A Randomized Clinical Trial Is outpatient palliative care associated with improvements in patient or caregiver outcomes compared with current standards of care among persons with Parkinson disease and related disorders? In this randomized clinical trial of 210 patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders and 175 caregivers, patients receiving palliative care had better quality of … Continue reading Comparison of Integrated Outpatient Palliative Care With Standard Care in Patients With Parkinson Disease and Related Disorders
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi from Pexels Question: Is medical bullshit really a big problem? Or is this campaign against bullshit simply one more attempt for people in mainstream medicine to knock out any competition? Medical bullshit was not part of my medical training 20 years ago. As far as I know, it is still not part of medical … Continue reading The High Cost of Medical Bullshit Part I: Whose Problem Is It Anyway?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. locks arms with his aides as he leads a march of several thousands to the court house in Montgomery, Ala., March 17, 1965. From left: Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, King, Jesse Douglas, Sr., and John Lewis (partially out of frame). (AP Photo) Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Restoring Hope, Renewing Commitment
Dear Dr. Benzi, What is the deal with alkaline foods? What are people even talking about? - R Dear R, This is a great question and one that I’ve often wondered about myself. I’ve broken down this question into three chunks. First, what does alkaline mean? If you recall your high school chemistry, alkaline is the opposite … Continue reading Ask Dr. Benzi: What’s the Deal With Alkaline Foods?
Photo courtesy of LA Times Like many, I was very shaken by the events of yesterday. On my morning dog walk I wondered what I could say that might be of value and tie to my thinking around bullshit. When I got back from my walk, I tweeted: The idea that a lone nut can … Continue reading Follow Who You Want, but Always Check Your Sources
Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash I knew far more when I was 24 and just starting my medical career than I know today. If you asked me, I would confidently tell you that free will was a myth, the soul an illusion, and stories of ghosts and heaven simply wishful thinking. The older I … Continue reading Mysteriouser and Mysteriouser: Ghost Stories and Death in Medicine
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. George Bernard Shaw My article “Joy, Suffering and the Goals of Medicine” was not easy to publish. It was rejected by several other journals before being accepted by JAMA-Neurology. I never got a reason … Continue reading Fart Jokes, Medical Aid In Dying, and the Battle to Bring Joy into Medicine
While it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can often learn a lot by looking at its author. In the case of medical bullshit—whether that be a best-selling book, a “miracle supplement” or a “revolutionary new theory on health”—a careful glance at the real accomplishments and actions of the person … Continue reading The Medical Bullshit Detector Part II: Unreliable Experts
As medicine strives to provide person-centered care, it is essential that clinicians support the subjective well-being of people living with serious illness. Toward this end, addressing the subjective suffering of an individual is now recognized as complementary to medicine’s goals of treating disease. Joy, on the other hand, has generally fallen outside the purview of … Continue reading Joy, Suffering, and the Goals of Medicine
There has been much excitement and some confusion about the new Covid-19 vaccines. For the record, I plan to get a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is offered to me, which may be in the next few months, as a healthcare provider who works with some vulnerable populations. Regarding the Pfizer vaccine, which we are … Continue reading Covid-19 Vaccine: What You Should Know
People who care about reality—including scientists, philosophers, doctors, teachers, and other concerned citizens—have long been bothered by bullshit. On the one hand, it is morally and philosophically reprehensible to purposefully undermine truth and to proclaim ignorance as a virtue. But more importantly, bullshit is harmful to people who live in the real world. Bullshit can … Continue reading The Medical Bullshit Detector Part I: Untrustworthy Products and Unbelievable Ideas