Dr. Ford Vox | WABE 90.1 FM

Dr. Ford Vox

WABE Medical Analyst

Every Thursday WABE 90.1 brings Atlanta an in-depth conversation on important medical news you might have missed. We call it the "WABE Medical Minute," and you’ll hear it on "Morning Edition" and later in the day on "Closer Look." Jim Burress and Dr. Ford Vox go beyond the headlines to explain what you need to know about how healthcare is changing and medical science is progressing. Vox, who also writes commentary and journalism for CNN and other outlets, doesn’t mince his words. We aim to cut through the cacophony of health news to tell you what’s bunk and what’s worth your time, attention, and even adoption. 

Dr. Ford Vox is a medical journalist and commentator who has served as WABE 90.1’s medical analyst since 2015. As an investigative journalist, Vox has twice taken on Amazon.com: first over illegal sales of prescription drugs and later, caffeine powder. He wrote wide-ranging reports for The Atlantic, ranging from an expose on how the orthopedic device industry influenced the numbers of American spine surgeons, an exploration of how a Texas newspaper got hoodwinked into helping Scientology in its battle against psychiatry, a challenge to the role of Georgia’s doctors in the state’s death penalty, and essays on media ethics. At CNN, Vox aims to apply fresh insight to the biggest stories, tackling topics like Prince’s death, Maria Sharapova’s suspension, health policy communication and physician gag laws. In his medical practice, Vox is specialist in brain injury medicine, overseeing the care in one of Shepherd Center’s two inpatient brain injury units. He graduated from Rhodes College and received his medical training at the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis and Boston University. 

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Own a hot tub, or thinking about getting in one while on vacation? In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox discuss just what can happen if it isn’t properly maintained. There’s a reason two diseases are named for their association with hot tubs. Soak safe this winter!

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In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox discuss the striking extent to which our health and even our lifespans are impacted by social influences, especially geography.

via Pixabay

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about physical problems that might all be in your head. Everything from a lump in your throat to fainting spells can actually be a manifestation of subconscious stress. Evidence now suggests doctors shouldn’t shy away from telling patients when they think a problem is “psychogenic.”

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In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about the current state of Parkinson’s disease treatment, and how wearable monitors and apps are helping neurologists adjust medications and better recognize when a new approach is needed.

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Heldman et al. Wearable Sensors for Advanced Therapy Referral in Parkinson's Disease. Journal of Parkinsons Disease. 2016 Jul 2;6(3):631-8.

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In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox discuss the rise of the peanut allergy, which is the most common nut allergy and, for some folks, can provoke a potentially deadly anaphylactic reaction. A variety of treatments are under investigation, all designed to prevent scenarios where your life depends on an EpiPen. In this segment we highlight the Viaskin peanut patch.

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In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about cardiac arrest.

Even in 2016, and with the best medical care the United States has to offer, if your heart stops and you’re still needing CPR when paramedics deliver you to the hospital, your chances of survival are less than 8 percent.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration via AP, File

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about a concerning new "trend" in healthcare: the discovery that some of the complicated devices we rely on to help save lives can sometimes spread infections between patients.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about the current predicament in Alzheimer's disease research and treatment.

We're getting better and better at predicting this common form of dementia, even 15 or 20 years before clinical symptoms develop. But treatment lags behind our growing knowledge and ability to detect the problem.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about kidney stones, some common ways to lessen your risk for them, and one very uncommon “treatment” you can find at Disney World: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

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Mitchell et al. Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2016 Oct 1;116(10):647-52.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox discuss the problem of osteoporosis and one of its most severe consequences: spinal compression fractures.

Collapsed back bones (vertebrae) can be very painful and become progressive due to curvature of the spine. There’s debate about what to do about a single new collapsed vertebra. The pain gradually improves for many people with a conservative approach, but a once-disfavored intervention, vertebroplasty, is rising in popularity again, this time with better evidence.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about reported cases of Legionnaires' disease associated with employees of Lockheed Martin in Marietta.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox discuss the most common cause of knee injury in middle aged folks: meniscus tears. The typical surgical response, an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, doesn’t appear to be any better than a regular exercise program for most people.

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In today’s episode of "Medical Minute," WABE's senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about why nerve stimulation is poised to become an important new treatment option for people living with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Koopman et al. Vagus nerve stimulation inhibits cytokine production and attenuates disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 2016 Jul 19;113(29):8284-9. 

James Gathany / CDC

In this week’s "Medical Minute," Dr. Ford Vox and Jim Burress talk about Kris Kristofferson’s case of Lyme disease, and what Georgians need to know about tick-borne illnesses in the state.

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Rolling Stone: Kris Kristofferson: An Outlaw at 80

This Oct. 14, 2015, file photo, shows the Food & Drug Administration campus in Silver Spring, Md.
Andrew Harnik, File / Associated Press

On Thursday, WABE contributor Dr. Ford Vox and "Closer Look" host Jim Burress talked about how the European Union’s system for reviewing medical devices isn’t as rigorous as what the FDA here puts companies through. But a system Europeans might want to question nonetheless may benefit Americans who drink from the cup second.

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On Thursday’s "Medical Minute," WABE's "Closer Look" host Jim Burress and contributor Dr. Ford Vox talk about the state of mental health care in America and the controversial connection to mass shootings.

The numbers of psychiatrists are in decline, as are inpatient psychiatric beds, and a recent report ranked Georgia near the very bottom of states for access to mental health care. Does the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which recently passed the U.S. House, offer some hope? 

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In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago.
Nam Y. Huh, File / AP Photo

On Thursday's "Medical Minute," Jim Burress and Dr. Ford Vox talk about the FDA’s plan to start regulating e-cigarettes, and why that’s an important step. Shady manufacturers have flooded the market with faulty devices that can cause burns and even explode, but even when they work as advertised, they have their own health risks and you should think twice. There’s plenty of evidence the e-cigarette industry is targeting kids, and using them appears to make it six times more likely a teenager will go on to start smoking regular cigarettes.

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Mike Stewart / Associated Press

On Thursday's "Medical Minute," Jim Burress and Dr. Ford Vox talk about the cardiovascular risks of city life that we breathe in. Atlanta is on the right track, but there’s no safe dose of air pollution, and thanks to a 10-year study in six American cities, we now know that our arteries don’t like smog any more than our lungs.

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