 oz (1 bottle) of regular strength beer (5% alcohol).
  • 142 mL / 5 oz wine (12% alcohol).
  • 43 mL / 1 1/2 oz spirits (40% alcohol).


The top 10 lies of doctors

Source: The top 10 lies of doctors

I’ve been a doctor for more than 20 years, and I hate to break it to you, but it’s time I came clean: We lie. Doctors lie. Not always. Not necessarily on purpose. But we do.

Sometimes the lies are to our patients. Sometimes, the lies are to our families. And sometimes the lies are to ourselves.

But, nonetheless, we lie. A lot. Often daily.

Want an inside scoop on the lies to look out for from your doctor?

 Here you go. These are the top 10 lies doctors tell:

Continue reading

Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case |

Source: Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case |

Case Discussion:

Paleo-induced mineral periostitis (PiMP) is a recently recognised disease attributed to the so-called “paleo diet”. It most frequently involves the metacarpals and phalanges producing perpendicular periosteal projections (“spines”), an appearance that has lead to the alternative name of “cactus disease”. In severe cases the spines can tent the skin and present clinically, although the majority of cases are only detected radiographically after patients complain of hand pain, particularly when squeezing fruits (e.g. crushing goji berries).

Proponents of the paleo diet continue to deny that it causes PiMP, however a strong temporal association and correlation between length of diet and disease severity have proved scientifically robust; 2016 Cochrane Library metareview. Supportive archeological evidence from paleolithic human populations also exists including cave paintings in Argentina showing cactus hands 12,000 years ago (pictured above).

The European Society for Hand Models recently listed the paleo diet as a category 5 risk (alongside wood work, wicket keeping and thumb wrestling) after founding member Spike E. Hanzenfeat announced that his once “really really, ridiculously good looking hands” had been “internally shashlicked” within seven months of commencing the diet. A Broadway adaptation of his story entitled “The Stuff Fools Swallow” is expected in late 2017.

Let’s Talk About Farts

We all have gas, many many times a day! Why? How much gas is too much gas? Why do some foods give me more gas than others? How to prevent being gassy?

Here are a few things you should know about:

  1. Eating or drinking too fast, fizzy drinks, smoking, and chewing gum can make you gassy because it leads to swallowing more air.
  2. Air travel makes us gassy. And the changes in air pressure are the culprit. If this really bothers you, you can buy underwear lined with carbon that filters out the bad odors (yes, that exists!).
  3. The older we get, the more gassy we become! Digestion slows down with age and can lead to constipation and increased flatulence (that’s the medical term for gas).
  4. An average person farts 15-25 times a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less – but it’s usually nothing to worry about, it’s likely something you ate.
  5. Foods high in carbs cause more gas. Foods high in protein cause less gas.
  6. There are dietary supplements that reduce gas and work by breaking down the sugars in your food, making it easier to digest.
  7. If you feel gassy and it’s a really bad time to let it out (let’s say that you’re in a meeting), don’t squeeze your thighs, don’t hold your breath, and most of all don’t squeeze your bum – or whatever popular beliefs are. Just sit comfortably and relax and the urge to fart will go away in a few seconds… for a few minutes.

What you need to know about Aspirin

  • Aspirin is a no-no for kids who have a fever or a viral infection like the flu. It’s linked to Reye syndrome, a serious condition with symptoms like vomiting, confusion, and being overstimulated. It causes swelling in the brain and liver and may lead to a coma. Until age 19, you’re usually better off reaching for acetaminophen or ibuprofen, unless your doctor specifically says to use aspirin.
  • For moms-to-be, acetaminophen is a better choice for pain relief. But if you’re at high risk for preeclampsia, your doctor will probably recommend a low dose of aspirin to prevent high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Since aspirin can cause extra bleeding during labor, you shouldn’t take it during the last 6-8 weeks your baby’s on board, unless your doctor told you to.
  • Who knew? Aspirin can be good medicine for plants, too. A solution of one and a half tablets in 2 gallons of water sprayed on your garden every 3 weeks can give you more and bigger veggies. The key ingredient, salicylic acid, bumps up plant growth and helps protect them from disease. Other reported fixes with aspirin — making a paste for acne or bee stings, protecting your hair from chlorine, boosting your car battery — don’t have the science to back them up.

Facts you need to know about antibiotics


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  1. Antibiotics only treat BACTERIAL infections (not viruses, fungi or parasites).

  2. You always need antibiotics for Strep Throat, but not for flu, common cold, and rarely for sinusitis or ear infections (in adults).

  3. It is NOT OK to stop taking antibiotics once you feel better! You always have to finish the whole course of your prescribed antibiotics unless you have a reaction to them (in which case you contact your doctor!). It is also important to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed.

  4. When antibiotics are not used properly they can lead to RESISTANCE in the bacteria. Bacterial resistance has been rapidly increasing in the last decades and is a major worry for health officials all around the world, including here at home.

For Valentine’s Day, let’s bake some anatomy!



You can watch a video here on how to make this Anatomically Correct Heart Cake.


Or you can order a box of anatomically correct chocolates here. Because who wouldn’t want to receive a chocolate uterus or colon for Valentine’s day? 🙂



And here is yet another video link for a (slightly harder to make but very detailed) Anatomically Correct Heart Cake.

7 Facts About Viruses

(source: About Education)

H1N1_virusA virus is an infectious particle that displays characteristics of life and non-life. Viruses are different from plants, animals and bacteria in their structure and function. They are not cells and can’t replicate on their own. Viruses must rely on a host for energy production, reproduction and survival. Although typically only 20-400 nanometers in diameter, viruses are the cause of many human diseases including influenza, chickenpox, and the common cold. Continue reading