One of the great things that I have discovered while being a host on Doctor Radio is that there is no shortage of interesting topics to talk about: whether its the problems your own patients are having, stories in the news, or interesting calls that we receive on the show. Even a question you get from a friend over dinner can become a great show topic. This weekend I was talking with friends and one of them asked me a question, which I realized I had talked about on the show with one of the world's experts on the subject. Another asked me a question about their chronic heartburn, which I thought was interesting and important topic to speak about on the show.
Unfortunately, we started today's show on a sad note, the death of Tim Russert. Fortunately, to help explain sudden death and how it could happen to a man who, by report, exercised and had a physical, including a cardiac stress test was NYU-Langone's Clinical Chief of Cardiology and the Harold Snyder Family Professor of Cardiology, Judith Hochman, MD. We discussed some of the risk factors for heart disease, the importance of the appropriate use of the automated external defibrillator, and how even a well done, well read, and well intrepreted stress test can not predict every cardiac event. It was a sobering talk, and extremely important. I used this opportunity to introduce Brendon McDermott a Certified Athletic Trainer from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. He is also an Laboratory Instructor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. I love certified athletic trainers...they know so much about safe exercise for elite atheletes and, more importantly, for the rest of us. We spoke about hydration and fluids. I was chagrined to find out that my workout was not on the level of elite athelete and I would do fine replacing my lost fluids with water. OK, I knew that I wasn't an elite athelete, but I wasn't sure if a sweaty middle aged man needed Gatorade or not. We also took calls, of which there were many. As the summer goes on, and we all need to stay in shape, I will continue to have certified trainers and registered dieticians on the show.
Then it was on to GERD. Reflux is a common problem, and often responds well to medication. But what if you need to take the medicines for years and years? One alternative is surgery, and to discuss this I brought Dr. Costas Bizekis into the studio. Dr. Bizekis is an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery here at NYU-Langone and expert on performing anti-reflux surgery. We talked about how we decide who should get an operation, and a little bit on how the surgery is performed. The audience called in with some great questions to help us along.