About Jamie Colbert

Jamie Colbert

Jamie is a former NEJM Editorial Fellow and a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. He completed his internal medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and attended medical school at Stanford University.

All posts by Jamie Colbert

A randomized trial of MRSA-control strategies in the ICU

• June 12th, 2013

As healthcare workers we have become accustomed to seeing that yellow sign on the door indicating that a patient is on “Contact Precautions” to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) infection. So we dutifully wash our hands and put on gown and gloves prior to entering the room to examine the patient…. Read More…


The role of nurse practitioners in primary care

• May 16th, 2013

Sara is a 31-year-old healthy female professional living in Boston who gets her medical care at a large, multi-provider primary care clinic. When Sara goes to the clinic for a routine visit, she sees a nurse practitioner (NP) about 75% of the time.  Sara says that she chooses to see the NP rather than an… Read More…


Diabetes Care Goals: Are We Making Progress?

• April 24th, 2013

As a medical resident in primary care over the past three years, I cared for a large number of diabetic patients, and each one seemed to present a unique challenge. For instance, Walter, who was legally blind, lived alone, and required daily treatment with insulin. After numerous discussions with our clinic pharmacist and social worker,… Read More…


Circulating Tumor DNA

• March 27th, 2013

Fifty years ago, oncologists relied upon the clinical exam to follow breast cancer patients with metastatic disease. Patients were treated with chemotherapy, and then the physicians waited for symptoms to return before deciding on the next treatment course. Some patients could go months or even years without symptoms, but during this time they played a… Read More…


Two novel agents for extended treatment of venous thromboembolism

• February 20th, 2013

Venous thromboembolic disease (VTE) and pulmonary embolism have been major causes of human morbidity and mortality for thousands of years, yet our understanding of the pathobiology of this disease was rudimentary until the 1840s when German pathologist Rudolf Virchow discovered that blood clots in large veins of the lower legs could travel through the right… Read More…


Checklists for Management of Acute Surgical Crises

• January 16th, 2013

A 65-year-old man is undergoing a right knee replacement operation at a major U.S. hospital. The orthopedic surgeon has successfully inserted the hardware and is getting ready to close up the incision. Everything is going well until suddenly, the patient’s pulse jumps to 150 beats per minute and his blood pressure is no longer detectable… Read More…


Still searching for an effective malaria vaccine

• December 14th, 2012

In May, 1796, British physician Edward Jenner inoculated his gardener’s eight year-old son with fluid from a cowpox blister that he had extracted from the hand of a local milkmaid. Jenner hypothesized that exposure to cowpox would protect the child against the related disease of smallpox. He later injected the boy with smallpox and the… Read More…


Benefits of Aspirin for Prevention of Recurrent VTE

• November 9th, 2012

For thousands of years the bark and leaves of the willow tree have been used for alleviation of fever, aches and pains.  The Ebers Papyrus, which dates from 1500 BC and is one of the oldest surviving medical texts, mentions the use of  willow as an important component of Ancient Egyptian pharmacopeia. However, it wasn’t… Read More…


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and the Obesity Crisis

• October 10th, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City recently proposed a novel experiment to combat the rising obesity crisis in the United States – banning the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) larger than 16 ounces.  According to New York Public Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, the new ban is based on evidence that sugary drinks are the… Read More…


Tiotropium and the ancient datura plant: Revisiting the role of antimuscarinic therapy in asthma

• September 6th, 2012

For centuries the datura plant has been used for treatment of respiratory disease. The plant, also known as jimson weed or devil’s trumpet, is a potent member of the alkaloid family with antimuscarinic properties. American physicians in the 19th century would commonly recommend patients to smoke datura leaves for relief of asthma and obstructive airway… Read More…