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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff.

First clinical trial in medicine changed world history

MedPage Today
August 15, 2018
Clinical investigators spend their entire careers in the hope that they might participate in one or two trials that actually change medical practice. Many researchers fail to achieve that goal. And for those who succeed, the results of their work are often ignored by colleagues for many years.

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Unspoken: Doctor depression and suicide

Newsy
August 9, 2018
Mitchell Hardison, 62, was a well-known family doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina. He had what appeared to be a perfect life with a family, success, and patients who respected him. But Hardison ended it all on a fall day in 2015. He drove to a secluded cul-de-sac a few miles from his office and shot himself in the chest. A construction worker found his body the next day. Hardison had a secret: He was depressed and felt he couldn’t seek treatment without jeopardizing his career.

This mini-documentary from Newsy delves into the topic of doctor depression and suicide and offers a touching look at the people affected by this issue.

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An Appalachian odyssey: Hunting for ALS genes along a sprawling family tree

STATNews
August 5, 2018
The man had come for a third opinion. Other doctors had told him he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neuromuscular disease that causes progressive paralysis, but he didn’t believe them. In his hometown of Ewing, Va. — just east of the state’s mountainous meeting point with Kentucky and Tennessee — a handful of his relations had had the same thing, and they knew it as cancer of the throat. They lost the ability to chew, swallow, and speak, they lost weight, and then they died.

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Poison control calls spike for unapproved drug that produces opioid-like highs

STATNews
August 2, 2018
Calls to U.S. poison control centers about an unapproved antidepressant that has opioid-like effects have climbed dramatically since 2015, according to a new analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tianeptine is used as an antidepressant in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But it’s easy to buy the drug online as a diet supplement or research chemical and is sometimes abused, because it can give users an opioid-like high.

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To keep women from dying in childbirth, look to California

NPR
July 29, 2018
When Cayti Kane delivered a baby boy via cesarean section last year, her team of doctors was prepared. Kane had been diagnosed with placenta accreta, a condition that increased the likelihood of a dangerous hemorrhage during delivery. When that happened, she had an emergency hysterectomy. Kane and her son went home healthy.

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Can ‘Social Determinants’ Data Really Improve Patient Care?

MedPage Today
July 23, 2018
In what some suggest is another ethically questionable version of medical sleuthing, companies are now scanning public records that provide clues to individuals’ “social determinants of health,” or SDOH—such as arrest records, bankruptcy filings, voter registration, address changes, and marriages and divorces—that, in combination with traditional prognostic tools, may predict an individual’s likelihood of future healthcare needs and costs.

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