Massachusetts Medical Society's Physician Focus

2012 SEASON

 
Doctor’s Rx: Physical Exercise
(DECEMBER, EPISODE 103)
Physical exercise has been touted as the closest thing to a “fountain of youth,” with benefits that reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, other chronic diseases, and even depression. Some even claim it boosts brain health. Yet less than half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity, and only 31% of high-school students attend physical education classes daily. Why don’t more people exercise? What are the barriers that prevent people from doing so? Can it really reduce chronic illness and promote brain health? Just how valuable is exercise to overall health?
Youth Substance Abuse: Treatment
(NOVEMBER, EPISODE 102)
Physician Focus takes another look at the critically important topic of youth substance abuse with Sharon Levy, M.D., director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children's Hospital. She discusses ways parents can talk with their children about substance abuse, how parents might spot a problem, the role of the primary care physician in addressing abuse, and the services and treatment options provided by the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases
(SPECIAL EDITION, EPISODE 101)
Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Lyme disease are infectious diseases that each year cause concern among residents and prompt response by public health officials. This Physician Focus program, a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Medical Society and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, will examine the topics of mosquito and tick borne illnesses. The discussion will include such areas as the dangers these threats pose to humans, who is most at risk, and what residents can do to protect themselves against these infectious diseases. The guests will also address some popular misconceptions about these conditions.
Medicine's Greatest Achievements
(OCTOBER, EPISODE 100)
The severity and long-term health effects of concussions – mild traumatic brain injuries or TBI - are now being recognized by coaches, parents, players and fans at all levels, but concussions aren’t limited to just collision sports. This Physician Focus episode examines the aspects of TBI and concussions, their leading causes and health consequences, and what is being done by public officials, schools, and other groups to prevent and reduce their incidence, including new laws and regulations by states to protect players in school-based activities.
Concussions
(SEPTEMBER, EPISODE 99)
The severity and long-term health effects of concussions – mild traumatic brain injuries or TBI - are now being recognized by coaches, parents, players and fans at all levels, but concussions aren’t limited to just collision sports. This Physician Focus episode examines the aspects of TBI and concussions, their leading causes and health consequences, and what is being done by public officials, schools, and other groups to prevent and reduce their incidence, including new laws and regulations by states to protect players in school-based activities.
Adult Vaccinations
(AUGUST, EPISODE 98)
Vaccines are some of medicine’s best preventive measures and have an extraordinary record of effectiveness and safety in preventing disease. While most children get their recommended immunizations, adult vaccination rates remain low. As a result, more than 50,000 adults in the U.S. die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Youth And Substance Abuse
(JULY, EPISODE 97)
Substance abuse by youth remains a personal and public health concern. The abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamines, and prescription drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior. What are the latest national and local trends in alcohol and drug usage by youth? What causes such behavior? What are the long-term consequences? And what can physicians, parents, schools and others can do about the problem?
Understanding Lupus
(JUNE, EPISODE 96)
Lupus is a chronic disease of the immune system that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans, with an estimated 16,000 new cases reported each year in the United States. The condition can range from mild to life-threatening and produces a range of symptoms similar to many other conditions, making diagnosis tricky. Discussion will include the characteristics of this disease, who is most susceptible to it, how it’s diagnosed, and available treatments.
Healthcare and Information Technology
(MAY, EPISODE 95)
Information technology is fast becoming a part of health care, much of it being prompted by federal and state programs. Physicians and hospitals are now tied to computers, tablets, and even mobile devices, using such tools for such purposes as e-prescribing, electronic health records, and even diagnostic procedures. Patients can now even secure their own electronic PHR’s - personal health records. What does this IT wave mean for healthcare? Will its use improve quality of care and outcomes? What impact will it have on patients and the physician-patient relationship?
Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke
(APRIL, EPISODE 94)
Cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, causes more deaths than any other disease in the U.S. To reduce this burden, the Centers for Disease Control, along with state and local public health departments, have begun the Million Hearts initiative – a campaign to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.
Rare Diseases
(MARCH, EPISODE 93)
The Orphan Drug Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1983 to support and encourage companies developing therapies for rare conditions, defines a rare disease as one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals. Some conditions may affect a few thousand people; some, just a handful.
Healthy Babies
(FEBRUARY, EPISODE 92)
Having a baby is a wonderful event in a couple’s life, and perhaps the most significant action a woman can take to ensure a healthy baby is to prepare for it – well before becoming pregnant.
Wound Care
(JANUARY, EPISODE 91)
The human body has a wonderful ability to heal itself normally from injuries and wounds, but certain conditions can impede the healing process. These conditions can result in chronic wounds, and those may require specialized treatment at wound care centers.
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