Inside Medicine Week In Review (February 4, 2023).
Quick catch up, solid reading recs, and my appreciation to you!
It’s the Inside Medicine “Week In Review”! This is meant to be a convenient way to find what we've covered this week (in case you missed anything or never got around to reading something you’d flagged) and a chance for me to share some good stuff from other writers and outlets (“What I’m Reading”).
The big thing for Inside Medicine this week was that we got major coverage in the New York Times. In a great and thorough piece on the gap between Covid deaths and all-cause excess mortality (by David Wallace-Wells), a lot of work first published right here in this newsletter was highlighted. David impressed me with his intense curiosity. He asked important and insightful questions during his process and even when things got complicated, he wanted to know more.
Here’s this week’s Inside Medicine entries. Please “like” and share them!
Monday: Data Snapshot: Updated Covid-19 vaccine and booster rates, by age.
Tuesday: Why ER doctors always ask patients if they take blood thinners.
Wednesday: The CDC shows up to debunk the Washington Post's inaccurate opinion on Covid counts.
What I’m Reading. These are items written elsewhere that I found important and interesting (note: some may be paywalled or require free registration):
Is WHO ready to end the global health emergency over Covid? Maybe not just yet. (Helen Branswell, STAT News).
Commentary: President Biden said the Covid-19 emergency will end in May. We’ve had deadlines for renewal come up before, but this one is poised to be the real deal. Whether this is a major problem or not will really depend on whether “the things” that the state of emergency has permitted to occur will just continue but under different umbrellas. Meanwhile, the WHO is watching China and other places with concern that the worst is not behind us everywhere.
The ER has become a sanctuary for society’s unmet needs. (Sabreen Akhter, The Seattle Times).
Commentary: My view of the world has drastically changed since becoming an ER doctor. This piece by a colleague in Seattle says it well: “If you want to understand where all our nation’s most enduring, most heartbreaking and infuriating sociopolitical crises filter down to, spend some time in an ED. If you want to see how those multiple, generational crises affect the most vulnerable of our society, go to a pediatric ED.” So true. Take a read.
New Blood Donation Rules to Loosen Restrictions on Gay and Bisexual Men. (Christina Jewett and Emily Anthes, The New York Times).
Commentary: The appearance of HIV/AIDS meant that Gay and Bisexual men were barred from donating blood—and have been for decades. But what matters is not sexual orientation, but behaviors. Gay men in monogamous relationships are a lower-risk group than many others you could think of. Ending blanket discrimination makes a lot of sense, and is the right thing to do.
Tweet of the week (Yes, I’m still on Twitter, so you don’t have to be):
If you don’t know who Dr. Glaucomflecken, you should. He’s actually funny and has a genuinely good heart. This profile of him in STAT News from last year is a wonderful summary of his journey.
Thanks for liking and sharing the newsletter every day! That helps the content here gain further reach. And, as always, a special thanks to the upgraded subscribers who make such great comments. Increasingly, that’s the pulse of this newsletter, and I hope to see the community continue to grow so that the conversations can be even more robust.
Also, let me know if you have topics you’d like me to cover.
Have a great Saturday!
I really enjoy the ER “stories”. Would love you to do a deep dive on the state of Long Covid: risk of getting it after having had multiple vaccines and/or covid itself, age-related risk, current treatments, possible cures, etc. Thank you!
Nice! You nailed it with your comments on the ER. Keep up the great work!