I have been a (long-suffering) Mets' fan since the team began. But unlike most Yankees' fans who hate the Mets, I don’t hate the Yankees, I just don’t watch them. But as a baseball fan, I do marvel at the rich history of the Yankees' teams and their great players like Ruth, Maris, Mantle, and Jackson. And of course, the colorful characters like Billy Martin. One of their greatest was “The Iron Man,” Lou Gehrig, who played his last game 80 years ago. He played 2,130 consecutive games from 1925 to 1939. He took himself out on May 2, 1939 because he had developed progressive leg and arm weakness. He stumbled over curbstones and dropped objects he was holding. He sought medical care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. It was there that

Implantable cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators are very common these days, but these life-saving devices are very different as are the indications for their use. The heart has its own pacemaker, called the SA node, located in the upper chamber, or atrium. It generates an electrical impulse that causes the atrium, then the ventricle, or lower chamber, to contract, thereby generating a heartbeat. For reasons that are still not clear, the SA node may fail to generate an impulse

I have written previously about the need for keen powers of observation in the field of medicine. I referred to Sherlock Holmes and his creator, the physician Arthur Conan Doyle. There have always been battles in medicine between those who advocate for observation and those who favor textbooks and learning. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, once wrote, “Let a student have illustrations, and just so surely he will use them at the expense of the

Good nutrition is essential to growth, healing, and vitality. For a variety of reasons, some people are not able to eat. In order to receive essential nutrients, such patients require supplying the nutrients using a means that does not involve chewing or swallowing. Adequate hydration must be provided, but most people can go without nutrition for at least seven days. However, depending on the situation, nutritional support may need to be started sooner than that. While in some patients the

Corticosteroid medications, often just called steroids by clinicians and patients, are used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They are associated with many side effects, some of them serious. Corticosteroids are the synthetic version of cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands (the adrenal glands are located on top of both kidneys). These steroids are different from synthetic versions of the human steroid testosterone, which are called anabolic steroids and are

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer and cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, accounting for about 50,000 deaths in 2017. The lifetime risk of its occurrence is estimated to be one in 21 men and one in 23 women. Its incidence has declined 24 percent over the last 30 years and by three percent per year between 2004 and 2013. This decline in incidence is due to improved screening methods. Also, because of better screening, the five-year survival rates for patients

A few months ago, Dr. William Frishman, the Dean of Medicine at my former medical school, NY Medical College, wrote a column about aging that I would like to share with you. More and more people are living to their predicted life spans and achieving advanced old age. This is especially true in the U.S. and Japan. Dr. Frishman listed 10 factors that accounted for people living to their genetically determined life-span. The first factor is genetics. A genetic basis for old age has always been

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