No More Zero Days

A man’s life is what his thoughts make it. – Marcus Aurelius Anyone who is a regular on Reddit has probably read the “zero days” post. A redditor posted a comment about his lack of success in life and accompanied despondence, to which redditor ryans01 posted his now famous reply. Ryan’s four step plan to…

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Can We Change a Mind?

Have you ever tried to convince someone that she should vaccinate her children? Or that she should have a vaginal birth after cesarean in the hospital rather than at home? Have you ever tried to convince someone to vote a different way? Or to take a prescribed medicine rather than an alternative medicine? Have you ever tried to convince…

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Where Does the Fat Go?

How do we lose weight? Yes, I know, diet and exercise. But where does the weight actually go? This was a question asked in a short article in 2014 in the BMJ, which you can read here. The authors point out that many people have misconceptions about this question, believing perhaps that fat is “converted…

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Antenatal Testing

A patient of mine moved out of state after her last pregnancy. She’s pregnant again and doing fine at about 12 weeks. Yes, I’m sad that she left me. But she e-mailed me recently wondering why I didn’t do a bunch of antenatal testing that her new doc says she must have. Specifically, the new doctor…

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Prophylactic Salpingectomy?

Should we perform prophylactic salpingectomy whenever possible to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer? Over the last five years, many gynecologists have made it routine practice to perform bilateral salpingectomies at the time of hysterectomy whenever possible to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, and some have extended this to making bilateral salpingectomies their method…

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The Hippocratic Oath

NB: This is not normal howardisms fare, but I needed to put it somewhere for reference by others. Don’t feel obligated to read it unless you’re interested in the topic. The Hippocratic Oath: A Commentary and Translation Introduction The Hippocratic Oath is one of the most popular selections of ancient literature, even though the original…

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Fake News (aka, Ob/Gyn Clickbait)

I think a lot about how and where doctors get the information that informs how they practice medicine. In medical school, doctors learn information in the basic sciences that is often a few years out of date. They usually have too much belief in the principles they learn in the basic sciences, because that information…

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The Facts Speak For Themselves

I recently went to an ACOG-endorsed educational activity in Washington DC. The speaker, from a nearby local university, fancied himself an expert on the subject matter. The subject matter itself is quite controversial, so his opinions about it are not the opinions of all experts. At one point, he presented two papers which disagreed with his…

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