Are Opioids Helpful or Harmful?

January 5, 2018
According to a report released in November 2017 by The Council of Economic Advisers, an agency within the Executive Office of the President, the opioid crisis cost the economy $504 billion in 2015. The council plans to assess the economic viability of proposed and actual interventions to abate the crisis in the near future. Yet despite the attention given to the “Opioid Epidemic” in the media, many people are unsure of the implications for the use of opioids in treating patients. What are opioids? Opioids are a type of drug that acts on opioid receptors that are naturally found in… continue reading »

Where does the flu vaccine come from?

December 22, 2017
Although the flu is often thought of as a common, relatively nonthreatening illness today, influenza was a significant danger in the era before the flu vaccine. In the most famous example of the dangers of the flu, the 1918 Spanish Influenza Epidemic claimed the lives of 50 million people. In most people, flu symptoms resolve themselves within a few weeks. But for patients who are already at risk due to other health problems, who are elderly or pregnant, or develop complications, the flu can be extremely dangerous. For these populations, the flu vaccine can make an enormous difference. In fact,… continue reading »