A Medical Dispatch for Well Beings

Volume 5, Number 5 | September 2023

“For every effect, there is a side effect.”


Welcome back from summer! I hope you are all refreshed and ready to get your health optimized. I recently returned from a reputable longevity conference in Copenhagen where I was asked to give a talk: The challenges of being a GP in the midst of a longevity hype-cycle. The University of Copenhagen’s Grand Hall was buzzing with scientists, doctors, companies, hackers, and investors. After two full days of listening, talking, and observing, it is clear that people do not yet agree on the definition of longevity.

My main takeaway is that living a long, healthy life starts with the small decisions we make. There are no silver bullets, no age reversing tonics, and all the fancy diagnostic tests are yet to be pressure-tested by the critical eye of science. For anyone who has emailed with me over the years, the quote at the end of my signature line from Aulus Cornelius Celsus, written in 50 AD, still holds true today:

“Live in rooms full of light. Avoid heavy food. Be moderate in drinking of wine. Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics. Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water. Change surroundings and take long journeys. Strictly avoid frightening ideas. Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements. Listen to music.”

That’s why this month, we’re taking a look at sleep. As my friend and sleep expert Dr. Tony Masri says, “The fountain of youth is in the bedroom.” He and Dr. Britney Blair join us to illuminate the importance of sleep and how to embrace your own circadian rhythms.

“The fountain of youth is in the bedroom.”

Also in this issue, we continue to explore how AI will affect our world. Pediatrician Dr. Sarah Greene interviews Boston Children’s Digital Wellness Lab’s Dr. Michael Rich, discussing how to prepare your kids for the school year with this generative technology — which Dr. Rich describes as a power tool.

Next, we take a deep look into how menopause treatment has changed in the last 20 years. Members of both our women’s health and primary care teams are in conversation about what women should look out for before they even hit perimenopause and how treatment can benefit your all-cause mortality.

Also in this issue you’ll meet Silicon Valley internist Dr. Leslie Sheu and get the latest on infectious diseases this fall from Dr. Geemee Chung.

AI Should Be Treated as a Power Tool

Parenting in the age of AI is a new frontier, but the truth is, AI is nothing new. If we reframe our understanding of it as any other power tool we need to teach our kids how to use — for example, teaching them to drive a car — we can create a healthier space in which to learn how to positively use this generative technology in the classroom and beyond. Pediatrician Dr. Sarah Greene explores how to confront AI and back-to-school with the founder and co-director of Boston Children’s Digital Wellness Lab, Dr. Michael Rich.

State of the Science

Achieving Optimal Sleep Is About Trusting an Intuitive Process

Increasingly, the quality of one’s sleep is shown to be a biomarker for other health issues. Just like a body temperature, blood pressure, or respiratory rate that’s too high or too low, not getting enough or getting too much sleep can indicate or lead to other health effects. As a result of these findings, people have more awareness around the importance of sleep. Here, sleep medicine specialists Dr. Tony Masri and Dr. Britney Blair discuss how to achieve optimal sleep, including the use case for sleep aids, the effects of sex and alcohol, and embracing your own circadian rhythm.

Women's Health Spotlight

What Every Woman Should Know Before Menopause

Our understanding of perimenopause and menopause care has drastically changed in the last 20 years. Now, women are encouraged to look out for a wide array of symptoms, with potential treatment starting as many as 10 years out from menopause. Our women’s health team Dr. Sarah Isquick and Dr. Sally Greenwald are joined by primary care doctors Dr. Amy Levin, Dr. Colleen Ryan, and Dr. Leila Alpers to outline how our scientific understanding of this time of life has changed and what every woman should know before they enter perimenopause.

Clinical Spotlight

Dr. Leslie Sheu

Meet one of our Silicon Valley internists.

Infectious Disease Update

The RSV Vaccine, COVID Boosters, and More to Look Out for This Fall

Our infectious disease expert, Dr. Geemee Chung, on what to be aware of this fall.