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January 5, 2014
Re "The gap in medical education," Opinion, Jan. 3 I would like to commend Rahul Rekhi's advocacy for incorporating health policy in medical education. In addition to focusing on healthcare systems and health economics, there is a critical need to focus on the impact of health policy on the underlying causes of disease. For example, medical care alone cannot address the obesity epidemic underlying the increasing prevalence of diabetes. Policies such as how we plan our communities, how much physical activity is provided in schools and how we promote nutritious food consumption have a great impact on the health of our communities.
October 24, 2009 | Melissa Healy
Genetic tests that can help predict and refine a patient's response to drug therapy may be the first big thing in personalized medicine. But the vast majority of physicians don't know how to use them, a new survey finds. Individual genetic variations can affect how a patient will respond to many antidepressants, pain medications, cardiovascular medicines and certain drugs that treat cancers and gastrointestinal ailments. In all, roughly one in four American patients take medications whose effectiveness could be tweaked or predicted by a pharmacogenetic test.
February 20, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Perhaps you know whether you'd want to use marijuana to relieve severe pain or nausea. But if you were a doctor, what would you tell patients who asked about taking something that's against federal law? The New England Journal of Medicine poses the question to its readers and on Wednesday presented arguments for and against from doctors. The hypothetical patient is 68-year-old Marilyn, who has cancer and who says the standard medications are not relieving her pain and nausea.
June 14, 2010 | By Marni Jameson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Want to look and feel younger? Click on Dr. Oz's website. Seeking an alternative treatment to what ails you? Visit Andrew Weil's daily blog. Aren't sure whether it's OK to spank your kid? Ask Dr. Phil. Society has revered famous physicians for years, swallowing their directives like vitamins. Dr. Benjamin Spock helped parents raise a generation. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop pushed the nation to kick, or at least curb, its smoking habit. Ruth Westheimer, a.k.a. "Dr. Ruth," encouraged us to talk about sex without squirming.
December 21, 2009
Re "A Prescription for Snooping," Dec. 14: There is virtually no need for a physician to be "detailed" by a drug company representative. There is a publication for physicians, the Medical Letter, that has been published biweekly for the past nearly 50 years. It is the Consumer Reports of drug information for doctors, reviewing virtually all new (and re-reviewing, as needed, older) drugs. It contains what the doctor needs to know about how a drug works, as well as efficacy, safety, some cost information and whatever is known about comparisons to other drugs.
February 28, 2014 | By Alexandra Zavis
Doctors Without Borders has been ordered to cease activities in Myanmar, leaving  tens of thousands of patients without medical care, the Nobel Prize-winning aid group said Friday. Doctors Without Borders did not give a reason for the move. But local news reports said the government had taken issue with statements made by the group about sectarian violence in northern Rakhine state and accused it of bias toward the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority. In a statement, Doctors Without Borders said it was “deeply shocked” by the suspension of its operations after 22 years in Myanmar and “extremely concerned about the fate” of patients under its care around the country.
March 5, 2014 | By Monte Morin
A baby infected with HIV appears to be free of the virus after doctors at a Long Beach hospital initiated aggressive drug treatment just four hours after birth. A pediatrician at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach and her colleagues disclosed the case Wednesday at a Boston AIDS conference. The newborn girl was initially confirmed to have HIV through blood and spinal fluid tests. However, after six days of treatment with antiretroviral drugs, the virus could no longer be detected, doctors said.
February 8, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Some things are better left unsaid - and that includes certain aspects of your medical condition, doctors say. In a nationwide survey of roughly 1,800 physicians, 17% had some level of disagreement with the notion that they should “never tell a patient something that is not true.” Not only that, but 11% of those surveyed acknowledged that they had told a patient “something that was not true” in the past year. The survey, led by Lisa Iezzoni, director of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, didn't ask doctors for specifics about the type of untruths they told.
October 26, 2013 | By Chris Woolston
In cookbooks, health food stores and alternative health clinics, the word is getting out: Acid is the latest dietary villain. It's not necessarily the acid in foods like tomatoes and lemons that supposedly cause the trouble. Instead, a growing number of people claim that meats, wheat, soda, coffee, alcohol and processed foods of all sorts produce acid in the body after they've been digested. The acid, in turn, is said to fuel health problems including arthritis, obesity and cancer.
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