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Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor

Boston, Massachusetts
I am a physician specializing in geriatrics and palliative care. My scholarly interest is in ethical issues near the end of life, and I have written 4 books for a general audience. I see patients for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a multi-specialty group practice in the Boston area, and am a... Full Bio
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On September 17, the Ins ... by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health On September 17, the Institute of Medicine will release its report, "Approaching Death: Addressing End of Life Issues," which will be the subject of my next post. Read on »
The Methuselah Prize by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health A startling new project was unveiled last Tuesday in the San Francisco Bay area. No, not Apple’s iPhone 6 or its watch, but the Palo Alto Longevity Prize . Never heard of ... Read on »
Fountain of Youth by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health For an update on plans to locate the Fountain of Youth, see my next post. Read on »
Is Medicare on the Mend? by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health A buoyantly optimistic Paul Krugman proclaimed recently that Medicare’s woes are over—after a long period of seemingly relentlessly rising costs, costs that were rising so ... Read on »
Out of Pocket Health Care Costs for the Frail are Over $9000 by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Here's an interesting graph from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation's recent report on out of pocket health care spending by Medicare beneficiaries. More to follow on this top ... Read on »
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health What drove me crazy about practicing medicine in a nursing home wasn’t the patients, although with their many medical problems often including cognitive impairment they we ... Read on »
Modernizing Medicare by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health The Medicare Modernization Act of 2004 didn’t really modernize Medicare. It took the important step of creating coverage for prescription drugs, which are the backbone of ... Read on »
Acronyms of Doom by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health When I was in medical school, U.S. hospitals were plagued by only one kind of “superbug” or antibiotic resistant bacteria. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, abb ... Read on »
Pursuing Palliation by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health We’ve known for a long time that breaking a hip can be devastating for an older person. It often leads to a loss of independence and it's associated with a substantial inc ... Read on »
The Robot Will See You Now by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health “Disease management” is all the rage. The reason? In the US and other developed countries, most diseases are chronic rather than acute and chronic diseases can generally b ... Read on »
Kicking the Bucket by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Even though you think and behave perfectly normally, you might already have Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, you might warrant the label of  “pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease ... Read on »
Big Data, Small Data, Any Data At All by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Why is it that I still remember that the formula for the volume of a sphere is 4/3π r3, which I learned in tenth grade geometry? And why is it that I never even heard of a ... Read on »
Remembering Tacrine by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health A shiver went down my spine when I looked through the New England Journal of Medicine on November 13, 1986. There, in typically stodgy medicalese, was the report of a stu ... Read on »
Dollars for Dying by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health A recent article in the Huffington Post focused attention on an often neglected part of the American health care scene, hospice. Unfortunately, by relying largely on inter ... Read on »
Politicians: Keep Out by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health This past week, 150 Congressmen sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), urging that it approve reimbursement for lung cancer screening with ... Read on »
A POLST Post by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health For 40 years, doctors, philosophers, and patients have been trying to figure out how to make sure that people can have a say in decisions about their medical care near the ... Read on »
Hey Ho, ACO! by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Health care costs in America continue to be outrageously high and rising, although there is some evidence that the rate of rise has been slowing, at least within the Medic ... Read on »
A Tale of Two Medicines by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Imagine two versions of a medication that are essentially identical but one costs 100 times as much as the other. Using the more expensive variety enriches the drug compan ... Read on »
Step Lively by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health Riddle: What test is easy, fast, reproducible, cheap, can be done in any physician’s office and is a good predictor of mortality? Answer: Gait speed.  As the ... Read on »
The Comic Side by Dr. Muriel G. Medical Doctor Posted in: Blog Posts in Aging & Senior Health When I was growing up, my mother taught me that comic books were junk; they were not “real” books; they were worse than worthless. So I didn’t read any comic books, and as ... Read on »