Top health care priority should be holding down costs – Commercial Appeal

For me, the saddest part of the 2016 presidential election is not that we have two of the most disliked presidential candidates in history but that so little attention is being paid to health care. You may have noticed that health care rarely comes up in campaign speeches or in debates, and when it does […]

Dr. Manoj Jain: Travel advisory illustrates danger of Zika virus – Commercial Appeal

For this week’s column, I had been writing about the health care reform plans of the presidential nominees until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a “travel advisory” to the Miami Beach area due to Zika virus. Unfortunately, this advisory may be only the beginning of many more to come (and the […]

Yoga continues to surprise with potential health benefits – Commercial Appeal

I began one of the longest days of the year with a sun salutation — a mountain pose, the lunge, the downward dog, the plank pose, baby cobra, child’s pose, powerful pose (essentially a squat) and back -to-the-mountain pose. June 21, the day close to the summer solstice, has been proclaimed as International Yoga Day […]

Research suggests Tylenol can dampen emotional as well as physical pain – commercial appeal

Last week, when I stubbed my toe on our family room coffee table, a throbbing pain ensued. Over the next two to three days, as the bruise turned pink and then purple, the pain persisted. During the same time, I had a case of the blues. I am overstressed at work with several staff on […]

Mississippi leads nation in measles vaccination rate – Commercial Appeal

Mississippi ranks 50th in the nation in infant mortality, 50th in physical activity, 50th in heart disease deaths and 49th in overall health. We in Tennessee rank only slightly better, prompting one of my public health colleagues to remark, “Thank God for Mississippi.” Yet Mississippi does rank No. 1 on a health measure that matters […]

Measles outbreak shows consequences of vaccination myths – Commercial Appeal

Last week, Stephanie Morris, a nurse in the intensive care unit, stopped me. In the hospital, Stephanie cares for the sickest of sick patients, but at home she cares for her two children, ages 8 months and 2 years. And with the outbreak of measles, she is concerned about the younger, who has not yet […]

Beware sexual transmission of Zika virus – Commercial Appeal

Some years ago, when a biologist studying mosquito-borne viral illnesses returned from abroad to his home in Colorado, he became ill with fever, rash, joint pain and body ache. Soon his wife, too, became ill with similar symptoms. The children remained healthy. The couple tested negative for malaria and other tropical diseases, and within a […]

Understanding root causes is first step in confronting violence – Commercial Appeal

At a time when our lives are filled with news of violence, it seems appropriate to talk about peace. With the attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and Brussels fresh in our memory, with Sandy Hook, Charleston and the Wisconsin Temple shooting not yet faded from our thoughts, and with Ferguson and Chicago police incidents leaving […]

Quest for meaning makes satisfying midlife – Commercial Appeal

When he turned 45, Mitch Alsup bought a red Corvette. Mitch is a quick-talking guy with dirty blonde hair and a short, trim physique. He has a ready smile and is willing to share his story. “As a kid, I use to go down to the Chevrolet dealership and sit in a Corvette,” he recalls. […]

Let’s all do our part to reduce food waste – Commercial Appeal

I am about to place my plate in the sink, until I see a single pea left on my plate. I recall a recent article in National Geographic that stated that one-third of all the food we produce is wasted. I have a Zen moment, and think of the journey the pea made to reach […]

What we need to know about the Zika virus – Commercial Appeal

Every few years it seems a new virus captures the public’s attention. Over a decade ago, it was SARS, which had people in Hong Kong wearing masks, then it was avian flu, then H1N1, then the West Nile virus, and then Ebola, and now it is Zika. We don’t know for certain why a new […]

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 […]

Rising Insurance Premiums and the Future Costs to Health Care – Huffington Post

Recently, health insurance companies across the nation have petitioned to increase premium rates for customers covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has proposed a 25.7 percent raise in premiums; in New Mexico, BCBS requested a 56.1 percent raise; and, in Georgia, Alliant Health Plans has submitted […]

A Doctor’s Experience in the Nepal Earthquake – Huffington Post

The morning after his brother’s bachelor party, standing on the fourth floor of his family home, Dr. Arvind Goel, felt the ground move under his feet. “First it was minor vibrations and then it built up in a crescendo and then the couch where my four month old son was lying began to shake.” “It […]

Gender pay gap persists especially in health care professions – Commercial Appeal

Last Tuesday evening after dinner, with a cup of tea in hand, I read a newspaper column titled, “Women still earn a lot less than men.” This prompted me to ask my wife, “Do you think this is really true?” Then, I editorialized, “But it can’t be true in health care.” As I read and […]

Meditation a useful technique for achieving mindfulness – Commercial Appeal

We sit in a conference room on red swivel chairs, quiet, motionless, eyes closed. We turn off our senses just like we turn down the house lights, switch off the television, and close the garage door at the end of the day. We become numb and detached from our bodies. For the past eight weeks, […]

A Snow Day Reflection – Huffington Post

This week, I was going to write my usual health column, but then I decided to take a “snow day.” Yet, soon, I realized that the snow and ice we have experienced was not hindering the path from my bedroom to the computer room, nor was the snow preventing bloggers from blogging, or editors from […]

Healthy Memphis: Taking stairs means giant step toward better living – Commercial Appeal

On the first of the year, while making my rounds at the hospital, I did something I hope to continue: I took the stairs. My action was prompted by something that had happened a few days earlier. I had “sticker shock” when I stepped on my bathroom scale and saw that I had gained 6 […]

Healthy Memphis: Finding hope and happiness this holiday season – Commercial Appeal

My wife loves to watch holiday movies. Each Christmas season she watches James Stewart’s 1946 movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” “Every year, everyone should watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,’” she insists. She watches them because they have a happy ending. “Life is not like that,” I tell her. Life […]

A kiss is not just a kiss: biology vs. psychology – The Tennessean

This year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. So, last week, one evening, I told my wife about a news story I heard on National Public Radio (NPR) about the microbiology of a kiss. My wife smiled. A group of researchers, I said, looked at the oral bacterial flora of 21 couples to determine how […]

Healthy Memphis: The scientifically sound benefits of kissing – Commercial Appeal

This year we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. So one evening last week I told my wife about a news story I’d heard on National Public Radio (NPR) about the microbiology of a kiss. My wife smiled. A group of researchers, I said, looked at the oral bacterial flora of 21 couples to determine how […]

Healthy Memphis: Local Rotary contributes to global TB battle – Commercial Appeal

As I write this, I am on a flight back from India after a weeklong medical mission trip for a Rotary Club Global Grant on the elimination of tuberculosis (TB). In America, we don’t worry about TB because it is one of our many medical success stories, along with smallpox and polio. But across the […]

Rethinking the 21-Day Quarantine for Ebola Contacts – Huffington Post

Contact Dr. Manoj Jain (mkjain@aol.com / 901-681-0778) A few weeks ago an emergency room doctor called our infectious disease physician group concerning a patient who had returned from Liberia and was having nausea and vomiting. Several of the patient’s family members had died of Ebola. As panic struck us, our decisive question was: When did he […]

Are Local Hospitals Prepared for Ebola? – Huffington Post

Contact Dr. Manoj Jain (mkjain@aol.com / 901-681-0778) Two weeks ago at our community hospital, after we concluded a nearly two-hour standing room only Ebola preparedness meeting, I practiced donning and doffing the personal protective equipment (PPE) for Ebola cases. PPE is the protective wardrobe health workers wear when examining a patient with a contagious infectious disease. […]

Healthy Memphis: Donate to combat Ebola – Commercial Appeal

Last week, I casually mentioned to my wife, “I spoke with volunteers at Doctors Without Borders today, and they need help.” This was before the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on U.S. soil. Doctors Without Borders is a nonprofit organization delivering emergency medical aid worldwide. About 30,000 staff in 70 countries serve more than […]

To Stop Ebola Here, We Must Stop It There – Huffington Post

Last week, after dinner, as I was rinsing the dishes, I casually mentioned to my wife, “I spoke with the volunteers at Doctors Without Borders today, and they need help.” This was before the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on U.S. soil. A pregnant silence fell in the kitchen except for the clattering of […]

Panhandlers shouldn’t exploit illnesses – Commercial Appeal

t’s nearly 100 degrees in the mid-August Memphis sun. At the side of the exit ramp to Winchester Road from Bill Morris Parkway East, a middle-aged man sits on a bucket. He is wearing a clean white T-shirt, gray shorts and a faded orange cap partially covering his dirty blonde hair. He holds a large […]

Unpleasant, but necessary, 50th birthday present – Commercial Appeal

For my 50th birthday my doctors give me a present: a colonoscopy. The prep instructions are daunting. “In a large pitcher pour two 32 oz. bottles of Gatorade and 8.3 oz. bottle of MiraLAX. Begin drinking every 15 min. until completed.” I start this at 4 p.m. the day before my procedure. But this is […]

Pay for performance right direction for heath care – Commercial Appeal

It’s another busy day at the hospital and as I dictate yet another consult note, I find I am repeating myself: “Patient has a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease …,” and then on the next patient, “heart disease, breast cancer and emphysema…,” and the next one, “dementia, diabetes, arthritis, and colon […]

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 […]

Vaccine can prevent deadly flu complications – Commercial Appeal

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

Obamacare’s Upheaval of the Insurance Market – Huffington Post

Some years ago, driving through an end of town where pawn shops and boarded up homes are common, I saw a small placard sign nailed on a telephone pole. “Buy Health Insurance,” it touted with premiums as low as $25 a month. I was tempted. 2013-11-16-images1.jpeg Health insurance, for me and for most Americans, is […]

Challenges for Sebelius and Obamacare – Huffington Post

Last Friday, I was among a dozen people who sat privately to talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, with the embattled Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Dressed in a light green blazer, sitting alongside Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Congressman Steve Cohen, who had nudged her to visit Memphis, Secretary […]

Closing the Medicaid doughnut hole – Commercial Appeal

A patient, a burly black man in his 40s who works as a cook, is in the hospital wincing in pain from a staph infection on his leg. He has no health insurance and earns about $15,000 a year. You would think that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, would help him. But no. […]

Doctor’s Advice: Get Health Insurance – Huffington Post

Standing in the dimly-lit cave-like radiology reading room, I was looking at a CT scan which was done in the emergency room on a man in his 40s who had a testicular mass — likely a cancer — which had spread through out his body. It wasn’t that the man did not know the mass […]

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 […]

Complications after surgery are urgent challenges – Commercial Appeal

My uncle, Vinay Mehta, who had his second bypass surgery four days earlier, is rushed back to the ICU hooked up to monitors and multiple IV lines. A critical care doctor who wears cowboy boots and uses words sparingly is at the foot of the bed, and three nurses adjust drips, measure my uncle’s blood […]

My uncle’s medical journey – Commercial Appeal

My uncle, Vinay Mehta, lies quietly on a gurney in the hospital’s pre-post catherization room. His wife of 40 years is by his side. The TV across the room is flickering, and the EKG monitor behind him beats a regular rhythm. His cardiologist, who just performed the heart catherization, is a family friend and is […]

Healthy Memphis: Tick-borne illness may be cause of summer fever – Commercial Appeal

Karen Young, a woman whose short reddish-brown hair reminded me of Julie Andrews from the movie “Sound of Music,” tells me her fever and body aches started a few days before the 4th of July weekend. “I was hurting all over, like arthritis bothering me on a rainy day.” She is stiff, uncomfortable lying in […]

Interfaith about community, not conversion – Commercial Appeal

For a number of years in the holy month of Ramadan, I have joined my Muslim friends in the “breaking of the fast” dinner. I am not Muslim, and neither were half of the 500 Memphians gathered last month at the Esplanade Banquet Hall for the seventh annual Memphis Interfaith Dinner hosted by the Muslim […]

Overcoming our biases requires understanding how we think – Commercial Appeal

The Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case has once again opened the racial wounds of our nation, and it reminded me of the first piece I wrote for The Washington Post six years ago. I wrote about racial disparity in the health care system, titled “How I Learned to Treat My Bias.” Last week, I […]

Decline in Cost of Health Care in America – Huffington Post

We have done it. We have decreased the increase in the cost of health care. Let us explain. For three decades (1980-2009), the cost of health care has been increasing each year at an average rate of 7.4 percent — double the rate of inflation. [1] However, over the past three years, the increase in […]

Guest column: Bend in health cost curve can be sustained – Commercial Appeal

We have done it. We have decreased the increase in the cost of healthcare. Let us explain. For three decades (1980–2009), the cost of healthcare has been increasing each year at an average rate of 7.4%—double the rate of inflation. However, over the past three years,  the increase in healthcare expenditures has remained at a […]

Germ-free pacifiers may mean sicker kids – Tennessean

Years ago, when my children (now teenagers) were babies and they dropped a pacifier on the floor, we rinsed it with tap water before putting it back in their mouth. As a parent and as an infectious disease doctor, sterility is of utmost importance to me. While this may be lifesaving in the hospital, it […]

Tact, Tone And Timing: The Power Of Apology – Talk of the Nation : NPR

An effective apology involves a delicate balance between tact, tone and timing. In high-stakes settings, when jobs and reputations are on the line, it can be even harder. The significance of an apology can vary in different settings and professions. Listen to the story   Transcript JOHN DONVAN, HOST: This is TALK OF THE NATION. […]

Medical errors are hard for doctors to admit, but it’s wise to apologize to patients – Washington Post

In 2007, I published a story in my local paper in which I confessed to having made a medical error years earlier. I’d mistakenly prescribed an antibiotic for a patient whose chart indicated an allergy to the drug. Thankfully, the story had a happy ending. My patient recovered and took no legal action after I explained to […]

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 […]

Memories of Boston Marathon – Huffington Post

I know Boston and the Boston Marathon well. I lived for 20 years in Needham and Wellesley, the western suburbs of Boston, the halfway mark of the 26-mile race, from where I have watched the marathon in route. Many times I picnicked at Hopkinton State Park near where the marathon starts, and many times I […]

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 […]

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Detachment Similar To That Of Eastern Sages – Huffington Post

A few weeks ago, as I watched the white helicopter rise above St. Peter’s Basilica and carry the pontiff emeritus to a life of seclusion, I was reminded of Hindu and Jain saints who withdraw from the world and live a renounced life. With his last words on March 1, “I am no longer the […]

Letters – Menstrual Shame and Superstitions in India – The New York Times

“The Taboo of Menstruation,” by Rose George (Op-Ed, Dec. 29), sheds a welcome light on the unfortunate effects of menstrual superstitions and ignorance in parts of India. Unfortunately, similar taboos with similar debilitating outcomes exist in other regions saddled with the kinds of anti-women prejudices from which such practices are derived. And lest those of […]

‘Lincoln’ rekindles equality – Washington Post

On Thanksgiving weekend, with family and friends, I watched Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece “Lincoln.” It was a history lesson on racial inequality. Abraham Lincoln championed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, paving the way for the 15th Amendment in 1869, giving African Americans and other racial minorities the right to vote. The movie also hinted at gender inequality, when nearly all […]

Video : Pregnancy Flu and Autism – WREG

In Health News, a new study suggests moms who get sick with the flu, or fever, while pregnant may increase their risk of having a child with autism.  But some caution not to read too much into the results.  Infectious disease expert Dr. Manoj Jain explains.

Doctors need to eliminate waste from healthcare – Commercial Appeal

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. In a private conversation, a cardiologist […]

LETTERS : In Search of Political Champions for the Poor – New York Times

To the Editor: Re “Cutting the Deficit, With Compassion” (Economic View, Sept. 9), in which Christina R. Romer suggested reducing the federal budgetdeficit “in a way that does as little harm as possible to people, jobs and economic opportunity.” Sadly in this election year, political speeches haven’t put much emphasis on compassion and the poor. The Republicans are […]

Data, coaching important in changing behavior in health care and life – Commercial Appeal

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” Providing […]

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 […]

Medicare Control of Cost – Huffington Post

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 […]

Sikh Temple massacre shows violent thoughts, words lead to actions – Commercial Appeal

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 […]

Data show football may not be safe for kids – Commercial Appeal

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. The boys were dressed in shoulder, chest, thigh and kneepads covered […]

Employers have clout to reduce health costs – Commercial Appeal

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. Now I believe that emboldened employers in […]

Judging ‘Obamacare’ depends on your situation Put politics aside and just focus on facts – Commercial Appeal

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 […]

Family support makes transplants easier to take – Commercial Appeal

SUBMITTED PHOTO Juana Boyland won medals in several events in the 2002 Transplant Olympics. She underwent a lung transplant. 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 […]

Dr. Manoj Jain: Alert wife assists on doctors’ diagnosis – Commercial Appeal

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 […]

Culture change on obesity will take time – Commercial Appeal Article

“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 […]

Cautionary tales make anti-smoking ads effective – Commercial Appeal

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. […]

How much does it cost? Even doctor is stumped – Commercial Appeal

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 […]

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 […]

Pioneering physicians’ life stories are treasures – Commerical Appeal

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. Calvin McBride (right) and family friend Rev. Kip Cole, both of Jackson, Tenn., […]

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 […]

What kind of sick? Symptoms, treatment differ among cold, flu, bacterial infection – Commercial Appeal

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. RICHARD ROBBINS/THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL Trembling, she went home, turned up the heat and got under the blankets. Over the […]

Test pattern: Doctors rethink paradigm for cancer screening – Commercial Appeal Article

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. His PSA came back at […]

Depression common following an operation – Commercial Appeal Articles

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. When I asked him how he was doing, he […]

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 […]

U.S. doctors can take cue from medical tourism – Commercial Appeal

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. Extremely satisfied with the service and the price, my mother […]

Diwali at the White House – Washington Post

Thursday evening my teenage daughter asked me to help her review for an AP U.S. Government exam on the Bill of Rights. That she was studying the first amendment and the freedom of religion seemed fortuitous: the following morning I was to board an early morning flight from our home in Memphis, Tennessee, to Washington […]

Accepting death is difficult for patients and doctors, but it needs to be done – Washington Post

My 64-year-old patient with terminal cancer and less than six months to live wanted to go to Oregon. He was contemplating assisted suicide, which is legal there. “My life has been long and good,” he said. “I believe it is my right. I want the ability to say it’s too much, I can’t do it […]

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 […]

Waging Peace – Commericial Appeal

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 […]

LETTERS TO THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE Following the Jain Tradition – New York Times

Regarding Aidan Foster-Carter’s “To Catch a Roach” (Meanwhile, Sept. 27): Last Saturday night, coming home from a party, we found a roach, a spider and an ant in our kitchen. Gently, I got the roach to climb on to the bristle part of the broom; my wife captured the spider in a cup, and our […]

Knowledge is weapon in fight against silent killers – Commercial Appeal

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. “Not only can this happen, but it could be happening right now,” I said. This is not just my opinion but also that of the Centers […]

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 […]

Big pharma and patient care – Commercial Appeal

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. He told me I was a “thought leader” in […]

When Good Bedside Manner Becomes An Afterthought – Talk of the Nation : NPR

Medical schools strive to teach students the importance of good bedside manner in communicating with their patients. But sometimes, in the midst of examinations, paperwork and delivering difficult news, showing compassion can become an afterthought for doctors and nurses. Listen to the story Transcript JENNIFER LUDDEN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I’m Jennifer […]

Video : Do We Ration Healthcare

Click here for video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVi5Yd6536Y

Video : H1N1 Declaration Gives Hospitals Flexibility – CNN

President Obama’s declaration that the swine flu is a national emergency is supposed to give more flexibility for how the outbreak is handled. So what exactly does that mean? Fredricka Whitfield put that question to Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease specialist in Memphis, Tennessee.

Doctors Can Be Doubters – Washington Post

My patient is an elderly man with end-stage congestive heart failure, kidney failure and now an infected dialysis line, and he is unlikely to live more than six months. The Bible lies on his bedside table next to his hospital breakfast tray and the morning newspaper. I wonder if I should pray with him. A […]

Time for a check up – Shelby Sun

The odometer on my Toyota Avalon just passed 100,000 and soon the “check engine” light went on. It was a reminder that I needed to take my car for routine servicing. Thought it is annoying the “check engine” light is an “in the face” reminder of needed preventive services. Likewise – I wish there were […]

Meningitis Vaccine for Teenagers – Shelby Sun

Our pediatrician poked a pen in my teenage daughter’s arm and said “That’s how much it will hurt, or I will give you ten dollars” He was talking about the meningitis vaccine. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the spinal cord, and can be caused by bacteria or virus. Often patients complain of […]