General Medical

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! Advice for a Medical Monday

Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

2473681347_cb0fb9fe44_bBliss out! (Photo by aptmetaphor via Flickr)


A long time ago, Dorothy Parker told us grudgingly, “You might as well live.” I’m more positive than Parker; my philosophy is, “You might as well live it up.”  Here are my Ten Tips for Living the Good Life:

1. Eat everything you want and drink lots of large containers of sugary soda. I can find ten studies that report that people who are overweight live a long life and certainly have fun.

2. Have sex with new partners, and don’t ask any questions or use condoms. By the time you ask the questions, all the romance is gone. And no man likes using a condom.

3. Why put yourself through those expensive preventive tests? The U.S. government has sent out bulletin after bulletin telling us that mammograms and Pap smears and colonoscopies are overrated. Take the slow-medicine road and expect to be lucky,

4. Don’t be shamed out of smoking cigarettes; people smoke in all the other countries. We grow the tobacco, but they get to enjoy it. Where’s the fun in that?

5. Forget about wearing sunblock, and don’t listen to those pale-skinned nerds who stay out of the sun and warn about skin damage.  Get a tan. We know how sexy that is.

6. Talk on your cellphone while you’re walking fast on the sidewalk in heels and clutching two large packages. Who says we have to watch where we walk or we’ll break a bone?  Girls have to multi-task or we won’t ever get anything done.

7. Eat late every night and have a double espresso at the end of a long night. Why not? Those pesky Mediterraneans do it and everyone says they live forever. And if you can’t sleep, take a pill.

8. Forget about sweating at the gym, running in the park, lifting weights. You will just damage your joints and get foot pain. Where is the health benefit in this?

9. Drink wine at lunch, and enjoy a cocktail before dinner and have wine with dinner. So what if you put on a few pounds in the middle and lose a few friends from booze-induced volatility?  

10. Don’t floss. It takes time and is disgusting.  I am sure that the government will issue a report that this is bad for us too.

                                                                   ♦ April Fool! ♦

WVFC readers, you know better than to practice magical thinking. Actions do have consequences.  These are 10 real steps toward leading the good and healthy life:

• eat mindfully (and you know what’s not healthy) to  prevent  obesity, diabetes, and heart disease

• use condoms and good judgment with new sexual partners 

• have preventive medical tests that are recommended by your doctor 

• never smoke

• wear sunblock and stay out of the sun from the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• focus on your surroundings  in order to prevent falls 

• develop good sleep habits

• do aerobic exercise, stretching, and light weight lifting

•  consume  alcohol in moderation

And of course, dear readers, you need to floss.


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  • ellen sue spicer-jacobson April 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Dr. Pat,
    This is a great way to point out all the ways we can improve our lives! ellensue

  • patricia yarberry allen April 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Free at last! I get to return to jury duty in August. At least my patients will all be on vacation. Now I am prepared at least: There is no place for any food that I would eat, so I must bring my own. Must bring ear plugs to avoid hearing the inane comments made by the men and women who run this pit for “ordinary citizens” who apparently can not read the form and fill in the circles. Nail file and chewing gum, hot pants and high wedge sandals in bright colors(it will be summer when I return). At least I can take a vacation and be someone else for month.

  • Roz Warren April 1, 2013 at 10:15 am

    thanks for a good laugh. and then some good advice.

  • Diane Dettmann April 1, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Dr. Pat, It sounds like lots of germs AND tons of material for future WVFC posts!

  • Patricia yarberry allen April 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I have been called to jury duty
    And am in a holding area with
    people coughing and texting
    Expect comments throughout
    the day and this is not April Fool joke

  • Diane Dettmann April 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Thanks, Dr. Pat, for your April Fool’s joke and the timely “good and healthy life” list! It may be April 1, but here in Minnesota, with the snow on the ground and blustery wind, it feels more like November. In spite of the weather, taking your advice and heading out for a Minnesota walk/run. 🙂