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School Controversies
Certain schools in New York and Texas are making headlines due to two controversial practices: Distributing contraception without parental consent and allowing teachers to practice corporal punishment. Founder of the blog Good Enough Mother and former host of the CBS Early Show, Rene Syler, joins The Doctors to weigh in on these heated topics.

Bad Breath, Bad Health?

Are you plagued by halitosis that no amount of breath mints seems to help? Bad breath could signal more serious health conditions.

Thirteen schools in New York City are reportedly distributing morning after pills and birth control pills to students through an organization called CATCH, which stands for "Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health." Parents have the option to opt out of the program; however, if they don’t, their children automatically have access to contraception without explicit consent.
“The U.S. has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates and this is an attempt to address that,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.

“A lot of parents are against this because they think making [contraception] available promotes risky behavior, but being a teenager promotes risky behavior [itself],” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “If they’re going to make a mistake, they need to be able to have a way that’s easy and confidential to make the right decisions.”

“I think we can all agree parental influence should be a part of this. You can’t just let a school district dictate decisions for your child,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork adds.

Tell us what you think!

Then, corporal punishment in schools, or paddling, is legal in 19 states, but a recent situation at a Springtown, Texas, high school has sparked debate on the issue. While the high school’s corporal punishment policy says paddling may only occur between teachers and students of the same gender, a male assistant principle allegedly paddled a female student, causing uproar among parents. See what The Doctors have to say.

Blinded by a Baseball
During a baseball tournament, 13-year-old Ryan pitched the ball and the batter hit it right back at him – into his eye.

While Ryan fortunately remained conscious after the incident, his eye was seriously damaged, and his vision has yet to be restored; however, Ryan’s spirit and love for sports has not been compromised. Hear his amazing story.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Assil joins the show to explain what happened to Ryan’s eye. Plus, watch Ryan shoot hoops with Dr. Travis.

Angels in Waiting
Nearly 4 percent of pregnant women use illicit drugs during their pregnancies, and more than 550,000 babies are born every year after exposure to drugs and alcohol in the womb. These babies are often born premature and with serious health issues, but often become wards of the court, due to the mothers’ inabilities to provide the intensive care they require. These babies have symptoms that make them “unpopular” for adoption, and registered nurse Linda West-Conforti decided this had to change, and thus founded the organization Angels in Waiting, a network of neonatal intensive care unit nurses who become foster parents for abandoned babies.

The Doctors and USA Weekend

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Latest: Seasonal affective disorder.
• Check out USA Weekend for more information.

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Pellet Hormone Therapy
Meli, 43, says she’s experiencing symptoms of early menopause and asks Dr. Lisaabout hormone therapy options.

“I’ve been having symptoms of early menopause for the last three years,” Meli says. “But I’ve never considered hormone therapies before to keep my symptoms under control.”

Dr. Lisa explains that other conditions such as thyroid problems could mimic these same symptoms. If you experience these symptoms, be sure to consult your OB/GYN so he or she can properly diagnose and treat your condition.

“Menopause is not a disease or a problem. It’s a natural process when you stop your period for a year and when your hormones are at their right place,” Dr. Lisa says.  “ This usually occurs between 50 and 51, but prior to that [age] it is considered perimenopause.

Perimenopause means your estrogen levels are falling and your ovaries are starting to sputter, which is when you may be a candidate for hormone therapy.

A new treatment called pellet therapy is a quick, outpatient procedure that involves inserting several small pellets containing the patient’s specific dosage under the first layer of skin in the hip.

“It’s a great new thing women are looking at,” Dr. Lisa says.

Dr. Lisa also advises that while pellet therapy can be a great solution for women, that patients must be careful about the pharmacy they obtain them from, as the hormones are not natural.

Cell Phone Addiction

Studies show that people check their cell phones at least 34 times a day. In one study, 66 percent of people surveyed said they are actually afraid of losing their phones, while four years ago, that number was 53 percent.

“This is a legitimate fear called nomophobia, which is the fear of being out of contact with people via mobile phone,” Dr. Sears says.

Rehab centers are beginning to put cell phone addiction on their menu of services, as some people truly need help separating themselves from their cell phones.

“It’s another addiction, just like drugs, alcohol or gambling,” plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says.

“Don’t let your cell phone control your life; those are doctor’s orders,” Dr. Travis says.

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OAD 12/6/12