Common Sense Family Doctor

Archive for Common Sense Family Doctor

The Opioid Epidemic

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInShare

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our Facebook Page and on our website. Today’s topic involves the opioid epidemic. 

Some of you will remember the death of OU football standout Austin Box in 2011. His drug overdose was one of more than 50,000 deaths a year in an opioid epidemic that is now near the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Common Sense Family Doctor discusses aspects of this great challenge, and the role of primary care in meeting it.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Primary care confronts the opioid epidemic, published April 7, 2017

Posted in: Common Sense Family Doctor, Health Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Orthopedic Procedures to be Avoided or Questioned

Some orthopedic procedures should be avoided, or at least questioned

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our Facebook Page and on our website. Today’s topic involves orthopedic procedures. 

This essay from the Common Sense Family Doctor relates some interesting information that might provoke questions and even anger. But things we routinely did in the past (radiation for big tonsils, freezing duodenal ulcers, routine gallbladder removal for all gallstones) have fallen into disfavor based on better science.

This essay should at least call into question some procedures being recommended routinely.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Patients: steer clear of these six orthopedic procedures, published March 1, 2017

Sincerely,
Dr. Birdwell

Posted in: Common Sense Family Doctor, Health Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Evidence Based Sleep Apnea Screening

Common Sense Family Doctor is a new feature on our Facebook Page and on our website. Today’s topic involves sleep apnea screening.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor Here

Screening means testing people with no symptoms. Since it is difficult to make a person without symptoms feel better, the reason to screen is to find people who are “sick” (even though they show no symptoms) and for whom treatment may prevent serious or fatal things from happening.

Taking blood pressure is a good example of a simple screening test in a person having no symptoms, and we do it all the time because finding and treating high blood pressure is known to reduce the incidence of stroke and heart attack.

MainStreet Clinic treats a number of people whose fatigue, profound sleepiness, headaches, etc. are better because of treating their sleep apnea. But for people without symptoms, screening for sleep apnea would be beneficial only if it prevented bad things from happening in the future.

Advocates of sleep apnea screening point to the belief that untreated moderate to severe sleep apnea leads to cardiovascular events — strokes and heart attacks. But the latest and strongest clinical evidence refutes this. Today’s Common Sense Family Doctor explains why sleep apnea screening for people with no symptoms is not recommended in our MainStreet Clinic practice, and indeed in any evidence-based practice.

We believe in doing for our members what is of demonstrated value, based on you and the best information available.

Sincerely,
Dr. Birdwell

Posted in: Common Sense Family Doctor, Health Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Health Screening Data and Harms

Here’s a timely essay on health screening data. The Common Sense Family Doctor says, “Causing needless worry about cancer or another absent health condition can seem trivial compared to the prospect of saving a life.” But there are many harms associated with many types of screening, and the data on lives saved is actually quite surprising.

Read more about the psychological harms of screening

Sincerely,
Dr. Birdwell

Posted in: Common Sense Family Doctor, Health Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →