Resources & Information

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.

Health Disparities Affect Millions in Rural U.S. Communities

AAMCNews
October 31, 2017
Rural Americans—who make up at least 15 to 20% of the U.S. population—face inequities that result in worse health care than that of urban and suburban residents. These rural health disparities are deeply rooted in economic, social, racial, ethnic, geographic, and health workforce factors.

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The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles

The New York Times
The toll that aging takes on a body extends all the way down to the cellular level. But the damage accrued by cells in older muscles is especially severe, because they do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor and number. A study published in Cell Metabolism, however, suggests that certain sorts of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria.

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To Combat the Opioid Epidemic, We Must Be Honest About All Its Causes

The Commonwealth Fund
(Excerpted with permission from the Harvard Business Review)
October 26, 2017
The opioid epidemic is a source of deep national anguish in the United States: It now kills almost 100 Americans each day, more than motor vehicle accidents. President Donald Trump today will officially declare the epidemic a national public health emergency, which should accelerate efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to identify and implement ways to combat it.

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The doctor of the future

Politico
October 25, 2017
In new healthcare systems, ‘the doctor’ is increasingly a team. Can actual physicians adapt?

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Backstories of seven disease names

STATNews
October 24, 2017
Diseases get their names from a variety of sources — from Latin or Greek root words, from place names, from the clinician who discovered them, or a well-known patient who had them. Here are seven diseases with interesting stories behind their names.

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To Mend a Birth Defect, Surgeons Operate on the Patient Within the Patient

The New York Times
October 23, 2017
The patient, still inside his mother’s womb, came into focus on flat screens in a darkened operating room. Fingers, toes, the soles of his feet — all exquisite, all perfectly formed. But not so his lower back. Smooth skin gave way to an opening that should not have been there, a bare oval exposing a white rim of bone and the nerves of the spinal cord.

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Genetic testing of embryos creates an ethical morass

STATNews
October 23, 2017
In almost every way, the 2-year-old is the child that his moms dreamed of. He loves playing with cars and trucks. He delights in entertaining others. And he’s strong-willed: He knows what he likes and what he wants. But there, in a gene tucked away on one of his chromosomes, an anomaly lurks.

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Credentials Don’t Shield Doctors, Nurses from Bias

WebMD
October 18, 2017
A majority of health care professionals—including doctors, nurses, and physician assistants—say patients have made offensive comments to them based on their age, gender, ethnic background, race, weight, or other personal traits. And nearly half have had a patient request a different doctor because of characteristics like these.

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Can you predict future brain damage? Hundreds of pro fighters are helping researchers find out

STATNews
October 17, 2017
Researchers have enrolled close to 700 mixed martial arts fighters and boxers, both active and retired, in the past six years. The ambitious goal: to learn to identify early signs of trauma-induced brain damage from subtle changes in blood chemistry, brain imaging, and performance tests — changes that may show up decades before visible symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression, and impulsive behavior.

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Blood Pressure 101

PMT Scribe Academy
October 17, 2017
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), high blood pressure is a common and potentially dangerous condition. About 75 million people in the US—or 1 in 3 US adults—have high blood pressure. An even more terrifying fact is that only about half of the people with high blood pressure have the condition under control.

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