Major breakthrough in AF ablation

A study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology will change a way of thinking about the disease atrial fibrillation. And it’s about time. One word describes AF therapy in the past decade: plateau. Ten years have passed and we have no new drugs and no real breakthrough in AF ablation. […]

Where is Cardiology in 2014? An AHA Review

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Last week, I attended the American Heart Association (AHA) 2014 Scientific Sessions in Chicago. I was there as both a learner and physician-writer for theHeart.org. Here are a few paragraphs on the meeting. The main purpose of this post is to introduce the five editorials I wrote. The links to the posts are at the […]

Changing the use of DrJohnM Facebook page for disease education

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Over the weekend, I watched a speech by Dr. Mike Evans about using social media to educate patients and caregivers. Dr Evans is an academic family medicine doctor who also runs a media lab. He makes those famous whiteboard presentations, such as 23 and 1/2 hours, which now has more than 4-million views. His talk […]

Public health is on the ballot this Election Day

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The election I am going to watch today is in San Francisco. On the ballot there is Proposition E, an initiative to add a 2-cent tax for every once of sugary beverage. Choose Health SF, a group supporting the tax, estimates it would raise $54 million, which would go towards, get this: “funding active recreation […]

Disturbing trends in the heart rhythm clinic — New post up over at theHeart.org

What follows is a short intro to my latest column on theHeart.org | Medscape Cardiology. —- The title of the piece is Three Concerning Trends in the Electrophysiology Clinic. I worked on the 750-word piece the entire week. It was hard to get the tone just right. This is because the trends do not reflect […]

Writing about lifestyle modification — and blaming the patient

I was pleased when the editors of the TheHeart.org reposted my recent essay, Let’s Stop the Unnecessary Treatment of Heart Disease. As of this morning, there are 167 comments. The majority of them were positive, and supportive of lifestyle promotion. Negative comments represented a small minority, but were notable in their vigor, and occasionally reached […]

Less is more in atrial fibrillation stroke prevention — please, drop the aspirin

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A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shed more light on the commonly used drug combination of aspirin and a vitamin-K antagonist (such as warfarin).  It was a small registry study from one region of France but I believe it offered confirmatory evidence against this dangerous practice. Investigators followed patients […]

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 […]