Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Diabetes, the Swine Flu, and You

News reports about the H1N1 influenza ("swine flu") pandemic keep coming, but one aspect of the story is constant: although the majority of the cases are mild, H1N1 is occasionally a killer.

The first doses of the vaccine became available in early October, but supply has been scarce. It turns out the H1N1 vaccine may only need a single dose to be effective (previously, it was thought two separate doses might be needed to protect against the virus), but still all children under the age of 10 will need two doses. All of this is good news, because to date over 3,000 people have died from swine flu since it was first isolated in Mexico in April.

The deaths are frequently described as occurring in people with underlying diseases, but occasionally in healthy young adults. The underlying diseases are rarely described, and I have been watching to see if diabetes is mentioned as a comorbidity -- and it occasionally is. For example, an Italian man with diabetes and chronic heart problems was the country's first swine flu victim. While fighting the flu virus, he developed a staphylococcal infection, pneumonia and kidney problems.

So if you or your child have diabetes, what should you do?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Buying into (or is it selling out to?) social networking

Well, I've completed the superfecta.

Facebook Page? Check (Dr. Ali Mohamadi)

Twitter account? Check (@dralimohamadi)

Blog? Check (

Website? Check... almost (

Time will tell whether this is a colossal waste of time or a great new way to communicate with families I see in the office/people who are interested in learning more about pediatric endocrinology. Please let me know what you think and feel free to participate however your social networking mind sees fit.

The website, you'll see, is still a work in progress. Please let me know what adjustments you'd make. I'm open for suggestions, and unlike certain members of the Washington Redskins, I won't call you a "dim wit" if you boo me.

Be Well,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Paging Dr. Gupta -- My 2 cents on intersex and gender (re)assignment

One of my closest friends since medical school, Dr. Anuj Gupta (who is now a psychiatrist in NYC) happens to be one of the most intelligent, insightful people I know. So if he comes to me asking my opinion on anything, I know I'd better either a) know what I'm talking about, or b) do some reading on the subject.

Anuj came to me asking my opinion on something he will be discussing with his group on Friday. Not surprisingly, I had to do some reading on the subject or else risk being the butt of their jokes.

The topic is gender reassignment and whether the act of surgically changing one's sex to their "true" gender identity actually heals the psychological wounds these individuals carried prior to the procedure. The article Anuj pointed me to, written by esteemed Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Paul McHugh, MD, can be found at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who am I? Why am I here?!?!

Anyone remember this guy?

In case you've forgotten, this is the great Admiral James Stockdale, one of the most highly-decorated officers in the history of the US Navy, with 26 personal combat decorations including the Medal of Honor and 4 Silver Stars.

But chances are, if you remember him, it's for being Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. And chances are, if you remember him, it's for opening the Vice Presidential debate that year by staring into the camera with a crazed, far-off, cross-eyed look and uttering those famous words: "Who am I? Why am I here?!?!" If that doesn't do it for you, go to youtube and type in "Phil Hartman and Stockdale." Hilarity is sure to ensue.

The point is: at this very moment I feel a little like Admiral Stockdale stepping into the limelight. I know very well that outside of my parents, wife, and some wonderful families who have stayed very loyal to me as I have gone from a Pediatric Endocrine fellow at Johns Hopkins to opening my own practice in Chevy Chase... no one will probably lead this. So why should I have stagefright at this moment?