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.

Pioneering surgery makes a prosthetic foot feel like the real thing

STATNews
May 30, 2018
For hours on end last year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers ran the brain-controlled robotic limb through its paces, testing its capabilities on a series of patients and fine-tuning it like a pit crew preparing a race car for the Indy 500. They had patients flex the prosthetic foot: toe up, toe down. Toe in, toe out. Walk up a flight of stairs, then back down. But it was after the day’s experiments, when patient Jim Ewing was seated and chatting with the team, that they made their most provocative observation: He fidgeted, pivoting the motorized ankle, unconsciously.

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Health care options shrink as rural Southern hospitals close their doors

The Post and Courier
May 25, 2018
It makes sense to sell this old place now, but he can’t bring himself to leave her ashes. Barry Gibbs lives alone in a single-story home among the loblollies of Hyde County in eastern North Carolina. The army veteran collects a small disability check after he tore tendons in his shoulder during a fall at his maintenance job at the local school. He winces every time he stands up. He’s 64 years old and the closest hospital is more than an hour away, a distance he came to understand too well on the day she needed help.

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More patients are taking home recordings of their doctor visits. But who else could listen?

STATNews
May 18, 2018
Doctors across the U.S. have begun doing what once seemed unthinkable in a litigious health care environment: recording their medical conversations with patients and encouraging them to review the audio at home. The rationale for the practice is as simple as the smartphone technology that enables it: having a recording improves patients’ understanding and recall of their doctor visits and helps them adhere to treatment regimens.

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100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it.

VOX
May 17, 2018
When pain settled into Blair Golson’s hands, it didn’t let go. What started off as light throbbing in one wrist 10 years ago quickly engulfed the other. The discomfort then spread, producing a pain much “like slapping your hands against a concrete wall,” he says. He was constantly stretching them, constantly shaking them, while looking for hot or cold surfaces to lay them on for relief.

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Fermented foods for better gut health

Harvard Health Publishing
May 16, 2018
Naturally fermented foods are getting a lot of attention from health experts these days because they may help strengthen your gut microbiome—the 100 trillion or so bacteria and microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. Researchers are beginning to link these tiny creatures to all sorts of health conditions from obesity to neurodegenerative diseases.

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Preventing PTSD: calling Dr. Tetris?

STATNews
May 14, 2018
Preventive psychiatry, a forgotten chapter in the history of mental health, is trying to make a comeback. One area in which it is being explored is post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition represents an excellent opportunity for prevention because of the so-called golden hours: the period between experiencing a traumatic event and the onset of PTSD.

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For Every Woman Who Dies In Childbirth In The U.S., 70 More Come Close

NPR
May 10, 2018
Samantha Blackwell was working her way through a master’s degree at Cleveland State University when she found out she was pregnant. “I was 25, in really good health. I had been an athlete all my life. I threw shot put for my college, so I was in my prime,” she says with a laugh. Though it wasn’t planned, Blackwell’s pregnancy was embraced by her large and loving family and her boyfriend, who would soon become her husband. Her labor was quick, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

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Can precision medicine do for depression what it’s done for cancer? It won’t be easy

STATNews
May 9, 2018
At a growing number of research centers across the country, scientists are scanning brains of patients with depression, drawing their blood, asking about their symptoms, and then scouring that data for patterns. The goal: pinpoint subtypes of depression, then figure out which treatments have the best chance of success for each particular variant of the disease.

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Specialty practices increasingly rely on nurse practitioners, physician assistants

Fierce Healthcare
May 1, 2018
It’s not just primary care practices that are increasingly relying on advanced practice clinicians to help care for patients. A new study found that 28% of all specialty practices are employing nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The number of NPs and PAs in specialty practices increased by 22% from 2008 to 2016, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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