New post on Medscape/Cardiology: My take of the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation treatment guidelines

Atrial fibrillation affects millions of patients, and its incidence and prevalence are on the rise. It’s a peculiar disease in that it affects people so differently. When populations are studied, AF associates with higher rates of stroke, heart failure and death. But patients aren’t populations. In recent years, the treatment options for this pesky disease […]

How successful is AF ablation?

Let’s talk about success. At first glance, knowing whether a medical or surgical intervention achieves success seems quite simple. An antibiotic clears an infection–or it does not. A surgery removes a tumor with clean margins–or it does not. An angioplasty and stent open an artery during a heart attack–or it does not. In the case […]

Atrial fibrillation features prominently in Rich Peverley collapse

Professional hockey player Rich Peverley gave a news conference today in which he and his medical team announced surprising details about his heart condition. We learned that atrial fibrillation and its treatment featured prominently in his collapse during a game earlier this week. “A flare-up last week led Peverley to skip a road game, and […]

My Social Media Talk at the 2014 Western AF (atrial fibrillation) symposium

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 How can social media improve AF patient and provider interaction? It was an honor to speak at the seventh annual Western AF symposium this past weekend in Park City Utah. Once in the shadow of the Boston AF symposium, Dr. Nassir Marrouche (@nmarrouche) and his colleagues at the University of Utah have elevated Western AF […]

13 things to know about Atrial Fibrillation

Here are 13 things I tell AF patients. I am sorry that you have AF. Welcome to the club, there are many members. (Three million Americans and counting.) I know how it feels. Your fatigue, shortness of breath and uneasiness in the chest are most likely related to your AF. AF may pass without treatment. […]

Dronedarone (Multaq), clinical guidelines and patient safety

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(What follows is a brief introduction for a post I wrote over at Medscape/Cardiology. The link is at the bottom of the page.)  It is appropriate to worry about medical errors and patient safety. Here the low-hanging fruit is plentiful: antibiotic stewardship, automated notification of drug interactions and attention to hand washing all join a […]

New post up at Medscape/Cardiology — Heart Rhythm Society’s Choosing Wisely List is tentative and cursory

The Choosing Wisely campaign began in 2009 when the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation invited medical societies to own their role as “stewards of finite healthcare resources.”  The movement aims to promote care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative, free from harm and truly necessary. That sounds delightful, and I wrote enthusiastically […]

Doctors play an important role in improving US healthcare woes

Elisabeth Rosenthal, a reporter with the New York Times, is doing American doctors a favor. Her series, Paying Till it Hurts, is forcing us to face our role in the US healthcare problem. That’s a good thing, because, as it goes in the practice of Medicine, the first step to achieving good outcomes is identifying […]

Two gifts and a consolation prize

President Obama has a few good ideas. He wants Americans to discuss healthcare this holiday season. That’s actually a really good idea. This blog aims to do some good in the area of medicine and health. What follows are two incredibly important essays. The consolation prize is an excerpt from my recent Top Ten post. […]

2013: Year-end summary of top cardiology stories

When the editors of Medscape asked me to write a Top Ten article on the best Cardiology stories in 2013, I jumped at the chance. I spent a lot of time thinking about Cardiology this year. I was invested. Plus, 2013 was a year for pivoting–big time pivoting. What made news in 2013 was not […]