The PCSK9 Drugs — Epic success or epic failure?

This week, an FDA advisory committee recommended approval for the potent cholesterol-lowering drugs, evolocumab and alirocumab. The funny-sounding medications are called PCSK-9 inhibitor drugs. (Keep reading; I’ll tell you more.) Advisory committee members felt the benefits of the drugs outweighed the potential risks, especially in high-risk patients, such as those with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). The […]

Update: Baltimore, Safety in AF ablation, Podcasts, and some personal notes

On Baltimore: Human beings rioting in the streets of an American city forced cancellation of an important cardiology meeting. This is a vivid example that doctors do not practice in a vacuum. We are connected to this world. Here in Louisville, just a few miles north, an HIV crisis runs amok because of IV drug […]

Update: Social justice of AF care, NOAC monitoring, population health and two new podcasts

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Hi All, Here is a short update of the past week. The first thing to say is the Atrial Fibrillation Care: Put the Catheter (and Rx Pad) Down post has gotten a lot of attention. It stayed on the most popular list all week. It has over a 130 comments, and I have received many […]

An update on cycling and writing and video (gulp)

Hi all, Things have changed for me. I have taken on a larger role at theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology. This means I have less time for hefty original posts here. (This site is not closing–just changing.) I write and read a lot more, though. Almost every day. Writing has morphed into what cycling was: a […]

The trick of hope — and the medical decision

Last night, during the intro show for the PBS documentary, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a Ken Burns film based on the book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Katie Couric interviews both Ken Burns and Dr. Mukherjee. The moment occurred about 10 minutes into the video. There is a poignant scene in which two young parents […]

Writing update: Lown Institute Conference and ACC2015

Lown Institute Core Values

Hi all, I have been busy in the last few weeks. Here is an update of my happenings and posts. From March 8-11, I attended and presented at the third annual Lown Institute Conference in San Diego. I have never felt more at home in a conference than I did at the Lown conference. Take […]

Public trust, the CDC and Tamiflu

Why do doctors lose credibility? Consider the few public doctors out there with millions of followers. The majority of the stuff they recommend is perfect: eat good food, exercise, be nice. and sleep. Check. No problem. Everyone is good with that until they shatter the sense with nonsense. One miracle cure or stupid supplement or […]

Dr. Bernard Lown and the first rule of doctoring

I knock, then enter the exam room. “Hi. My name is John Mandrola.” (Maybe it is my age but I am moving away from calling myself Doctor Mandrola.) “I am a heart rhythm specialist. I have looked at your chart so I know a little about your medical history.” “Can you tell me how you […]

A scary new medical intervention…

This is a story about a new medical intervention. It’s an important story because it affects all doctors—and therefore all patients. 1. It’s expensive. Of course. 2. There is no credible evidence that it works. But its marketing is aggressive. 3. The overwhelming majority of physicians disapprove of it. 4. Cheaper alternatives exist. 5. The […]

Opposition to ABIM — A tipping point for physicians?

Dr Wes Blog

I know physicians. They are smart, hard-working and prideful. They do a lot of good in this world. But one thing we have been utterly incapable of doing is organizing together and speaking as one voice. The American Board of Internal Medicine may have changed that. The hubris, overreach, and tone-deafness of ABIM may have […]

Undisclosed conflict of interest in the FDA review process

A report from the WSJ this week detailed the fact that FDA reviewers had significant and undisclosed financial ties to industry. I found this discovery remarkable, especially the undisclosed part. But perhaps more remarkable was the lack of reaction it created. The article has only 39 comments, paltry numbers of Tweets and FB shares and […]