Sometimes in the pediatric ophthalmology clinic, things just don’t go my way. While we all love our patients, some of them can be a little (OK, a lot) more draining than others: the uncooperative 6-year-old who could read the smallest line of the eye chart in 10 seconds last time, but decides to stubbornly dig in his heels and make me beg for every Snellen letter over 15 agonizingly slow and oppositionally defiant minutes. Next door is the 4-year-old with supposed low tone who suddenly has more strength (and appendages) than John Cena when I try to put eyedrops in. Should it really take four of us to put eyedrops in this kiddo?Read more

As I write this, one quarter of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, while half have had at least one dose. If the vaccines offer us significant protection against the assorted variants in world circulation, there is hope that we may entertain a gradual return to pre-pandemic life once the vast majority of the population has been fully vaccinated. Here in the United States, debates about re-opening businesses and schools still rage, but a pervasive sense of “giving up” also is in the air.

“We’re tired of being under restrictions, and some people are vaccinated, and other people don’t care, so let’s just reopen,” is the rallying cry.Read more

February 14, years ago, my wife and I made an early exit from a Heinz Hall Pops Concert. We wanted to beat the crowd to the parking garage elevators. I was wearing only a sport coat and tie with my stethoscope still in my pocket as I had made a late exit from the office and deferred dinner. 

We succeeded and stepped into one of the elevators as it left with only the two of us. As the door opened on a top floor, my wife saw a man from the adjacent elevator collapse in the exit area. I stepped out and saw he was not moving.… Read more

Clinical and public health guidance related to COVID-19 has evolved over the last year. The Allegheny County Health Department provides the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) for physicians on common clinical and public health COVID-19 scenarios.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates people with an infection (e.g., COVID-19) from people who have not been diagnosed with the infection, while quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 but are not yet experiencing signs or symptoms of the infection.

What is a close contact?

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.Read more

Newborn screening (NBS) has been cited by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) as one of the most impactful public health initiatives of the 20th century, and in the 21st century has undergone significant expansion through improved techniques of high throughput biochemical analysis, enzymatic activities and specific molecular defects. Screening is particularly indicated for medical conditions in which early treatment is more effective than treatment in later stages of the condition. Population screening adds a requirement of broader societal benefit to those related to individuals. Until recently, more than 130,000 babies a year in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania underwent 10 mandated tests for rare genetic and metabolic diseases in addition to tests for hearing loss and cardiac defects.Read more

By Deval (Reshma) Paranjpe, MD, MBA, FACS 

The siege has lasted one year now. One year since the pandemic caused our lives to change in ways we’d never imagined. One year since everything shut down and all manner of unthinkable things ensued. One year since we started to see both the best and the worst of human nature brought out by crisis on a daily basis, both in the news and in our everyday life.

We may be done with the pandemic, but the pandemic is not done with us. Some people are living in a strange reality, believing that the pandemic is over for them (and for the rest of the world) because they’ve been vaccinated.… Read more

Most of us are comfortable living in the present time despite the threat of the pandemic. Many people talk about “the good old days” when life was perceived as simpler. Sometimes, however, a life-altering event invites us to think about how that event would have been managed in the past. This past July, I suddenly awoke at 3 a.m. with a burning sensation in the middle of my chest. My first impression was that it was gastrointestinal reflux. However, as I became fully awake, I realized that the burning sensation was accompanied by severe substernal chest pain. I also was aware that I had broken out in a cold sweat.Read more

Because I wanted to be a doctor, my mother made sure I had books with female role models in medicine. As a girl, I read about “Molly Pitcher” giving Revolutionary War soldiers water to drink. I knew that Florence Nightingale was “the lady with the lamp” during the Crimean War and that Clara Barton was “the angel of the battlefield” during the American Civil War. I revered Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell for being the first and third women to earn allopathic medical degrees. But I didn’t know about Dr. James McCune Smith.

Growing up in Baltimore City Public Schools, I learned about the Rev.Read more

Allegheny County Medical Society

Patricia L. Bononi, MD, FACP, has been named 2021 ACMS president, becoming the 155th president and the fifth woman to hold that position. A native of Greensburg, Dr. Bononi knew at an early age that she wanted to be a physician, and found inspiration from her mother, a registered nurse, and from Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive an MD degree in the United States, in 1849. “I liked to read a lot, and I read a biography of Blackwell when I was nine,” she recalls. “It made a strong impression on me.”

Dr. Bononi attended undergraduate school at Georgetown University, where she became acquainted with the Ignatian-Jesuit principle known as “curae personalis” – a Latin phrase that translates as “care for the entire person.”

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Allegheny County Medical Society

I’ve been the business manager for Weinstein Imaging Associates for 40-plus years. During that time, I’ve seen major changes in technology, healthcare policies/practices, insurances (introduction of HMOs!), not to mention fashion, music and hairstyles. You would think the saying “I’ve just about seen it all” would apply. Sadly, the early months of 2020 and the rapid spread of COVID-19 contradicted that statement.

Everyone in every part of the world had their reality turned upside-down in 2020. And our thriving, independent Radiology practice was no exception. COVID-19 was the pandemic of our lifetime, which would eventually infect more than 20 million and kill 486,000+ Americans (according to the CDC at time of print), and crush our economic way of life.

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