A Closer Look

‘Your work is not your worth’ even for doctors

Cardiologist David Mokotoff, who has been working for almost 50 years, contemplates what comes next.

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I haven’t given up on journalism and hope you won’t

This column began in 2008 when I left the Orlando Sentinel as a senior reporter and entered the health-care profession as a licensed massage therapist. This week, the column ends as I begin a new chapter of my career and enter nursing school.

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Stem cell therapies need better regulation

The recent deaths of two Florida patients following stem cell therapy highlights the need for greater regulation of these medically controversial treatments.

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Can you trust your dentist?

The coupon for a free dental exam came just when she needed one. But it carried hidden risks, Lottie Watts soon learned.

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Food Safety

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Consumer Recalls


Consumer Corner

Frustrated with the health-care system? Don’t know where to turn for help? Want more on the human side of health care? We’ve got you covered.

Protect your ears if you have hearing-loss gene

12/06/12 Tampa Bay Times

USF researcher Robert Frisina Jr. , who took part in a study that identified the first gene associated with early hearing loss, offers advice for those who carry it.

Most double mastectomies useless, study says

11/29/12 Kaiser Health News

Many women who get breast cancer in one breast elect to have both removed, even though for 70 percent of them it does not reduce their risk of recurrence, a Michigan study found.

Breast-cancer overtreatment huge, study says

11/25/12 National Public Radio

A new analysis of the effects of mammography calculates that it leads to 70,000 women being unnecessarily treated for breast cancer each year, a finding sure to be controversial.

Breast cancer risk much higher in certain jobs

11/19/12 News at JAMA

A large Canadian case-control study found that women who worked in the automotive plastics and food-canning industries had a more-than-doubled risk of breast cancer.

Family caregivers’ loss averages $300,000

11/18/12 Sarasota Herald-Tribune

About 25 percent of all adult children in the U.S. are responsible for the well-being of an older relative, a report says, and the cost of their dropping out of the workforce came to about $3 trillion in 2008 dollars.

More deaths reported after consumption of “energy drinks”

11/18/12 New York Times

Federal officials report 13 deaths over four years have possible links to the super-caffeinated drink 5-Hour Energy; the 90 complaints filed with the FDA include 30 that were serious, such as convulsions or heart attack.

Smoking rate still higher than CDC goal

11/09/12 Bloomberg News

The CDC wants to lower the number of U.S. adults who smoke to 12 percent, but last year, the rate held steady at about 19 percent.

Pharmacists become part of discharge team

10/31/12 Sarasota Herald-Tribune

To bring down the risk that patients leaving the hospital will fail to get their necessary medications, Walgreen's is teaming with Sarasota Memorial and others to get pharmacists involved.

7 tips on choosing workplace coverage

10/30/12 South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Those lucky enough to have employer-based health coverage sometimes let it ride year to year without checking their options. That can be costly.

Questions remain on pricey proton therapy

10/29/12 NPR

Proton beam treatment centers are cropping up everywhere even though they cost millions to build and there is no evidence yet that they do a better job than traditional treatment.

Afib treatment uses less radiation

10/29/12 Florida Times-Union

A new approach to fixing the heart-racing condition eliminates two CT scans and lowers time for fluoroscopy.

Task force: no on hormone therapy for menopause

10/22/12 JAMA

In The Annals of Internal Medicine, the US Preventive Services Task Force again weighs in against hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms.

Eat your broccoli, get a bonus

10/16/12 Miami Herald

Companies facing skyrocketing health insurance costs are hoping cash incentives will spur employees to fill out health surveys, maintain a healthy BMI, get a flu shot or stop smoking. Unhealthy employees could get money taken from their paycheck.

Food recalls mount as safety rules still delayed

10/12/12 McClatchy

Two years ago, Congress passed landmark safety legislation to boost the safety of the food supply. But it can't be enforced until the Obama administration writes the rules, and those still aren't ready.

Knock-off air bags dangerous, agency says

10/11/12 Associated Press

If your car's air bag has been replaced in the past three years, you may have gotten a counterfeit bags, a federal safety board warns.

Free birth control led to major drop in abortion

10/05/12 MedPage Today

Making long-acting contraception available at no charge led to a stunning reduction in unintended pregnancy and a 75 percent lower abortion rate, a St. Louis study found.

Vitamin D doesn’t prevent a cold: study

10/03/12 NPR

A well-done New Zealand study that compared a group who took large doses of Vitamin D with a group who didn't found no difference in the incidence and length of upper respiratory infections.

FDA: Stay away from Internet pharmacies

09/28/12 Associated Press

The federal agency tells consumers that the drugs available from most Internet pharmacies are counterfeit or worse -- contaminated.

Darden, Sears switch to cash-only health coverage

09/28/12 Huffington Post

Employees of Sears and Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, which include Red Lobster and Olive Garden, will be given a lump sum to buy health coverage through an online exchange. If prices remain stable, all is well; if they rise, workers have to make up the difference.

Patients asked to report medical mistakes

09/24/12 New York Times

"Have you recently experienced a medical mistake?" The Obama administration wants to know, and is designing a flier to help patients report errors.

Scientists identify 4 types of breast cancer

09/23/12 New York Times

A study that is part of the Cancer Genome Atlas has found four genetic types of the disease, which opens a window into possible new treatments.

Retrovirus link to chronic fatigue shot down

09/18/12 News @ JAMA

A rigorous study found no link between the  mysterious syndrome and two retroviruses that had been suspected.

Some pills ‘beat up the esophagus’

09/16/12 Miami Herald

It has been estimated that 25 percent of Americans suffer from GERD, which is acid reflux into the esophagus from the stomach. While obesity, alcohol, late dining and other factors contribute, it's now becoming apparent that some pills are culprits.

Consumers tired of fad diets, marketers say

09/14/12 Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Healthy Choice's new ad campaign takes a humorous look at how crabby people become when they're constantly hungry.

Doctors and nurse-practitioners: What’s the difference?

09/14/12 Kaiser Health News

Nurse-practitioners today fill some of the roles that used to be the domain of physicians.  Here's an explanation of the difference. (video)

High blood sugar linked to brain loss

09/06/12 MedPage Today

An Australian study found that patients in their early 60s were more likely to have brain atrophy if their glucose levels were on the high side, even if still in normal range.

Artificial sweeteners may hurt, not help

08/31/12 Orlando Sentinel

Recent studies are raising worries that sugar substitutes raise risk for metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Obesity a factor in breast cancer recurrence: study

08/28/12 CBS News

Obesity may cause hormonal changes in the body that fuel breast cancer to spread and recur, a new study says.

FDA approves once-a-day pill to combat HIV

08/28/12 Associated Press

The FDA has approved a new pill that combines four medicines to combat the virus that causes AIDS.

Deadly superbug proving hard to kill

08/23/12 Washington Post

Though government gene sleuths were able to stop an outbreak of the superbug known as KPC, the CDC is launching a program in 10 cities to watch for hospital-borne outbreaks of KPC and related superbugs.

Bariatric surgery may prevent diabetes: study

08/23/12 Associated Press

Far fewer obese people developed diabetes if they had bariatric surgery rather than by dieting and exercising to try to slim down, a large study finds.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/08/22/4168190/study-obesity-surgery-can-help.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

Disabled swimmer fights for better access

08/20/12 Tampa Tribune

Judy Kargman, a disabled veteran, is dismayed at the poor access to her community's pool. Childproof latches are keeping her from being able to ride her scooter into the pool area, so she's working to raise money for automatic door openers.

Anti-mosquito machines don’t really work, UF says

07/25/12 University of Florida IFAS Extension

The machines are pricey, but tests show they either kill the wrong bugs or don't work at all, insect experts have found. Rely on sprays with DEET, they advise.

Risk from inactivity as high as from smoking, journal says

07/20/12 CNN

As the Olympics come to England, British medical journal The Lancet reports that lack of activity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide.

Gay, bisexual black men at high risk for HIV

07/20/12 CNN

One in four new HIV infections is occurring in gay and bisexual black men, a rate twice that found in the white male homosexual population.

FDA approves 2nd new diet drug

07/18/12 USA Today

After approving the first diet pill in a decade last month with Belviq, the Food and Drug Administration has okayed Qsymia, which produced up to 10 percent weight loss in clinical trials. 

Kidney donors sometimes have complications

07/02/12 National Public Radio

It's not that they regret giving up an organ to save someone's life, but those who suffer unexpected side-effects say transplant doctors need to recognize and explain what can happen.

Walt Disney Co. bars junk-food commercials

06/06/12 Associated Press

Disney has become the first major media company to ban ads for sugary cereals and junk food on its television channels, radio stations and websites; First Lady Michelle Obama called it a "game-changer."

Teen barely survives ‘car-surfing,’ warns others

05/31/12 Palm Beach Post

Hannah Huntoon, who lost part of her skull and nearly her life,tells other teens not to do what she did. Now she has to wear a helmet to protect her brain. ER doctors say they see too many kids hurt by the  'car-surfing' fad -- standing on the trunk or hood of a moving vehicle.

Consumer Reports exposes ‘junk health foods’

05/30/12 Palm Beach Post

An analysis of purported "health foods" reveals many aren't any better, and in some ways, are worse than the traditional variety. They can be more expensive, too.



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