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Viewing blog posts categorized under "General"

Tincture of Time

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 8, 2014 at 5:35pm

I was thinking about the notion of healing at our weekly All Staff meeting recently as we went through the recitation of our patients and examined their progress as a group.  I can’t tell you how often we need to remind ourselves of that “fifth dimension” to healing: time.  There’s a reason old fashioned physicians counseled younger ones to prescribe a “tincture of time” for many of the ills their patients experienced.

It’s actually a bit like baking bread. Bread needs basically five…

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Obamacare

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 9, 2013 at 3:42pm

As I write this blog it is the first day of the new Affordable Health Care Act.  This is a big day, perhaps bigger even than we are able to see right now.  Love it or hate it, it is designed to be a game changer for the common man (and woman and child).  It is, and has been, subject to intense opposition, much like the initiation of social security in 1936 and medicare in 1965, although now people can scarcely imagine life without the safety net that those two programs provide all of…

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DNA Detective

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 11, 2013 at 3:18pm

I read an article about an artist/scientist who creates models of perfect strangers from bits of their DNA extracted from hair and bodily detritus left behind, inadvertently, by all of us every day.  Her name is Heather.  An innocuous enough sounding name, right?

Watch this video and you are guaranteed to have your mind blown.  And by blown, I mean blown apart, because so many different issues are raised in such a short video that it’s hard to even list them all.   And what strikes…

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The importance of cooking at home

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 4, 2013 at 10:23am

For those of you who remain unconvinced that the value of home cooking goes beyond the cost savings, please be aware of the effects that processed food packaging can have on all of us, especially on infants and children.

An increasing body of research has suggested that obesity may be associated with (triggered by? exacerbated by? caused by?) so-called “obesogens” in our environment, such as known endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (aka BPA).

Take the example of green beans.  Say you…

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Cook, My Darling Daughter!

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 18, 2013 at 11:14pm

Cook, My Darling Daughter! is the title of a cookbook from the 1950’s I found in a secondhand bookstore and gave my eldest daughter as a young adult.  She had little experience of cooking, since in our family parents cook for their kids, and even though her brother and at least one of her younger sisters were determined foodies and excellent cooks, she had never been interested.  She was content to be fed, and since this was consistent with the culture of our family, her disinterest…

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License to eat: obesity and longevity

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 21, 2013 at 3:23pm

According to Wikipedia Medscape is: a web resource for physicians and other health professionals. It features peer-reviewed original medical journal articles, CME (Continuing Medical Education), a customized version of the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE database, daily medical news, major conference coverage, and drug information—including a drug database (Medscape Drug Reference, or MDR) and drug interaction checker. All content in Medscape is available free of charge for…

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The Creative Destruction of Medicine

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 10, 2013 at 8:41pm

I have been reading a book that I highly recommend to readers of my blog.  It's called The Creative Destruction of Medicineby cardiologist Eric Topol.  This book is a discussion of the inevitability and utility of the convergence of the Internet, digitalization of humans, and genotyping.  It is about the resultant new science of individualized medical care, and the democratization of medicine. 

I have come to think that without radical, game-changing, paradigm-busting shifts in the…

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I stand looking out of the picture windows in our living room this morning after the fourth of July, looking at our farmer’s field.  

Why is he our farmer?  Because although we own the land, he does the work.  Every year he decides what will be planted in the roughly eight acres that stretch below me and merge into the dozens of others, creating the near view.  Will it be rye?  Will it be oats? Or fescue?  This year it is wheat and by July 4th the wheat has headed up and begun to form…

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Anorexia Nervosa Case Report, Circa 1684

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 23, 2011 at 2:50pm

As promised, here is the first patient case report by Richard Morton in his 1689 book, Pthisiologia. My comments are in regular italics and his original text in bold (with original, Stuart England grammar and spelling!).

History 1

Mr. Duke’s Daughter in S Mary Axe (a medieval parish in London memorialized by a modern London street of that name) in the year 1684. and the Eighteenth Year of her Age, in the month of July fell into a total Supression of her monthly Courses from a…

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Anorexia Nervosa in the 17th century

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 16, 2011 at 3:38pm

There seems to be a discussion that simply will not die in the world of eating disorders (particularly when it comes to anorexia nervosa) around whether the “desire for thinness” is culturally bound and whether AN is a “modern phenomenon”.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy of Pthsiologia, a book written in 1689 by Richard Morton, an astute observer and physician of his day.  Morton’s description of two cases—one in a boy and one in a girl-- of what we now call…

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