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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Doctors often struggle to show compassion while dealing with patients – Washington Post

I was standing at my patient’s bedside. Mike Venata was having chills with a temperature of 103. Sweat covered his balding scalp like dew, then coalesced and rolled down past his staring eyes. Just 20 minutes earlier, a specialist had informed him that he had metastatic pancreatic cancer and could expect to live less than six […]