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Brian Secemsky, M.D.
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Brian Secemsky, M.D. is a primary care physician currently practicing in San Francisco. His interests in medicine include preventive health, patient communication/education and medical journalism. The goal of his writing is to expose those who are interested in medicine to various healthcare topics as well as attempt to break down the jargon of scientific literature into something everyone can understand and learn from.

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Articles published by Brian Secemsky, MD are not direct medical advice and solely represents the author.

Entries by Brian Secemsky, M.D.

Breaking It Down: Controversy Over The U.S. Dietary Guidelines

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 9:46 AM

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the long awaited 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As in prior iterations of this federal publication, all stakeholders, including the industry and academia,...

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Breaking It Down: Electronic Cigarettes

(31) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 10:45 AM

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the world and shaves off years of the lives of long-term smokers. The prospect of tobacco-free, nicotine-rich cigarette use as a potential deterrent to tobacco use in the United States has become a controversial health issue since electronic...

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Acknowledging the Competing Incentives in Medical School

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 4:46 PM

The rigorous four years of medical school is often heralded as the most defining period of a physician's career. It is a stage of marked intellectual and emotional transformation; what was a college-degree neophyte adept at biology and test-taking soon emerges as a novice physician ready to train in the...

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How Should Clinicians Discuss the Side Effects of Medications?

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 2:39 PM


While studying for a certification exam, I came across a question that stayed with me well after taking the practice test. The case discussed a patient who was prescribed antibiotics by his physician for a presumed bacterial illness and then returned...

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A Doctor's Words

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 12:00 PM


Many physicians studying, training and independently practicing medicine today have questioned the future of their profession. I am no exception to this. At the worst times of my career, I cannot escape the growing unease of feeling like another cog in the wheel....

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A Call to Integrate Commercial Airline Emergency Training in Medical Education

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 1:43 PM


Flying on a return trip from Chicago to San Francisco, I can't help but feel a little on edge. It's not the fear of flying that is leaving me a little less relaxed than the pleasant, middle-aged woman peacefully slumbering in the seat...

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Evidence-Based Medicine and the Newly Trained Physician: A Relationship in the Works

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 11:07 AM


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been classically described as the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. At first look, this well-accepted approach to clinical medicine appears not only...

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It's So Obvious That You Are a Med School Student

(3) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 5:31 PM

We don't even have to ask, and you certainly don't need to get out your credentials.

It's so obvious that you are a med school student.

And it's not just the short white coat and student identification badge half-hidden in your linen pocket that say it all.

We've seen you...

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Why Older Physicians Should Write

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 12:02 PM


Experiment 1. Stop five random people on your way to work and ask them to name the top public advocates of health and wellness that come to mind.

Do I dare speculate that more than a few would mention Dr. Oz....

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Breaking It Down: The End of Medical Training

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 1:15 PM


We've almost made it.

Long gone are the purgatory stints of library study, slaving to solve esoteric problems relating to planks and pulleys. Innumerable several-day exams have been conquered and tucked far away in our memories, hopefully never to haunt us again....

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The Rise of the Employed Physician

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 2:59 PM


As the youngest member of a family of doctors, it was not uncommon during my childhood to spend summers at my father's private practice. I fondly remember greeting the familiar office staff as I recklessly ran amok among an endless array of rickety...

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Why Every Young Physician Should Have a Professional Twitter Account

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2014 | 4:37 PM

You -- a medical student, resident physician or newly minted medical attending -- are late in the game. Sure, you appropriately hopped onto Facebook during your first few years of college, only to rightly disengage around the advent of newsfeeds and cover photos. You passively signed up to LinkedIn last...

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The Generation Y Physician

(9) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 10:08 AM


Tech-savvy. Attention-craving. Lazy, good-for-nothings.

These are a few of the many traits that have been commonly bestowed upon those born around the last two decades of the 20th century. Commonly known as Generation Y, this demographical cohort of 20-30-somethings has certainly sparked...

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Let's Ban the Phrase 'Studies Show' From Medical Lingo

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 1:29 PM


Come on.

We've gone through four dreadful pre-medical years of learning everything from the composition of atoms to how an apple exerts force when falling off a tree. We've taken a massive exam full of content mostly unrelated to our future field...

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It Is So Obvious That You Work the Hospital Night-Shift

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 8:40 PM


You've changed.

No longer do we see you sluggishly walking en-route to work every morning with refillable coffee thermos in one hand, robotically scanning some kind of social media feed with the other.

We are concerned that the once regular and...

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Breaking It Down: Gluten Sensitivity

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 3:33 PM


As a resident of San Francisco (and with Los Angeles just a drive away), I cannot escape the food hate. Whether it be a campaign against cooked provisions, farmed products or anything of solid consistency, I cannot help but wonder if any possible...

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Health Care 101: How Doctors are Paid

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 10:17 AM

As our nation struggles with the mind-boggling algebraic-like task of reigning in on health care expenditures while increasing provider access and high-quality medical care, provider payment structures are in flux between traditional payment methods and relatively new financial structures.

While I am no means an expert of health policy nor...

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Cracking the Myth: Does Cracking Knuckles Cause Arthritis?

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 1:48 PM


Knuckle-cracking. Annoying? Yes. Pleasurable? Extremely. Dangerous?

I'm used to random medical questions from friends and family, but this one really got me. Is knuckle cracking associated with arthritis? To my dismay, I didn't have an educated answer.

Until now.


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When Doctors Don't Know

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 2:33 PM

Picture this.

You walk into your doctor's office for an urgent visit for new distressing symptoms. He (or she) takes your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate. All within normal limits. He asks you several questions pertaining to your symptoms, does a thorough exam and perhaps orders a quick in-office lab...

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Scaling Back on Fish Oil: An Evidence-Based Update

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 1:09 PM

Over a year ago, I questioned my daily supplementation of omega-3 fatty acid (triglyceride-reducing agents found in fish oil) by looking at some evidence for and against its health benefits. After this mini-literature review, I decided to continue taking fish oil tabs despite the lackluster evidence for improved...

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