Commentary

Joseph Kvedar

Study raises concerns about teledermatology

By Joseph Kvedar, MD

There has been a lot of hand wringing around direct-to-consumer (DTC) telehealth. Recently, more alarms went off in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article, outlining the results of a study posted online in JAMA Dermatology that assessed the quality of DTC teledermatology. Specifically, this study aimed to test the quality of 16 DTC teledermatology services in California. They…


Timothy Lahey

Swipe right to connect young people to HIV testing

By Tim Lahey, M.D

Midway through her sophomore year of high school, my patient told her parents that she had missed two periods and was worried she might be pregnant. Stunned to learn that she was sexually active, her parents took her to the pediatrician, who had another surprise: She wasn’t pregnant but she did have HIV. I met…


Sohail Gandhi

Marcus Welby couldn’t handle today’s medicine

By Sohail Gandhi, MD

Recently, Canadian journalist Gary Mason lost his family physician to retirement. In an eloquent post, he reflected on how much he was going to miss his physician of 22 years, and how difficult it was to find himself in the position of not having the family physician. Unfortunately, as he pointed out, a growing number of Canadians are…


Laurie Mawlam

Why universal screening for autism is a good idea

By Laurie Mawlam

Over the years, Autism Canada has talked to thousands of parents and there has been a similar refrain. Early diagnosis didn’t happen for their children because too many well-intentioned health practitioners and educators dismissed early red flags and parental concerns in favour of a “wait and see” approach. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is…


Bertalan Mesko

Promising technologies needed for cancer moonshot

By Bertalan Mesko, MD, PHD

In his State of the Union address in 2016, President Obama pledged a new national effort to find a cure for cancer. This is the cancer “moonshot.” Last year, he announced the launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative – a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease. These two strategies together…


Peter Elias

Stop pushback against patient access to their records

By Peter Elias, MD

Patient activist Regina Holliday published an important article in USA today about her efforts to make medical records more easily and promptly available to patients so they can use their information to co-manage their care. Her cause is just and her story is compelling, so I was dismayed at the pushback by many in the…


Alan Cassels

Expert says: Stop pharma’s spying on our doctors!

By Alan Cassels

People often ask me – given my research on pharmaceuticals – why they always end up with another prescription every time they go to the doctor. It’s impossible to answer that in a sound bite because many factors drive prescribing: marketing, new research, patient demand, physician workloads. Let me boil this issue down to one…


Zubin Damania

We demand technology that lets doctors be doctors

By Zubin Damania, MD

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … what an uncannily accurate description of how it feels to practice in our very own “modern” healthcare system. In a world brimming over with exponential tech advances – supercomputer smartphones with user interfaces an embryo could master, an open Internet backbone that connects us across…


Zayna-Khayat

Time to reinvent healthcare for the digital age

By Zayna Khayat, MD

The provincial, territorial and federal ministers of health are meeting to renegotiate the Health Accord, which expired in March 2014. In addition to discussing the historic federal-provincial funding model, the meetings will revisit the blueprint for digital health networks – how hospitals, doctors, clinics and other medical systems talk to one another and share information….


Dr James Downar

Rationalization of meds for dying patients needed

By James Downar, MD and John Muscedere, MD

Our healthcare system remains focused on acute – emergency – care and the “therapeutic imperative” to fix everything we can fix when a patient is ill. But when someone is nearing the end of life, this approach may no longer be what the patient and their families need or want most. And it may mean…