Coordinated Care Can Reduce the Spread of Resistant Infections – Huffington Post

It was a week into my elderly patient’s hospital admission when he began to have fever and profuse diarrhea, some 10-12 bowel movement a day. The diagnosis was not hard to make: a stool test showed he had C difficile. Another patient, a thin women in her late 40s who had become paraplegic after a […]

Education can Empower in Fighting Ebola – Commercial Appeal

    If an ill patient, who unexpectedly has Ebola, landed in Memphis, it is likely that my partner or I would see him. We work as infectious disease doctors at the hospital closest to the airport. The Ebola patient would present with fever, nausea and vomiting, indistinguishable from a flu or a viral illness that […]

Doctors struggling over role in treating childhood obesity – Commercial Appeal

Lying in a hospital bed, my seriously obese patient can barely see her swollen and odorous right foot over her abdominal fat. The foot is soon to be amputated, the result of an untreatable infection exacerbated by diabetes and kidney failure, which developed in part because of obesity. Her two children, ages 6 and 12, […]

Sinusitis among most mistreated illnesses – Commercial Appeal

Over the past month my daughter, my aunt, my father-in-law and sister-in-law all have been taking antibiotics for a sinus or an upper respiratory infection. As the infectious disease doctor in the family, I feel partly responsible for all this. For my teenage daughter it started with a simple cold and runny nose, which she […]

Flu complications come on fast – Vaccine can save time, money, lives – Tennessean

The night before I was leaving for a three-week medical mission trip, I was called urgently to the ICU to see a patient I’ll call Rachel, a previously healthy woman in her late 40s, slightly overweight. She had started a new job as a customer service agent. Rachel was the sickest patient I had seen […]

What should doctors do to combat childhood obesity? – Washington Post

Lying in a hospital bed, my seriously obese patient could barely see her swollen and odorous right foot over her abdominal fat. The foot was soon to be amputated, the result of an untreatable infection exacerbated by diabetes and kidney failure, which developed in part because of obesity.Her two children, ages 6 and 12, hovered […]

Healthy Memphis: Besides pleasure, biking and walking trails lead to significant health benefits – Commercial Appeal

Two weekends ago, when the temperature hit the low 70s and the afternoon sun was warm, but not Memphis hot, my 13-year-old son and I put on our helmets and hopped onto our freshly serviced bikes for a ride. I had not seriously ridden a bike for a generation, and my son had stayed within […]

Denying employment could be powerful disincentive for smokers – Commercial Appeal

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. Now, in other states, hospital systems like […]

We all need ‘skin’ in Medicare debate – Commercial Appeal

As I approach my 50th birthday, I worry about Medicare not being there for me when I become eligible. I have some inside knowledge about Medicare. My parents and in-laws are patients on Medicare. As a doctor, I am a provider for Medicare, and as a public health educator I am a consultant for a […]

Doctors in private practices are now joining hospital staffs – Washington Post

Fifteen years ago, I proudly hung a sign outside my office with my name followed by “MD.” I had started my own business. A small private medical practice is much like a mom-and-pop store, where the doctor has the autonomy to decide the hours, which insurance to accept, which patients to see and how much […]

Hospitals feeling way toward greater transparency – Commercial Appeal

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. An ICU room is filled with lifesaving equipment — ventilators […]

When terminally ill patients ask how long they have, doctors find it hard to say – Washington Post

In January, when my close friend’s lymph node biopsy came back as a rare form of T-cell lymphoma, I scoured the scientific literature. What was his prognosis? He was 56, a little overweight but otherwise healthy. He had helped us move into our home more than a decade ago, and I was like an uncle […]

No easy cure for hospital errors / Significant gains seen in specific areas – Commercial Appeal

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. I rushed […]

Intensive care units grow more friendly to patients’ families at some hospitals – Washington Post

Not long ago, when my father was about to undergo a heart procedure, I hinted to the cardiologist, a colleague, that I wanted to be there, too, not just to offer comfort but also to be present for the play-by-play that would lead to a critical decision: whether to open his blocked arteries with a […]

Auditorium celebrates surgeon’s life’s work – Commercial Appeal

Published: September 20, 2010 Like many people, I sometimes find myself in buildings or grand auditoriums that are named for individuals whom I know little about. But that was not the case last Thursday when I attended the inauguration of the Dr. H. Edward Garrett Sr. Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital- Memphis. Read More

Resistant Staph Infections Disguised as Spider Bites – Shelby Sun

Mrs. Scott insisted she had been bitten by a spider as she caressed a deep ulcer on her right thigh.” “Did you see the spider?” I asked. “No, but it looks like a spider bite” she said. When we got the wound culture report back, we realized it was not a spider bite, but a […]

Happiness and health – are they linked? – Shelby Sun

During morning rounds at the hospital I examine Mr. Jones. He had a lung transplant a year ago, and has made more visits to the hospitals than to the supermarket. I ask myself, “Is Mr. Jones happy?” I pass the automatic double door out of the ICU onto the hospital floor that has many acute […]