Clinical & Health Affairs

Disruptive Docs

When a physician exhibits behavior that is out of line, it may be a sign of a larger problem. Medicine is a stressful profession. The hours are long, the work is demanding, and a wrong decision can have deadly consequences. In recent years, changes in the medical environment—cutbacks and staffing shortages, increased scrutiny and accountability, … Read more

Spreading Germs

A medical historian looks at how diseases from foreigners have fueled fear. When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed, Howard Markel, M.D., 2004, Pantheon. A medical historian looks at how diseases from foreigners have fueled fear. When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded … Read more

Five Payment Models: The Pros, the Cons, the Potential

By Janet Silversmith on behalf of the MMA Work Group to Advance Health Care Reform ■ Among the leading strategies to reform health care is the development and implementation of new payment models. The goal is to change the way physicians, hospitals, and other care providers are paid in order to emphasize higher quality at … Read more

Creating Optimal Healing Environments in a Health Care Setting

By Terri Zborowsky, R.N., Ph.D., and Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N. Abstract  As evidence about the benefits of healing environments accumulates, health care organizations are starting to incorporate features into hospital design that reduce stress and promote healing. This article discusses some of the research supporting healing design and provides examples of how it is … Read more

Skin-Lightening Practices and Mercury Exposure in the Somali Community

BY AMIRA ADAWE AND CHARLES OBERG, M.D., M.P.H. Somali women often use creams and soaps to lighten skin tone, fade freckles or get rid of age spots. Use of these products raises a health concern, as some have been found to contain mercury. This article describes an investigation that involved interviewing Somali women about skin-lightening … Read more

More than Friends and Followers

Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are connecting organ recipients with donors. Brenda Stormoen needs a kidney, and she’s hoping one of her 400-plus Facebook friends might be able to help her find one. A Minneapolis legal assistant, Stormoen has been living with glomerulonephritis since she was 9 years old and has already … Read more

Single-Payer, Health Savings Accounts, or Managed Care?

Minnesota Physicians’ Perspectives By Joel M. Albers, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Breanna Peterson Lathrop, Kirk C. Allison, Ph.D., Charles N. Oberg, M.D., and James F. Hart, M.D. ABSTRACT The United States is facing a health care crisis with the number of uninsured Americans exceeding 46 million and health care figurpremiums and overall costs increasing at 3 to … Read more

“Crash” Was His Name; Car Safety Was His Game

Forty years later, the innovations of a University of Minnesota engineering professor are still saving lives. In a most literal sense, James “Crash” Ryan earned his nickname. A professor in the University of Minnesota’s mechanical engineering department from 1931 to 1963, Ryan not only crafted safety features for cars but also crash-tested them himself. Ryan, … Read more

Resolution of Recurrent Clostridium difficile-associated Diarrhea Using Staggered Antibiotic Withdrawal and Kefir

By Johan S. Bakken, M.D., Ph.D. Abstract Eight patients, each of whom experienced recurrent episodes of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, were treated with staggered and tapered oral metronidazole or vancomycin combined with daily intake of kefir, an over-the-counter liquid probiotic dairy product. All eight successfully resolved their infection and did not experience any further diarrhea after … Read more

Dispelling the Chronic Lyme Disease Myth

By Melissa M. Kemperman, M.P.H., Johan S. Bakken, M.D., Ph.D., and Gary R. Kravitz, M.D. Abstract  Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness endemic to Minnesota that can have potentially severe complications. As the incidence of Lyme disease continues to increase, it is important for physicians in Minnesota to become familiar with its clinical aspects, including … Read more