Physician Focus

December Physician Focus: Women and Heart Disease

Posted in Health, Physician Focus on November 30th, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on December Physician Focus: Women and Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in American women, claiming 400,000 lives a year – more than all cancers combined.  Yet nearly half of women – 44 percent according to a recent survey by the American Heart Association – are unaware that it’s the number one threat to their health.

To raise awareness of the topic, the December edition of Physician Focus, Women and Heart Disease, examines why cardiovascular disease is such a threat to women. This program is presented in collaboration with the MMS Committee on Women in Medicine.

Guests are Malissa Wood, M.D. (center, photo) and Nandita Scott, M.D., (right) Co-Directors of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Hosting this edition is family physician Mavis Jaworski, M.D. (left).

Among the topics of discussion are how cardiovascular disease can affect pregnancy, the danger signs of stroke, why high blood pressure is so dangerous, what women should do to screen for heart disease, and preventive steps to take to reduce the risk.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. The December program is available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

 

November Physician Focus: Hearing Loss

Posted in Physician Focus on October 30th, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on November Physician Focus: Hearing Loss

More than 30 million Americans age 12 and older have some level of impaired hearing, according to the National  Karlin, Mason, Brown, (l to r)Hearing Loss_editedInstitute of Deafness. Among older Americans, hearing impairment is the third most common chronic condition, and an increasing number of young people are experiencing hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises, many from personal listening devices.

The November Edition of Physician Focus, Hearing Loss: Causes, Prevention, Remedies, examines how we hear; the signs, symptoms, and causes of hearing loss; what we can do to prevent and limit hearing impairment; and what remedies are available for those who do experience a loss of hearing. Among the topics of conversation are hearing aids and cochlear implants for those with severe and profound hearing loss.

Guests are two officers from the Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. President Jeffrey S. Brown, M.D., (photo, right) a physician with ENT Consultants at Winchester Hospital, and President-Elect Theodore P. Mason, M.D., (center) a physician with Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Springfield and Founder and Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Baystate Medical Center, join host Bruce Karlin, M.D., (left) a primary care physician and Utilization Management Medical Director at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, for the discussion.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. The November program is available online at www.physicianfocus.org/hearingloss, and can be viewed throughout the month at www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

October Physician Focus: “Big Problems” in Children’s Health

Posted in Health, Physician Focus, Public Health on September 30th, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on October Physician Focus: “Big Problems” in Children’s Health

For nine years, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital of the University of Michigan Health System Dr. Young (l), Dr. Goodman (r) N_editedhas conducted an annual survey of adults about what they think are the “big problems” in children’s health.

It’s hard to argue with the 2015 poll results: obesity, bullying, and drug abuse are the top three, with child abuse and neglect, smoking and tobacco use, and school violence also included in the top ten.

While the survey provides insight into what adults and parents think are the major child health problems – serious issues, to be sure – the doctors who care for children tend to have a wider perspective.

The October edition of Physician Focus features the pediatrician’s thoughts on the topic of child health in a conversation between program host Lynda Young, M.D., and guest Elizabeth Goodman, M.D.

Dr. Young (photo, standing) is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UMass Medical School and a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Dr. Goodman (seated) is Associate Chief for Community-Based Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Bringing their years of experience in pediatric care to the conversation, the doctors discuss the C.S. Mott poll and its results, as well as what they believe are additional risks to children not captured by the survey.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

 

September Physician Focus: Breast Cancer

Posted in Health, Physician Focus on August 31st, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on September Physician Focus: Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, second only to skin cancer. About one in eight women will developBreast Cancer MMS Blog the disease during their lifetime, and three out of four will develop it after age 50.

The good news is that death rates from this disease have been declining for some 25 years, largely due to better treatment.

The standard for preventive care has been the mammogram, yet differing opinions from health professionals about this screening have raised concern and confusion. The advent of genetic testing and the growing acceptance of preventive mastectomies have added to the concerns.

The September edition of Physician Focus discusses these and other topics about breast cancer with medical oncologists from The Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Guests are Nadine Tung, M.D., (photo, right) Director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, and Gerburg Wulf, M.D., Ph.D., (center) medical oncologist and researcher. Hosting this edition is B. Dale Magee, M.D., (left) a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Among the topics of conversation are the current thinking and controversy surrounding mammograms and how they differ from MRIs in detecting the disease; risk factors; genetic testing; preventive mastectomies; the relationship between breast cancer, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy; and lifestyle issues that can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

August Physician Focus: Common Eye Disorders

Posted in Physician Focus on August 1st, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on August Physician Focus: Common Eye Disorders

Eye injuries and disorders can occur at any time of life, but with age comes a greater incidence of vision impairment. IMG_0685_editedToday, nearly three million people have glaucoma, nearly 25 million have cataracts, and almost 10 million combined have macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

As the U.S. population ages, however, these age-related diseases are expected to increase dramatically. Macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, for example, are projected to double and quadruple, respectively, in the next 25 years.

To highlight these disorders, the August episode of Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society features two ophthalmologists from Eye Health Services of Quincy who are members of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MSEPS).

Guests for the program are John T. H. Mandeville, M.D., Ph.D., (photo, center) a specialist in cosmetic and reconstructive eye plastic surgery and president of MSEPS; and Gerri L. Goodman, M.D., (right) a corneal specialist and member of the Boards of Directors of MSEPS and the New England Chapter of the Glaucoma Foundation. They join host B. Dale Magee, M.D., (left) past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, for the discussion.

Among the topics of conversation are details on the four common conditions of cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy; the distinctions among different eye care health professionals; the components of the eye and how it is structured; how to use an Amsler grid to check for macular degeneration; descriptions and photographs of what vision is like with the above conditions, and treatment options for the four disorders.  The physicians also discuss steps everyone should take, regardless of age, to practice good eye health and safety.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

July Physician Focus: Guns and Public Health

Posted in gun control, Physician Focus, Public Health on July 2nd, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on July Physician Focus: Guns and Public Health

Deaths and injuries from firearms continue to shine a spotlight on gun violence as a public health issue. The latest mass shooting at a church in South Carolina joins a list that includes tragedies in Newtown, Connecticut, at Virginia Tech, and in the Colorado communities of Columbine and Aurora. These shocking incidents receive great attention because of the numbers of people killed and injured, the young ages of the shooters, and where they take place (schools, a church, a movie theater).

Those incidents, however, are just a few of  the total number, with many of them taking place at schools. Since the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy in 2012 that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults, an additional 127 school shootings have occurred in the U.S., 73 of them in grades K-12, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, which tracks such data.

Physicians have since become some of the most vocal advocates for gun safety. In April, seven physician organizations, the American Public Health Association, and the American Bar Association issued a call to action, saying “Deaths and injuries related to firearms constitute a major public health problem in the United States.”

To continue to highlight this important topic, the July episode of Physician Focus features a discussion with Michael Hirsh, M.D., (photo, right) Surgeon-in-Chief of UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and Medical Director of the Public Health Department in Worcester, Mass., and Robert Sege, M.D., (center) Vice President of Health Resources in Action in Boston and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Hosting this edition is primary care physician Bruce Karlin, M.D. (left).

Among the topics of conversation: what parents can and should do to make a home with guns safer for children, how guns in the home can lead to homicide or suicide, how technology can help to make firearms safer, the physician perspective on ‘gag laws’ preventing doctors from discussing gun safety with their patients, and gun buyback programs as a way to reduce the violence.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org,www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

June Physician Focus: The Other Side of Alzheimer’s: Caregivers and Families

Posted in alzheimer's disease, behavioral health, Caring for the Caregivers, Physician Focus on May 29th, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on June Physician Focus: The Other Side of Alzheimer’s: Caregivers and Families

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects some 5.3 million Americans, with most of those over 65 years of age, and as our population ages, its incidence is likely to increase: estimates are that by 2025 another two million  Alzheimer'sseniors will be afflicted.

The toll of Alzheimer’s on patients is cruel and tragic, but the effects of the disease go far beyond the patient, to family members and friends who act as caregivers. And that group is large indeed: More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

To provide some perspective of the impact on caregivers, the June episode of Physician Focus features two health care professionals from Summit ElderCare in Worcester, one of six PACE programs (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Massachusetts.

Guests are Susan Hardy, M.D., (photo, center) a board-certified internist with a subspecialty in geriatric medicine and Summit’s Associate Medical Director, and Brenda King, Psy.D., (right) a clinical psychologist with specialties in health psychology and gerontology and Summit’s Behavioral Health Specialist. Hosting this edition is Bruce Karlin, M.D.

The conversation explores such areas as the many demands required of caregivers and families, the difficulties they face, the emotional and physical toll that caregiving takes, the importance of early recognition and planning, the resources available for help, and how a team approach can enhance care.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

May Physician Focus: Diabetes: Persistent Epidemic

Posted in Health, Physician Focus, Public Health on May 1st, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on May Physician Focus: Diabetes: Persistent Epidemic

Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting Americans. Since 1980, the incidence of the disease has tripled; it now affects nearly 20 million adults 18 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And its spread is likely to continue: another 86 million Americans are living with pre-diabetes, and 90 percent of those are unaware of their condition.

The May episode of Physician Focus examines the current state of diabetes in the U.S., how and why it’s become so prevalent, and treatments for the condition. Guest is Michael Thompson, M.D., (right, photo) Ambulatory Physician Leader for the Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Health Care and Chief of Adult Diabetes Clinical Research at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Hosting this edition is primary care physician Bruce Karlin, M.D. (left, photo).

Among the topics of discussions are the risk factors, symptoms, and complications of the disease; how it is diagnosed; the importance of the hemoglobin A1C test; weight-loss surgery as a cure for diabetes; specific treatments for the disease; and the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

April Physician Focus: The Causes of Cancer

Posted in Health, Physician Focus on April 2nd, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on April Physician Focus: The Causes of Cancer

Cancer is perhaps the diagnosis patients fear the most. Treatments can be long and exhausting, and the disease can bring anxiety and uncertainty for patients and their families. The disease is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., surpassed only by heart disease, and claims nearly 600,000 lives each year. The American Cancer Society projects more than 1.6 million new cases of the disease will be diagnosed this year.

A recent study indicated that most cancers are the result of just “bad luck” in how our cells multiply and mutate, yet long-standing research shows that genetics, lifestyle issues, and environmental factors play important roles in developing cancer.

Public surveys, however, have shown a lack of understanding and many misperceptions about the causes of cancer. To raise public awareness about this common condition, the April edition of Physician Focus features Robb Friedman, M.D., (photo, right) a board-certified oncologist and hematologist and Director of The Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Needham, who joins program host Dale Magee, M.D., (left) a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Among the topics of conversation are how cancer develops and what patients can do not only to reduce their risks of getting the disease, but also to prevent some types of cancer from occurring.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.

Physician Focus for March: The Measles Outbreak and The Value of Vaccines

Posted in Physician Focus, Public Health on February 27th, 2015 by MMS Communications – Comments Off on Physician Focus for March: The Measles Outbreak and The Value of Vaccines

The current measles outbreak, which began last December in Disney World and has since led to more than 150 cases in 17 states, is a stark reminder that diseases once declared eliminated can, without vigilance, return easily and spread quickly.

To remind patients about the benefits of immunization, the March episode of Physician Focus examines the current outbreak, how it came about, and why vaccines merit its place on the list of the top ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Guests are George Abraham, M.D., (photo, center) a board-certified infectious disease specialist, Associate Chief of Medicine at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Professor of Medicine at UMass Medical School, and Governor of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and Sean Palfrey, M.D., (right) a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine and the founder and director of the Immunization Initiative of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hosting this edition is primary care physician Bruce Karlin, M.D. (left).

Among the topics of discussion are how once-eradicated diseases like measles can return and spread, how dangerous childhood diseases can be and why people tend to discount their severity, the risks of not getting vaccinated, how herd immunity to protect the public’s health is determined, how misinformation about medicines can spread quickly, how physicians may deal with patients and their parents who have questions or reservations about vaccines, and the importance of immunization for adults as well as children.

Physician Focus, now in its 11th consecutive year of production, is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org, www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, and on YouTube.