Gretchen Bosacker, M.D., hasn’t been asked for opioids or benzodiazepines (medicines like Xanax or Ativan) in six months. A family medicine physician, she takes a full hour for lunch every day. Her office staff tsk-tsks if she doesn’t take her morning break, and a hot cup of tea arrives when she needs it.

She does paperwork during protected time carved out during her work day. A nurse runs through the litany of preventive health questions before the patient sees her, so she already knows the answers to things like “When was your last Pap smear?”

She fills out a patient’s…

Image: Anatomy of the arm and shoulder demonstrating correct vaccine injection site.

You’re finally eligible and got one of those elusive appointments! Or maybe you’ve been on the fence, and have finally decided to join your vaccinated friends. Congratulations. Here are some tips for how to have the best vaccine experience.

  1. Clear your schedule. Whether taking the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J vaccines, many people have reported temporary side effects — well worth the reduced risk of dying because some anti-mask person coughed in your direction in a restaurant. Some of the most common side effects include a sore arm, headaches, fatigue/needing to sleep for many more hours, and heavier and off-cycle menstrual…

A crowded Costco
A crowded Costco

In January 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported alarming numbers of positive COVID-19 tests from popular businesses including Home Depot, Target, and Costco, with hundreds of staff members infected. Seven Costcos in the area had at least 15 infected staff, according to the Times.

The infected workplaces highlight a troubling fact: Despite social distancing messages outside and long lines to get in, simply going to get a bag of dog food or a new faucet could be a deadly exercise in Los Angeles. I saw why when I visited one of these Costco stores the day before the Times article…

Please send me a DM @medjournalist if there’s someone you want me to add.

Listings either have a charitable component, are woman-owned businesses, or both.

Maskapalooza! (Woman-run) (Chloe Alpert)

Classy (Woman owned)

The Stylery (Woman owned)

Stephanie Jass is selling homemade masks, DM her on Facebook to buy.

Geek Crafters is an online costume company that’s currently using their resources to make face masks to not only protect you during the COVID-19 pandemic, but to also help their community. …

As American hospitals struggle to admit waves of coughing, feverish patients to medical wards and intensive care units, physicians are finding themselves at war with the competing interests of other hospital employees. Early in the American days of the COVID-19 pandemic, one critical care physician resigned her position due to the unsafe practices she felt were endangering her patients and her staff. She feels she must remain anonymous, given the notorious cancel culture within medicine.

She had started the job only recently, a prestigious academic position. …

Did the Artists Den Succeed in Bringing Soundgarden Back ?

When I first learned the PBS-concert-supplier outfit Artists Den was putting on an immersive Soundgarden concert experience, a full film of the band’s 2013 Los Angeles stop on the King Animal tour, I brimmed with anticipation. Carried away in my imagination because of some recent virtual reality experiences and a friend’s professional focus on virtual and augmented reality, I pictured a circular dome. Gigantic concert footage would be projected on the dome, and we would feel closer to Soundgarden and the late Chris Cornell than ever before. There would be…

Did Daenerys Targaryen have PTSD?

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells”, featured a neat victory — thrown completely awry when Queen Daenerys incinerated huge swaths of already-surrendered King’s Landing. This led to heartbreaking choices viewers saw in the finale, when those who loved the queen most had to act in the best interests of those she had not already killed.

Many viewers dismissed the episode as a pretty piece of art with lazy-to-no storytelling. GOT’s audience wanted the kind and just woman from the beginning of the series to conquer and rule as peacefully as possible, though…

Unsuccessful medical school applicants face a quandary. What to do next?

A popular option has been the master’s degree in public health. Students figured it was a way to spend a year doing something “health-related.” They could take off for medical school interviews, maybe write a paper or two. But the MPH is too easy a route. It is not enough. Here is what the MPH telegraphs: “I sat down for a year in easy to moderate difficulty classes and passed. I have a broad overview of public health.”

Note: none of this says “I have a new skill” “I…

Hundreds of medical residents train in their specialties in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, but since the closure of the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, the spigot of fresh physicians who knew that area’s patients well stopped. The county-run hospital had been in Willowbrook, near Compton and Watts. The U.S. military sent their teams to the hospital for gunshot wound training. Still, it was shut down in 2007 due to too many episodes of poor patient care and chronic mismanagement.

Read the entire article, originally published on 4/26/2018 on The Center for Health Journalism here.

Monya De, MD MPH

Words @stat @abcnews @economist @latimes Interests: #meded, integrative med, health policy, tech, environment. Internal medicine MD based in LA. Go @stanford

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