Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Three unusual cases

My latest post on Physician's Weekly is about three cases that you don't see every day. Find out the story behind the x-rays below.


The one on the left is called "You couldn't do it again if you tried."

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Who still uses a pager?


Here's my latest post on Physician's Weekly. Who still uses a pager? Probably more than you think. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

More germs than a toilet seat


My new post on Physician's Weekly. "More germs than a toilet seat." Why is the toilet seat the gold standard to which everything else is compared? To read it, click here.

Monday, May 20, 2019



My new post on Physician's Weekly is Who is my doctor? The advent of hospitalists and "teams" of physicians has negatively impacted patients' perceptions of who is taking care of them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019



Here is my latest post on Physician's Weekly. 

"Do you have CoPaGA Syndrome?" Do you even know what it is?

You can read it here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Diagnosing appendicitis

I have a new post on Physician's Weekly. My thoughts on diagnosing appendicitis: What works and what doesn’t .

Thursday, March 14, 2019

New post. “Master herbalist” convicted of practicing medicine without a license in death of 13-year-old


Here is my latest post on Physician's Weekly. It's the sad story of a “master herbalist” who convinced a mother to treat her newly diagnosed diabetic son with herbs instead of insulin. He was convicted of practicing medicine without a license, a misdemeanor and was sentenced to only 4 months in jail.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Should residents appear on medical reality TV shows? I say "No."



Here is my latest post on Physician's Weekly.

Should residents appear on medical reality TV shows? I say "No."

Friday, February 22, 2019

Doctors share amusing comments seen in patient charts


"Doctors share amusing comments seen in patient charts" is a new post of mine on Physician's Weekly. Here is the link

Monday, February 4, 2019

An unusual end-of-life case


I just posted a new article on Physician's Weekly.

An end-of-life case with a different twist. It's very easy for things to go wrong.

Here's the link.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A letter to my loyal readers

Dear readers,

You may have noticed my blog posts have decreased in number over the last year or two. A couple of factors have brought about this change.

After blogging for more than eight years, I am running out of ideas. When I started, I had accumulated a number of things I wanted to say about medicine, surgery, medical education, research, and other topics.

The second issue is the Blogger platform I use is very clunky and slow. I’m sure it has discouraged people from commenting. It even runs slow for me. I just can’t face the hassle of migrating the blog to another site like WordPress.

I am going to try to blog exclusively for Physician’s Weekly, a website I have written for regularly over the last six or so years.

Yesterday, I posted “Odd medical stories. The third one is jaw-dropping” on the PW site. Here is the link.

Whenever the next post is ready, I will link to it from here so those of you who are on my email list will know a new piece is available. I hope the extra click is not too inconvenient for you.

Of course, I will continue to promote my blog on Twitter. If you have not followed me there, you can by finding my twitter handle, @SkepticScalpel.

I thank you for reading and hope you will continue to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Skeptical Scalpel

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Should residency program directors look at applicants’ social media activity?

Please take a look at my new post on Physician's Weekly: My thoughts on whether residency program directors should review applicants' social media activity.

Friday, January 4, 2019

For longevity, is it better to be short or tall?

Being short is associated with worse outcomes for critically ill adults.

A large retrospective study of 233,000 men and 184,000 women consecutively admitted to 210 ICUs in the UK over a six-year period found hospital and ICU mortality decreased with increasing height after adjusting for available potential confounders. The difference was statistically significant.

The definition of short or tall was based on the median height of the subjects—175 cm (5’9”) for men and 162 cm (5’2”) for women. These figures are nearly the same as the averages for non-hospitalized adults.

The study had several limitations. Height was measured in just 44.5% of the group while the rest were based on estimates. However, the authors noted the median estimated height was exactly the same as the measured height for men and only 1 cm different for women, and measuring height in critically ill patients is difficult.