19-15 Segment 1: The Miracle of Transplants

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Organ transplantation has dramatically changed lives and is raising hopes it could do even more for millions of people. But getting where we are has not been easy. A transplant surgeon traces the history of transplant research and notes the courage to fail among pioneering researchers and patients.

Guest:

  • Dr. Josh Mezrich, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and author, When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon

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19-14 Segment 1: Examining “Medicare For All”

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Two Congressional plans, one from each side of the political spectrum, are competing to blow up the current healthcare system. Here experts examine one of them—the left’s bid to replace private insurers with a government-run single-payer plan labeled “Medicare for All.” Alternatives may include bolstering the Affordable Care Act, or getting rid of it completely.

Guests:

  • Dr. Paul Ginsburg, Director, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy
  • Deborah Burger, RN, President, National Nurses United
  • Dr. Ken Thorpe, Professor of Health Policy, Emory University
  • Lauren Crawford Shaver, Executive Director, Partnership for America’s Health Care Future

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19-13 Segment 1: “Difficult” Patients: Questioning Authority

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Patients used to accept doctors’ orders without question. Today, more are asking questions and challenging their doctors’ opinions. However, even those who do it politely are likely to be labeled “difficult.” A doctor whose late wife nearly made a career of being a difficult patient discusses how patients can do it respectfully and fruitfully.

Guest:

  • Dr. William Steinbach, Professor, Chief of Pediatrics & Infectious Diseases, Duke University

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19-12 Segment 1: Knee Replacements

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Knee replacements are successful for 80 percent of recipients, yet many assume the success rate should be higher. Those who are not successful often are bitterly disappointed. However, patients and physicians can take steps to avoid a bad result. New techniques also offer much faster recovery. Experts discuss.

Guests:

  • Dr. Dan Riddle, Professor of Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Surgery and Rheumatology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Dr. James Rickert, President, Society for Patient Centered Orthopedics
  • Dr. Richard Berger, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics, Rush University

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19-11 Segment 1: Recruiting Patients for Cancer Clinical Trials

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Clinical trials drive medical advancement, but cancer clinical trials seldom meet their goals in recruiting patients. Experts discuss causes, consequences, and actions being taken to meet needs.

Guests:

  • Dr. David Ahern, Director, Program in Behavioral Informatics and EHealth, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, and co-author, Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer
  • Dr. Bradford Hesse, Chief of Health Communication Informatics, National Cancer Institute, and co-author, Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer
  • Dr. Julie Brahmer, Co-Director, Upper Aerodigestive Department, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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19-03 Segment 1: When You Have No Primary Care Doctor

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Surveys show that fewer Americans have a primary care doctor, especially among younger people. Experts discuss the ramifications of this trend both medically and economically, reasons behind it, and how primary care practitioners are changing the way they work to answer objections.

Guests:

  • Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, President, American College of Physicians
  • Dr. John Cullen, President, American Academy of Family Physicians

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Medical Notes 19-03


Medical Notes this week…

Folate, or vitamin b-9, is an essential nutrient, especially for pregnant women. Folic acid is often added to bread, flour, cereal, and pasta to help eliminate deficiencies. Now new research shows supplementation is more important than we thought, because once somebody is short on folate, the damage can’t be fixed. The study in the journal PNAS shows that folate deficiency triggers errors in chromosomes that are passed on as the cell divides. Once those changes occur, they’re permanent.

If you’ve ever fibbed to your doctor, you’re not alone. In fact, a study in the journal JAMA Network Open finds that between 60 and 80 percent of people are less than forthcoming to their doctors about things that could affect their health. People apparently want to avoid being judged or lectured by doctors… or sometimes, they’re simply too embarrassed to tell the truth.

Various forms of dementia are increasing… and now scientists have found that a single specific mutation in one gene can cause one of them. “Frontotemporal dementia” accounts for about 20 percent of all early-onset forms of the disease…. which can affect people as young as their 40’s. A study in the journal Translational Psychiatry has tracked down a single mutation as the cause… and researchers say the finding could be important for both treatment and in research on Alzheimer’s disease.

And finally… a new study shows that forcing kids to apologize usually backfires. The study in the journal Merrill-Palmer Quarterly finds that children who receive an insincere apology dislike the apologizing kid even more than they did before. Transgressors feel worse, too… and don’t learn to have empathy for their victim.

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