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American Journal of Medicine Editor Joseph Alpert

Please Say Thank You

I frequently get letters from readers regarding one of my editorials or commentaries. Editorials and commentaries in The American Journal of Medicine (AJM) are expressions of opinion by the author of the piece. Of course, most observations in the Journal deal with medical topics, although occasionally they will stray into remarks about life in general or current events. As […]

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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Emotional States and Sudden Death

It has been known anecdotally for thousands of years that acute positive or negative emotions can trigger sudden death. Indeed, there is even a Bible story about a man who died suddenly when confronted with a rebuke from one of Jesus’s disciples: “St. Luke reports that when Ananias was charged by Peter, ‘You have not […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

Do We Learn More from Our Mistakes than from Our Successes?

For years I have believed that you can learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. It is a dictum that I have quoted many times on rounds with residents and students. I tell them that I still remember the mistakes made as an intern, but the success stories have faded from my brain. […]

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patient's view of surgery looking up at doctors

Appropriate Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors: A Double-Edged Sword

We read with great interest the article published by Wombell et al in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine. The authors summarize the evidence linking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection.1 They also provide a description of the possible mechanisms responsible for this association. We commend the authors for their timely contribution to the […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

Is Science Important? A Recent Lecture

Recently, I was invited to give a lecture in honor of MDs/PhDs graduating this year from Aarhus University in Denmark. The requested topic was “Is science important?” When I first received this invitation, I thought “Come on!! Is there really an educated, rational person living in the 21st century who thinks that science is not important?” […]

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