The year in Cardiology 2014 — a top-10 list

When the editors at Medscape asked me to put together an essay on the Top 10 stories in cardiology in 2014, I thought it would be an easy project. I was wrong. It turns out there was a lot to say about the happenings in cardiology this year.  In the end, the final essay had 37 references–a […]

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 […]

Viva La Evidence

Hi All, It’s been a while. The hospital is abuzz with electrophysiology problems. I’ve been unleashing some serious medical fury in the past weeks. It has been fun, though it gets in the way of writing and training. James McCormack (@medmyths) is a “Pharmacist, Professor, Medication Mythbuster, and Healthy Skeptic at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical […]

Sudden death and a common antibiotic

The longer I practice medicine, the more nervous I get about medications, especially when patients are already on other drugs for chronic diseases. I much prefer deprescribing. A recent study on the common antibiotic cotrimoxazole, which is a combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, and often referred to by its brand name, Bactrim or Septra, lends […]

Because there is nothing else to do

If you ever hear your doctor say we are going to do something because there is nothing else to do, be afraid. Be very afraid. First of all, it should be self-evident that if caring and empathy and relief of suffering count as doing something, there is always something to do for patients. A growing problem […]

Public health is on the ballot this Election Day

Credit: High Mark Foundation

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 […]

Transforming the human heart with the best medicine

This is a short intro to my latest column over at Trials and Fibrillations on theHeart.org Medscape|Cardiology. —- I am not sure why doctors so often look past the best medicine. It’s right there before our eyes. Yet somehow we get sidetracked by the culture of pills and procedures. Modern-day caregivers fail to master the […]

To deprescribe…Adding a new verb to the language of doctoring

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What follows is my most recent editorial in the Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association. It is reposted with permission. **** One day every month, my wife Staci, a hospice and palliative care physician, goes to see an elderly woman in the nursing home. The routine has gone on for years, which is surprising because […]

Let’s stop the unnecessary treatment of heart disease

There are many reasons doctors suffer from burnout and compassion fatigue. One of the least-mentioned of these reasons is that much of what we do is so damn unnecessary. In the US, the land of excess everything, caregivers, especially cardiologists, spend most of our time treating human beings that didn’t need to have disease. Let’s […]

Vaccine anxiety… A teachable moment for doctors?

I’ve read and re-read Dr. Paul Offit’s WSJ opinion piece, The Anti-Vaccination Epidemic. Dr. Offit is a professor of Pediatrics at a leading hospital in the United States. He is also an author, a scientist, and a vaccine-developer. In short, he is a major physician leader. I’ll come back to that point in just a […]