AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Doctoring Health Care Healthy Living Nutrition Social Media/Writing/Blogging

Writing about lifestyle modification — and blaming the patient

I was pleased when the editors of the 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 […]

AF ablation Doctoring Exercise General Medicine Healthy Living Nutrition

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 […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Doctoring General Cardiology General Medicine Healthy Living Nutrition

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

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 […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Doctoring Reflection Social Media/Writing/Blogging

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 […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Doctoring Healthy Living

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 […]

AF ablation Athletic heart Atrial fibrillation Exercise

Exercise, over-indulgence and atrial fibrillation — seeing the obvious

If you like thinking and writing, few topics are better than the excess exercise and heart disease story. Indeed it is a matter for the curious. Two studies published last week in the British journal Heart addressed the relationship of exercise and heart disease. (See references below.) Although these studies garnered mainstream media attention they […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation ICD/Pacemaker inflammation Social Media/Writing/Blogging

2014 Heart Rhythm Society Sessions — My massive recap:

Hey Everyone, I recently returned from the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in San Francisco. I attended the meeting as both a physician-journalist-columnist for and as a practicing electrophysiologist. As it so often is with international meetings, I returned energized and rejuvenated about the practice of medicine. Medical meetings are great this way. It’s quite […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Healthy Living inflammation

AF ablation and the hard truths about AF

Atrial fibrillation is a mysterious disease. We know a lot but surely not enough. We look at AF but are we really seeing it? I believe there are hard truths to this disease. Hard in a way that neither patients nor doctors like. More on that later. First to some news on a major AF […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation Doctoring Health Care Healthy Living Hospice/Palliative Care

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. […]

Doctoring Health Care Health Care Reform Healthy Living

ObamaCare will not make us sick…

On day 1 of ObamaCare, the headline in our paper said “SHUTDOWN.” It’s here; it’s really here. You might be wondering what’s been going on in the hospital or office–the contact points where healthcare actually happens. The funny thing is: nothing seems any different. And…this is the problem with ObamaCare. It hasn’t, won’t, or perhaps […]

AF ablation Atrial fibrillation

Atrial Flutter — 15 facts you may want to know.

I get a lot of questions about atrial flutter. Atrial flutter is a common arrhythmia that shares many similarities to its next of kin, AFib; but there are important differences. Let’s go over 15 basic facts and important points about atrial flutter. (In plain English.) 1. Atrial flutter is defined as a rapid but organized […]