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The Seven Ages of the Physician

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning […]

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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Challenging Patients: An International Perspective

Recently, I related the sad stories of 2 challenging patients that I had helped to care for during one of my rotations as attending physician on our internal medicine service.1 The first patient was a frail elderly lady with a number of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses who insisted on going home to her apartment where […]

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American Journal of Medicine Editor Joseph Alpert

‘Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics’: Biostatistics and Prognostication for Patients

Quite often patients ask me to predict the future outcome of their illness: “How long can I expect to live with this illness, doctor, or how dangerous is the procedure that you are recommending?” A facile answer involves quoting data taken from clinical or epidemiologic studies, but this kind of information is rarely useful for […]

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The Coronary (Cardiac) Care Unit at 50 Years: A Major Advance in the Practice of Hospital Medicine

This year, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary commemorating the publication of an article describing the results from the classic study by Killip and Kimball showing a reduction in mortality from acute myocardial infarction in patients sequestered in a specialized hospital unit1 at New York Hospital in New York City. Also described in the article was the […]

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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Stem Cell Therapy: The Phoenix in Clinical Medicine?

The Phoenix is a mythical bird with brightly colored plumage known in ancient Greek for the legend of its rebirth. After a long life, the Phoenix dies in a fire of its own making and then rises again reborn from the ashes. This myth parallels current feverish beliefs concerning the ability of stem cell therapy […]

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