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Denying employment could be powerful disincentive for smokersnew
Published: April 14, 2013
by Dr. Manoj Jain

As I walk into the hospital each day, I notice patients and families sitting outside on benches that are surrounded by large signs prohibiting smoking on hospital grounds. For over five years, a collaborative and concerted effort by Memphis hospitals has successfully made all the hospital campuses smoke-free.patientsRead More

Coffee risk is much abrew about nothingnew
Published: March 10, 2013
by Dr. Manoj Jain

If you drink coffee, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that the more cups of coffee you drink, the higher your risk of dying early. The good news is that if you “risk adjust,” then the more cups of coffee you drink, the lower your risk of dying early. Let me explain.patientsRead More

Firearms violence should be viewed as a public health safety issue
Published: February 18, 2013
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Two weeks before the Newtown Conn., shooting, I was at my doctor's office for an annual physical exam, answering questions on an intake survey. Questions like "Do you smoke? How much?" and "Do you wear the seat belt?"patientsRead More

Exercising during middle-age can delay chronic illness
Published: December 17, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

A few months ago, when I sent an e-mail to NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, I got this response:

I am out of the office aboard the International Space Station for the next few months. I will not have access to this account until after I land. Therefore, I will not be responding to any email sent to this account. patientsRead More

Tennessee must choose: Expand Medicaid or forego $1B in new federal money
Published: December 09, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

The Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," has put Tennessee in a pickle: choose to expand and provide Medicaid to an additional 180,000 previously uninsured people or lose $1 billion of new federal funding over six years (which in part comes from Tennessee taxpayers). patientsRead More

Fast action needed to thwart toxins in body or the earth
Published: December 03, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

An elderly woman with gray hair, a pleasant smile and two daughters by her side was admitted to the intensive care unit. She was experiencing a raging fever of 103, with drenching sweats soaking her hospital gown, and shaking chills rattling her bed. patientsRead More

Obama re-election brings next steps in health care reform
Published: November 11, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

WASHINGTON — Two days after the election, I made a trip to our capital to listen to health leaders, including former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, talk about how the election had changed the landscape of health care in America. patientsRead More

Meningitis outbreak shows importance of strong public health infrastructure
Published: October 29, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

A few weeks ago, my partners and I were consulted to see a patient who had been injected outside of our city with the tainted steroids and was now admitted to the hospital. patientsRead More

Gandhi-King conference to cultivate our idealism
Published: October 15, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Between the time I drop off my kids at school and I arrive home for dinner, I encounter many stories of what is wrong and what is right with our health care system.

A nurse tells me about her one-day hospital stay and a $54,000 hospital bill. An HIV patient stops coming to my clinic because he is dropped from his insurance. A middle-aged friend tells me that he fears Medicare will not be there for him unless we get costs under control. One doctor tells me about his perspective on malpractice suits: "The patients want to hit the jackpot." patientsRead More

Doctors need to eliminate waste from healthcare
Published: September 23, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Thirty percent of health care spending — amounting to $750 billion a year — is wasted, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine.

I know. As a doctor, I am party to this waste, and I think doctors can play a major role in recovering it. patientsRead More

Data, coaching important in changing behavior in health care and lifenew
Published: September 10, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

A few months ago, as I drove my daughter to the airport on Interstate 240 for her summer internship in Boston, I read the overhead message sign: "TN ROADWAY FATALITIES 371 — PLEASE DON'T BE NEXT" The same day, walking into my hospital's ICU, I saw a sign stating "104 Days Without a Fall" patientsRead More

Sikh Temple massacre shows violent thoughts, words lead to actions
Published: August 10, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

On Tuesday night, I sat with my children at the Sikh temple in Cordova and wondered what triggered Wade Michael Page to massacre six people at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc.

Though no one will know for sure, this much seems certain: Page had the seeds of white supremacism planted in his mind for decades. patientsRead More

Data show football may not be safe for kids

Published: August 05, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Last fall, I went with my 12-year-old son to his middle school's opening home football game. The bleachers were lined with parents, the smell of hot dogs and nachos wafted over the field, the announcer's voice blared, and the cheerleaders jumped out of sync. patientsRead More

Employers have clout to reduce health costs
Businesses get results by working directly with doctors, hospitals to change care delivery and payment

Published: July 08, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

I once thought that only the federal government in Washington could effect changes that would impact the cost of health care in the United States, especially with so much attention on the recent Supreme Court decision on the 2010 health care reform law. But now I think differently. patientsRead More

Judging 'Obamacare' depends on your situation
Put politics aside and just focus on facts

Published: July 01, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

On the day the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its historic decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, I was rounding on my hospital patients: a man on the ventilator with pneumonia who had private insurance, one elderly woman with abdominal pain going for gall bladder surgery on Medicare, and one middle aged obese woman with a skin infection without any health insurance. patientsRead More

Family support makes transplants easier to take
Published: June 18, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

I had not recognized the deep bonds between sisters until I saw my two daughters holding each other in a long embrace after the older one returned from college.

Thinking back, I should have recognized this bond from my two patients, twin 51-year-old sisters whose first names are separated by only one letter. Both were admitted to the hospital a few months ago. Juana Boyland is three minutes older than Tjuana Boyland, their younger brother told me at Tjuana's bedside, and Juana required a lung transplant in 1997, seven years before Tjuana. patientsRead More

Dr. Manoj Jain: Alert wife assists on doctors' diagnosis
Published: June 03, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Often patients and families think their doctor is all-knowing when it comes to the causes of their illness and the plan for treatment. Yet, uncertainty underlies each diagnosis and treatment plan.

This could not have been more true in Jay Killen's case. I know this first-hand because I am one of the doctors caring for him. patientsRead More

Culture change on obesity will take time
Published: May 21, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

"Ouch," that hurt, I said last Sunday. It was not a reaction to the Grizzlies' Game 7 loss to the Clippers, but Chris Peck's scathing must-read commentary on Memphis being the national hub for obesity and our lack of concern about it.

I will not pain you with many statistics like: one in three white women and one in two black women in Memphis are obese. Rather, I will share some stories about the Memphis culture. patientsRead More

Cautionary tales make anti-smoking ads effective
Published: May 14, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

As I was scrolling through the newspaper online recently, an ad kept blinking on the side of my computer screen. It read: "A Tip from a Former Smoker. After a stroke from smoking, get used to losing your independence." In the background was a middle-age woman in bed who could not move her left arm. The ad continued. "Smoking causes immediate damage to your body that causes a stroke. For Suzy, it triggered blood clots that caused a stroke." patientsRead More

How much does it cost? Even doctor is stumped
Published: March 19, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Rarely do people think about medical costs when there is a medical emergency or an urgent need for a test. Recently, I was in such a situation.

A few days after a 22-hour international flight, the calf muscle in my right leg began to ache. If it were not for the recent flight, or if I were not a doctor, I would have just let it pass. patientsRead More

Pioneering physicians' life stories are treasures
Published: February 27, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Last week, I hurried through the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library to attend a forum on Asian-Americans. Afterward, Wang-Ying Glasgow, the coordinator for library services, urged me not to miss the new gallery exhibit on the history of African-American doctors in Memphis. patientsRead More

Hospitals feeling way toward greater transparency
Published: February 13, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

A few years ago at a conference, I learned about a hospital initiative that allowed family members to be present 24/7 with their loved ones, often in the most challenging of environments, such as the intensive care unit.

I was hesitant to accept this practice. patientsRead More

What kind of sick? Symptoms, treatment differ among cold, flu, bacterial infection
Published: January 23, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

On a Friday afternoon last month, Niti Mehta, a second-grade teacher at Shady Grove Elementary, began to "shake like a leaf."

A week earlier, she had the sniffles and nasal congestion, but no fever or shivering.patientsRead More

Test pattern: Doctors rethink paradigm for cancer screening
Published: January 22, 2012
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Some years before his retirement, when my father-in-law went in for his routine physical, his doctor ordered a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, along with a cholesterol test and blood count. My father-in-law was not having any symptoms, and no one in his family had a history of prostate cancer. patientsRead More

Depression common following an operation
Published: December 26, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

My patient, who was built like a linebacker, was a week out from major heart surgery. He sat in a chair in his ICU room with his head drooped down. The surgery had gone well, and his heart rate, blood pressure and respirations were all normal. patientsRead More

U.S. doctors can take cue from medical tourism
Published: November 14, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

When my father had a toothache, he saw a dentist in Boston who recommended a root canal and dental crown costing about $2,000. He decided to wait until he was in India, his native land, for holidays and had the procedure done there for $200. patientsRead More

No easy cure for hospital errors / Significant gains seen in specific areas
Fight for patient safety enlists everyone, from doctors to housekeepers
Published: October 16, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Some years ago, a nurse paged me at 3 a.m. from the hospital because a patient of mine had spiked a high fever. Suspecting an infection, I called in antibiotics. A few hours later, the frantic nurse called to say my patient had turned red and was wheezing, likely from an allergic reaction. patientsRead More

Waging Peace : Gandhi-King Conference to examine revival of nonviolent approach to social change
Published: October 15, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Since my childhood, I have believed that both petty and global conflicts can be resolved through the power of nonviolence.

In school, when a kid bullied me, my parents told me, "Never hit back." Since I was puny -- 90 pounds in ninth grade -- this strategy was my best option. My strategy worked. A burly, unruly kid named Tom befriended me and prevented others from dumping my books in the hallway. I reciprocated by helping him with his homework during study halls. patientsRead More

Epidemic preparedness is best defense
Published: September 17, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

The first question my friends asked last week after we watched the new movie "Contagion" was: "Can this really happen?"
I should know. I am an infectious disease doctor. patientsRead More

Knowledge is weapon in fight against silent killers
Published: August 15, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

When my patient, a middle-age working woman and mother of three, was admitted to the hospital for shortness of breath, I told her she had a choice: "You can live for three to four years, or you can live for 30 to 40 years." patientsRead More

Big pharma and patient care
Doctors' interaction with drug reps is slippery slope, Memphis physician says

Published: July 10, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

About a decade ago when I was newly settled into private practice in Memphis, a representative for a drug company marketing a new and powerful antibiotic stood in my office and asked whether I would like to attend a consultants' meeting about the drug in Washington. patientsRead More

New MyPlate guidelines only first step to better diet
Published: June 13, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

My patient's hospital breakfast plate lay inches away from his freshly cracked and wired sternum, underneath which his clotted arteries were bypassed. On one side of the plate lay brown slices of bacon; on the other side was a heap of yellow scrambled eggs, along with a muffin. patientsRead More

Flood water not likely to produce epidemics
Published: May 16, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Last Monday evening, our family headed out to see the "flood of the century," as the mighty Mississippi crested in Memphis.

From afar, trunk-less treetops appeared as shrubs and tall telephone posts had become stumps. And, up-close, debris of bottles, boxes and tires rested at the water's edge, as if the local roads were a dumping ground. patientsRead More

Collegians face obstacles to healthful lifestyles
Published: April 18, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Freshman year in college is life-changing, but more often lifestyle-determining.

For the first time in their lives, young adults, who were kids a few years earlier, have to make choices about the simple tasks of life -- like when to wake up, how to do the laundry and what to eat. patientsRead More

Rise in C. difficile infections concerning
Published: March 28, 2011 
by Dr. Manoj Jain

When I walked into my patient's hospital room, she was sitting on the bedside commode, a frail, elderly woman with sunken eyes, thin blonde hair and skinny legs.
For nearly two weeks at home, she had been having five to 10 bowel movements a day.
patientsRead More

Primary care doctors in short supply Shelby County's health care dilemma
Published: March 06, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

Daniel Talley was my first patient the morning after Congress passed health care reform a year ago. Talley is a soft-spoken truck driver and for most of the past 10 years has endured two kinds of pain: needle stabs from insulin injections to control diabetes and lack of health insurance. patientsRead More

Hospitals taking over from private practices
Published: February 14, 2011
by Dr. Manoj Jain

A decade and a half ago, when I moved to Memphis, I proudly hung a sign outside an office I shared with another doctor. It had my name followed by an MD. I had started my own small business as a solo practitioner in medicine. patientsRead More


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