Physical Health

New Year, New Insights: Reflections from the 35th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

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While most people are slowly emerging from the holiday haze, the healthcare investment community kicks off January with the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Originally an investors’ meeting for select public and private healthcare companies, the event – and the ecosystem of smaller conferences that surround it – now bring an estimated 30,000 people to San Francisco.

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‘Precision medicine’: Where collaboration and competition meet

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As a professional observer of healthcare for the last 20 years, the relationship between Adam Smith economics and healthcare research and developments has always fascinated me.

In brief, does the dynamic of competition that drives profit-making innovation propel, or hinder, medical breakthroughs?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative around “precision medicine” – treatment that focuses on the unique genetic code of the individual and not a one-size-fits-all treatment – begs that question.

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Nurturing Healthy Relationships: Well Worth the Effort

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This year, as my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary, I could not help but reflect on how fortunate I am that our relationship has thrived despite both the normal stressors of life as well as the unexpected and more challenging curveballs one can’t anticipate in life.

We often naively believe that our partner relationships will always remain the same. Unfortunately, they don’t.

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Reduce Stigma and Improve Your Well-Being: It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

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I started running when I was 8. This was right around the time that my parents divorced and my world changed in numerous ways.

I was having anxiety attacks and battling depression. I was having trouble concentrating at school. When I started running, I couldn’t tell you why I was doing it, I just felt compelled. When an anxiety attack surfaced, I put on my shoes and headed out the door.

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Prince: Fame Highlights the Infamy of Opioid Addiction

Prince

I love Prince. My first job was at a movie theater that played Purple Rain for months.

I saw that movie hundreds of times, in five-minute bursts while I left the ticket booth unattended. My first concert was the Purple Rain tour – at the Capital Centre, outside of Washington, DC; one of the first albums I bought with my own money was Dirty Mind, on cassette, no less.

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It’s the Journey That Matters

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In August 2014, I got my first road bike.

It took several attempts to feel confident about “clipping in” and managing all the gears. I was advised that you aren’t a real cyclist until you’ve fallen off at least 10 times. This hurt. However, once I got the hang of it – eventually – I loved being out on my bike.

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New Year, New You

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Jan. 1, 2016 — This is the day I am going to: eat better, get fit, save money, drink less, quit smoking, stop looking at Facebook while at work, be nicer, stop cursing.

Pick your resolution, but if you’re like me, at least one of those resolutions is on your list. What is it about the new year that makes us believe that January 1 will be the day we turn over a new leaf and suddenly become the person we believe we should be?

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What the Doctor Ordered: Friendships

Friendship

We all know that there are several lifestyle and environmental risk factors for early mortality, including obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. However, we often forget a far less researched and talked about risk factor for mortality: loneliness and social isolation. Often that loneliness and social isolation are heightened during the holidays, which, ironically, is a time meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. However, for many it is a time that can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and a desire to withdraw. The holidays, therefore, present an excellent time to discuss the role we can all play in reinforcing connections in a world that, on the surface at least, is more connected than it has ever been due to…

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The Relationship: Medicine Is Both Art and Science

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The Question: Questioning the value of the annual physical exam for “healthy,” or asymptomatic, adults is nothing new, but the issue assumes greater significance in the current era of limited resources and the growing status of evidence-based care. Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine’s “Perspective” was devoted to the pros and cons of eliminating this time-honored, but poorly evidenced, practice. Before discussing these pieces, it seems only fair to tip my hand and admit I am (empirically, subjectively, limbicly) in favor of the annual check in with one’s PCP – whether one “needs” it, or not. The authors of both articles agree that the lack of standardization in the annual exam makes the epidemiological research weaker, i.e., lack…

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Thinking Out of the Mailbox: A New Model for Health Care Delivery?

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  When it comes to solving health care delivery problems, who would think of the postal service as a potential source of solutions? Yet, a pilot program in Jersey, an island between France and England, has shown that this entrenched institution offered a creative way to provide care to a group of people who are among the most difficult to reach – the frail elderly. Although the pilot didn’t seek to provide a substitute for health and social care professionals, this group did exhibit some territorial defensiveness, with little active participation by incumbent providers. From 2010 to 2040, the number of islanders over 65 in Jersey is predicted to double. However, Jersey’s health system suffers from outdated models of health…

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