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Joseph S. Alpert, MD

Are You Planning to Sign Up for a Trip to Mars? Extreme Environmental Health Consequences of Space Travel

In this issue of The American Journal of Medicine, Lipman et al report on therapy for a serious environmental medical condition.1 My commentary below describes an even more serious environmental condition with multiple dangerous and even life-threatening consequences. Recently, one of my colleagues and I at the University of Arizona heard a lecture by one of the retired […]

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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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