She was my 3:45 p.m. return visit. She had been a new patient with dyspepsia and I had found Helicobacter pylori–gastritis on endoscopy. She had marketplace-based coverage (silver, high-deductible plan), which was why she had to travel from her community to our university for care. That she did not look like me (older white male) was an understatement. She was so enthusiastic as she thanked me for helping her. Then she described how she, her husband (both hourly-wage, working adults) and their two young kids had gathered around the dinner table to discuss how they could reduce their food allowance for 2 months to have money for mom’s H. pylori medication. She said her entire family was grateful for the help to get her well. It was a moment of grace. She is why I keep fighting to make our health system great again.
Our cover articles this month discuss HCV treatment in patients with special risk factors or co-conditions. Fascinating information will emerge from studies like the article about artificial sweeteners. Scientists studied hunger-related enzyme levels and brain blood flow with functional MRI’s in obese and lean individuals after ingesting placebo and sucralose-containing solutions. Results might influence our weight loss advice to patients. Worried about malpractice? See our third front page article.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who filled out the readership survey last fall. We are proud that you identified GI & Hepatology News as the best overall source for news information in gastroenterology.
John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF
Editor in Chief