Review of the 2014 ESC Sessions in Barcelona

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Hey Everyone, It’s been a few days since I returned home from Spain. The jet leg has resolved and normal sleep patterns have returned. I’ve had time to review the entire ESC program book. What follows is a review of my work and some notes on the past week in Barcelona. The first thing to […]

Is this the most important cardiology study of the last decade?

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In recent years, progress in the field of cardiology has been painfully incremental. We have enjoyed small gains–a better ablation catheter and mapping system, a couple of new anti-platelet drugs, maybe better stents, and even the highly touted anticoagulant drugs are within 99% in efficacy and safety of warfarin. Major breakthroughs, though, are non-existent. (And […]

Blaming the patient…and the philosophy of caring for people with atrial fibrillation

More than a few commenters recently noted something disturbing in my writing. They said my words are increasingly taking a blame-the-patient tone. That bothers me. Of all people, I know about making imperfect health choices. These comments got me thinking about striking the right balance in writing about health, say, between apathy and defeatism, (oh […]

Getting the dabigatran (Pradaxa) story right… Correcting four common mistakes.

This purpose of this post is to clarify misstatements made in a recent New York Times article about the anticoagulant drug dabigatran (Pradaxa). The piece had three major inaccuracies, plus one thought-error from a cardiology leader. I write these words because the most valuable tool in the treatment of AF is knowledge. Getting it right […]

Mexico congress recap — Is it selfish for doctors not to be on Social Media?

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When Dr Eduardo Hernandez Castillo (@CardioLeaks) asked me to come to Mexico to speak with a group of physicians about the power of social media, I paused. Should I go to Mexico? I have been traveling a lot; it was a long trip; I was just starting to get fit again, and the atrial fibrillation/anticoagulation […]

Two AF cases — and my changing view of AF

I receive many emails about AF. I don’t often answer them because it is bad practice to doctor without seeing the person. Recently, however, I received a note with more general questions. The sender suggested I could use the response as a blog post. The reason I am posting these two cases along with my […]

Endurance exercise and the heart — a mention in the New Yorker

Do you exercise a lot? Have you been at it for years? Are you the type that rides around the neighborhood to make a 98-mile ride into a century? Do you get squeamish if you can’t exercise for 24 hours? Are you curious about that beautiful machine in your chest? You know, the rhythmic coordinated […]

Alcohol and the risk of atrial fibrillation — it’s different than you may think

Life overflows with choices. And consequences. You can choose to smoke and then not be surprised to die a difficult death from cancer. You can choose to eat more calories than you burn and then buy bigger belts. You can choose to “need” more stuff and then, surely, remain unfulfilled. The more we learn about […]

US healthcare, wait times and the truth…

It’s time for another post on truth and healthcare. (This almost sounds like a good series.) I’ve recently written that the VA healthcare system represents the truth—and that Americans should get over the Pollyanna view that triage, wait lists, and taking care of increasing numbers of increasingly sick patients can be managed with magic. The […]

CardioStim 2014 Recap

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CardioStim is the name given to the biennial gathering of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) in the Mediterranean resort city of Nice, France. This was my first (ever) trip to France. As most of you know, I write an electrophysiology column (blog) called Trials and Fibrillations over at theHeart.org, which is now called Medscape […]