Celebrity Diagnosis: Harmful or Helpful?

Check out this article below. Apparently a husband and wife (both physicians) have decided to take celebrity health issues and turn them into “teachable moments.” What do you think about this?

On one hand, I hate the fact that it feeds into our unhealthy obsession with people who (in my humble opinion) are not always great role models of physical or mental health. But on the flipside, it may provide more reliable information and squelch health and nutrition myths. Check out the website here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

When Your Patients Want That Pill the Stars Are Taking
By Marianne Mattera | July 26, 2010


When movie stars, rock stars, top athletes, and other celebrities use a
medicine, or an herb, or a home remedy it often makes news. News that is
likely to generate questions from patients. What do you tell them? Where do
you go to find out about these pill and potions, some of which are far from

Well, soon you can find such information at MedPage Today.

This week, we’ll begin bringing you blog posts from “Celebrity Diagnosis,” a
website run by a husband-and-wife team of physicians, Michele Berman and
Mark Boguski, who provide what they call “teachable moments in medicine” by
reporting on “common diseases affecting uncommon people” and the sometimes
uncommon remedies they use to treat them.

Like kombucha tea. That’s a folk remedy currently popular with such
Hollywood notables as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Lindsay Lohan,
Madonna, and Halle Berry. It’s supposed to be good for everything from
anorexia to atherosclerosis. And it’s the subject of the first Celebrity
Diagnosis post.

You’ll learn what the tea is, what studies have been done on it, whether
there are possible side effects, and what role it may have played in
activating Lindsey Lohan’s alcohol-monitoring bracelet — a tidbit that will
prove you’re up on the latest in the world of pop culture.

Having that reputation may not be one to which you’ve aspired, but it may
give you the cache necessary to steer some patients away from things that
are harmful.

The posts from Celebrity Diagnosis should also help you understand why
you’re getting some of the questions you’ve been getting lately, or why so
many patients are coming in asking you about a given condition. Google
searches about lupus escalated after Snoop Dog revealed that his daughter
has lupus and Lady Gaga announced she had “borderline lupus.” Berman and
Boguski knew those queries would be coming and dealt with the subject.

How they know these things, we don’t know. What we do know is that we’ll be
bringing you interesting reading — with sound research behind it — that
should help you answer the questions your patients will ask.

Look for the first installment on Tuesday and let us know what you think.