Weekly Health Columns

April 19, 2017

Self-evaluation May Determine alcohol Use Disorder

“Do you think I drink too much?” a friend of mine asked one day while we were having my only and her first glass of wine. My bland answer was, “It’s not important what I think, it’s important what you think.” The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that according to a 2015 […]

April 12, 2017

Speaking of Colonoscopies, It’s All Behind Me Now

A few weeks ago I received a letter from Sandpoint Surgery Center. I knew what it was going to say, so I sent a quick email to my primary care provider to ask if she really thought I needed to have another colonoscopy since I’d had one just a few years ago. “I think colonoscopies […]

April 5, 2017

There’s a Difference Between Discipline and Child Abuse

There were seven of us sitting on the floor of my cousin’s bedroom playing Monopoly. I must have been around six. I’m sure we were all making a lot of noise. That’s what kids do. All of a sudden my uncle burst into the room, obviously angry. He grabbed my seven-year-old cousin Mel and started […]

March 29, 2017

Take a Moment Tomorrow to Thank a Doctor

In the first two years of medical school a fledgling physician will double his or her 15,000-word vocabulary with mostly Latin-derived words that are difficult to pronounce. Then, eleven or more years later, and after a cost of at least a quarter of a million dollars they can put their name, including the M.D., on […]

March 22, 2017

Only You Can Prevent Accidental Poisoning

In the fall of 1961 Congress passed a joint resolution requesting that the President of the United States proclaim the third week of March National Poison Prevention Week. On February 7, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed the proclamation to make it happen. (Note to children: yes, Congress and a President once actually agreed on […]

March 15, 2017

BGH awarded Level IV Trauma Center designation

You know you’ve made a lot of visits to the emergency department when they greet you by name when you arrive and you remember theirs. This isn’t small town, everyone knows everyone, this is you’ve been there before, several, maybe too many times. Don’t ask how I know this! The National Center for Health Statistics […]

March 8, 2017

PT may be treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome

“I had a nerve conduction test about four weeks ago and have been told today that I have carpal tunnel syndrome,” wrote a woman named Louise on a patient forum. “My doctor has referred me to a surgeon. Is there anyone out there who surgery has worked for?” Most of the respondents had sad tales […]

March 1, 2017

Cellphones are breeding grounds for bacteria

“I can’t believe I have another ear infection!” Angie said recently. “It’s the third one I’ve had this winter. And, don’t tell me I don’t wash my hands enough, I wash them so often they’re as dry as the desert.” Her RN sister quickly asked, “When’s the last time you cleaned your cellphone?” Angie thought […]

February 22, 2017

Tuberculosis down but not out

When he was nineteen years old, George Washington (whose birthday is today, you know) had never been farther than 200 miles from where he was born. As a matter of fact, he’d hardly been out of the state of Virginia. His brother’s tuberculosis diagnosis gave him exposure to a different world and two serious diseases. […]

February 15, 2017

U.S. Presidents not the heart healthiest bunch

Malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, dysentery, diphtheria, and notorious tooth decay are just some of the afflictions George Washington endured. But today, as we look forward to a long weekend to celebrate former presidents, we’re going to take a look at some of those who suffered from heart disease. It’s still Heart Health Month after all. William […]

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