What Skinny Doctors Don’t Get About Their Obese Patients

Let’s just keep talking about treating obesity

Fifi Trixiebell (not her real name) wrote to [email protected] asking us to discuss what medical students learn about nutrition, and whether they think the keto diet is just another fad. Luckily, Madeline Slater, Emma Barr, Kyle Kinder, and newbie Sam Palmer–M1s all–just had a unit on nutrition so that’s an easy one. But Fifi Trixiebell had written in before, a message which–despite his policy of answering every listener question–Dave had passed over. Why did he ignore it? He’s not sure; it was a while back, but it may have triggered him (though, to be clear, it wasn’t Fifi’s fault). We also discuss an article from HuffPo about the “unique and persistent trauma” doctors visit upon their obese patients.

Read more

Q&A With Dr. Paige O’Mahoney, Physician-Author and Wellness Coach

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I started medical school at age 27 after studying international relations in college and then working as a paralegal in an international law firm. I met my husband, who was also changing careers, the first day of a post-baccalaureate premed program called MedPath at the Ohio State University. I mention this because I did not choose to pursue medicine at an early age, but rather felt called to it during the course of my education and training in other areas.

Read more

Why isn’t learning about public health a larger part of becoming a doctor?

public health

Chronic conditions, such as Type II diabetes and hypertension, account for seven in 10 deaths in the United States each year. And by some estimates, public health factors, such as the physical environment we live in, socioeconomic status and ability to access health services, determine 90% of our health. Biomedical sciences and actual medical care – the stuff doctors do – determine the remaining 10%.
Clinical medicine can treat patients when they are sick, but public health provides an opportunity to prevent disease and poor health. But too often, medical students don’t get to learn about public health, or how to use it when they become doctors. That means many of today’s students aren’t learning about health care in a broader context.

Read more

What You Should Know: Talking to Parents about their Obese Children

obese children

According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity is reaching what some are calling an epidemic proportion in America: nearly two out of every three children under the age of 18 are considered to be either overweight or obese. Because of this, many doctors will find themselves in the potentially awkward position of having to talk to parents about their child’s weight problem. Because of the potential for negative parental reactions to this, it is a topic some doctors will avoid.
However, doctors who are planning to practice in family medicine or pediatrics in particular need to be able to have meaningful and positive conversations with parents so that they can work together to help the obese child to achieve a healthy body weight. Here are some things to keep in mind while having this conversation.

Read more