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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Emotional States and Sudden Death

It has been known anecdotally for thousands of years that acute positive or negative emotions can trigger sudden death. Indeed, there is even a Bible story about a man who died suddenly when confronted with a rebuke from one of Jesus’s disciples: “St. Luke reports that when Ananias was charged by Peter, ‘You have not […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

Do We Learn More from Our Mistakes than from Our Successes?

For years I have believed that you can learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. It is a dictum that I have quoted many times on rounds with residents and students. I tell them that I still remember the mistakes made as an intern, but the success stories have faded from my brain. […]

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patient's view of surgery looking up at doctors

Appropriate Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors: A Double-Edged Sword

We read with great interest the article published by Wombell et al in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine. The authors summarize the evidence linking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection.1 They also provide a description of the possible mechanisms responsible for this association. We commend the authors for their timely contribution to the […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

Is Science Important? A Recent Lecture

Recently, I was invited to give a lecture in honor of MDs/PhDs graduating this year from Aarhus University in Denmark. The requested topic was “Is science important?” When I first received this invitation, I thought “Come on!! Is there really an educated, rational person living in the 21st century who thinks that science is not important?” […]

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nurse showing an elderly woman something on a tablet in office

Implications of Medicare’s Value-Based Payment Initiative for Specialty Health Systems

Despite the current uncertainty about the direction of health care reform in the United States, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) appears poised to transition from standard fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payments in the coming years. These new models, which were codified in the Medicare Access and CHIP [Children’s Health Insurance Program] Reauthorization […]

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