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Erin N. Marcus, M.D.
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Erin N. Marcus, M.D., M.P.H. is a general internal medicine physician and associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. For the past decade, Dr. Marcus has provided primary care to a predominantly low income patient population in inner city Miami. She also directs a population health curriculum for medical students and is a former member of the National Board of Medical Examiners’ Ambulatory Care test writing committee.

In 2009, Dr. Marcus was one of three physicians nationally to receive an American Cancer Society Cancer Control Career Development Award for Primary Care Physicians. She has received grant support from The Ford Foundation to write about health disparities for the ethnic media and general press. She is a former American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She has served as an author of numerous academic chapters and articles, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and the perspective section of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The views expressed by Dr. Marcus are her own and don't necessarily represent those of her employer or grant funders. Her articles are written for informational purposes only, and aren't a substitute for personal advice from a trained medical professional.

Entries by Erin N. Marcus, M.D.

Fibroids: Time to End the Stigma

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 2:44 PM

It's common for women to experience weariness and discomfort during their periods. Yet few want anyone else to know they're having such symptoms. Menstruation, in the words of Karen Houppert, author of The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo, has a "culture of concealment" that associates...

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'A Marathon, Not a Sprint': Enroll America Tells Uninsured Floridians About the Federal Exchange

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 8:49 AM

With a huge uninsured population, and a legislature that refuses to carry out the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Florida has been a focus of national efforts to promote enrollment in the ACA's federal health insurance exchange. A few days before the exchange opened, I spoke with Nick Duran,...

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Simple Tips for Creating Patient-Friendly Health Materials

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 3:19 PM

Clear communication from doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics is essential for patients to manage their health care effectively. But creating easily understood materials isn't simple. Many health workers don't realize when they're using technical terms, and many non-medical people have problems reading and understanding scientific and mathematical concepts.

Fortunately,...

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Dr. Sonjia: A Multicultural Dr. Ruth for the 21st Century

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 3:41 PM

Dr. Sonjia Kenya considers herself a multicultural Dr. Ruth for the 21st Century. She grew up in San Francisco, the daughter of a mother of English descent from Plymouth, Mass. and an African-American father from Shreveport, Louisiana. Dr. Kenya (or Dr. Sonjia, as she prefers to be called)...

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Do Current Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines Neglect Race?

(12) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 4:58 PM

Marc Henderson, a 63-year-old African-American airport executive, isn't afraid to ask his physician to do a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a screening test for prostate cancer. "I'd rather know early on so that it can be treated, rather than sit around in denial until it's too late," he...

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Watch Your Step: There Might Be a Needle on the Sidewalk

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 2:05 PM

On a recent afternoon, Hansel Tookes stood on a sidewalk in downtown Miami, peering into a thicket of scraggly weeds. "I found a bunch over here," he said, edging toward an overpass. A small orange plastic cap came into sight, and next to it two slender insulin syringes, with the...

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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring: Easy And Valuable

(4) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 8:23 AM

Sometimes, the simplest tools in medicine are the ones that give us the most useful information.

Take the humble blood pressure machine, for example. It's been around for years, and it's cheap, compared with a lot of other medical devices. It's simple to use, and it doesn't require a...

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Three Weeks After Japan's Disaster, What Are the Real Risks in the U.S.?

(39) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 8:26 AM

Three weeks after the onset of the nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima, Japan, many residents of the U.S. are fearful about the possible health effects of radiation traveling across the Pacific.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an independent scientific research-based environmental advocacy group, has been...

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Health Effects From the Gulf Oil Spill One Year Later

(5) Comments | Posted March 23, 2011 | 2:56 PM

Nearly a year after the BP oil spill, people living along the Gulf of Mexico are still feeling the effect of the disaster, the largest oil catastrophe in history. To learn more about the spill's health effects, I recently spoke with Dr. Gina Solomon, an Associate...

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Haiti: A Deportation Death Sentence?

(9) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 7:22 AM

The U.S. government announced last month that it would resume deportations to Haiti, despite a cholera epidemic and political unrest. To learn more about the deportations, I recently spoke with Cheryl Little, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami.

Q: Why...

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National Cancer Institute's Helpline: A Valuable, Underused Resource

(3) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 7:10 AM

Brenda Bryant learned she had breast cancer while she was sitting alone in her car in the parking lot of her grandson's day care center. It was early evening on a Friday two years ago, and her surgeon called to tell her the results of a biopsy. "He just gave...

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Cholera in Haiti: A Look From the Trenches

(4) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 7:33 AM

To learn more about the current health situation in Haiti, I recently spoke with Dr. Andre Vulcain, co-director of the Justinien Hospital family medicine residency training program in Cap Haitien. Justinien Hospital is Haiti's second largest public hospital, and the residency is a collaborative program between the University of Miami...

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The Lesser-Known Complications of HIV/AIDS

(14) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 6:51 AM

At the age of 56, Jules Levin felt pretty invincible, despite being HIV positive. He went to the gym regularly and controlled his disease well by taking his antiretroviral medicines every day.

Then he slipped one day while on vacation and broke his wrist. He underwent an operation to...

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10 Tips for Kicking the Smoking Habit

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 10:04 AM

Tobacco is the single biggest cause of preventable death and disability in the United States. But nicotine is highly addictive, and quitting the cigarette habit can be extremely tough. L.J., a 55 year old man who gave up smoking after 35 years, proves that it can be done. In L.J.'s...

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Low-Income Health Care: Exploring Medical-Legal Partnerships

(1) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 12:02 PM

Staying healthy is tough if you live in mold-infested housing, can't afford food or electricity, or are about to lose your home. The National Center for Medical Legal Partnership (NCMLP) brings together lawyers, doctors, nurses and social workers to help patients with problems that may have a legal...

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Skin Cancer Doesn't Discriminate

(31) Comments | Posted September 23, 2010 | 7:00 AM

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Ivis Febus-Sampayo (center) with members of her immediate family (Courtesy, Ivis Febus-Sampayo)

The mole on Ivis Febus-Sampayo's face looked odd. But it wasn't until her son needed treatment for acne that she went to a dermatologist.

"As mothers, we're working, we're busy," she...

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Interview: While the NGO's Thrive, Haiti's Doctors Need Help

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2010 | 2:17 PM

Six months after the earthquake in Haiti, I spoke with Dr. Herold Merisier, president of the South Florida chapter of the Association de Médecins Haïtiens a l'Étranger (Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad). Dr. Merisier earned his medical degree at the State University of Haiti and then trained...

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Know Your Options

(25) Comments | Posted August 21, 2010 | 8:00 AM

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Stanley Thornton, Colorectal Cancer Screening Advocate
(Courtesy, Stanley Thornton)

It's exceedingly uncommon for a healthy middle-aged man to walk into his doctor's office and demand a colonoscopy. But even though he lacked a family history, Stanley Thornton, an African-American...

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9 Essential Steps for Regulating Your Blood Pressure (PHOTOS)

(68) Comments | Posted August 6, 2010 | 7:00 AM

When her gynecologist told her she had high blood pressure, Marie Alcindor had a simple solution: switch doctors. After all, she had gone to him for a different problem, and this was the first time he had ever checked her blood pressure. "He said, 'Oh my God, you're like a...

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Renters: Know Your Health Rights

(59) Comments | Posted July 23, 2010 | 7:00 AM

Whenever I diagnose a person with asthma or allergies, I usually ask a few questions about his or her living environment. Is there shag carpeting in the bedroom? Is the air conditioning filter changed every month? Is there evidence of roaches and other vermin?

I ask these questions because mold,...

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