Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Kislev 5766 - December 7, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Director, Emergency Services, Bikur Cholim Hospital

This column is meant to be provocative. It is written from my perspective — but I am a physician and really want to hear the other side. Physicians in the USA are rarely overworked and are paid well. Religious doctors are interested in working with religious patients — they understand them. And many, many Americans are well-versed in medicine and are willing participants in their care.

Recently, I sat with the head physician of one of the kupot — I will not say which — and he complained how hard it is to work with chareidim. It seems that we have a reputation of not valuing quality. Often, quality is determined by a neighbor or an askan, and therefore the kuppah does not succeed with quality physicians since often they are not listened to. Furthermore, we are very tough on physicians. Complaints abound, while appreciation is minimal, and therefore doctors do not want to work with us.

Is there something to this? Definitely there are communication problems. Physicians often do not talk to their patients in Israel, and do not appreciate what they want. On the other side, doctors often feel abused, and that their advice is considered worthless.

Is this physician correct? Let me hear from you about what the problems are: what do Israelis really want and where could we both improve our communication and expectation.

Alopecia is balding not related to regular male balding. This can be from many reasons. Chemotherapy and radiation exposure are well known causes, but another cause includes a disease of the body attacking the hair follicles as invaders, the same group of diseases such as Crohn's disease and arthritis. Steroids which blunt this response are often necessary. If you are balding, even if it is normal balding, you can grow hair with a drug called minoxidil, but when you stop using it, hair will fall out. Hair also falls out in anorexics.

West Nile Virus has hit the USA and it is common here. We have spoken about it. The winter is the time to make sure that by spring there is no standing water around which breeds the mosquitoes that spread this disease, which can be a problem in the elderly and kids. By the way, these folks should be getting flu shots as well. Write me in care of the Yated.

A message from GlaxoSmithKline, sponsor of this column. Tums works for acid reflux and heartburn, but did you know it is an excellent source of calcium, too? A double benefit. And available without prescription.


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