Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Robert Shmerling, M.D., is associate physician and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program and has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 25 years.


Posts by Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Is Coca-Cola really putting pot in its beverages?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

News reports that Coca-Cola is considering offering a beverage containing cannabis or one of its derivatives were definitely exaggerated, but the “functional wellness” portion of the beverage market is growing, and other companies are considering products containing cannabidiol.

Conflict of interest in medicine

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Disclosing potential concerns regrading conflict of interest is considered essential for the integrity of medical research, but practicing physicians also face ethical issues. Some people think these concerns are not noteworthy or significant, while others expect maximum transparency from those who treat them.

Drip bar: Should you get an IV on demand?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Receiving IV fluids without a specific medical need or reason is a new trend, and while it’s possible that such a treatment might help you get some relief from jet lag or a hangover, it’s easier and much cheaper to simply drink whatever fluids you need.

Alcohol and your health: Is none better than a little?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As researchers continue attempting to determine whether there is an amount of alcohol consumption that offers some health benefits, or whether that amount is none, the results of recent studies indicate that the answers are complicated, and subject to different interpretations.

Health benefits of walnuts

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The benefits of nuts on cardiovascular health have been known for some time, but an analysis of multiple trials found particular health benefits of walnuts. The data showed that people who ate a diet enriched with walnuts had lower cholesterol than those who ate a standard diet.

Sorting out the health effects of alcohol

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

There is evidence that there are beneficial effects of alcohol in moderate amounts, but an analysis of drinkers found that the current guidelines in the US might be associated with a slightly shorter life expectancy for some people.

Top searches on health topics? It may depend on where you live

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The results of online searches on health topics vary greatly from state to state, even though common conditions occur everywhere.

Health benefits of coffee and a proposed warning label

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A chemical produced during the process of roasting coffee is considered potentially harmful, but the amounts are small, and the potential health benefits of drinking coffee are likely to outweigh any potential risk.

How long will my hip or knee replacement last?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Anyone who needs a knee or hip replacement wants to know if it will be permanent, or if the replacement will need to be replaced at some point. While this is impossible to predict, and many factors affect longevity of replacement joints, data from past surgeries can help give some idea of what a person can expect.

Autoimmune disease and stress: Is there a link?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

An observational study found that people diagnosed with stress-related disorders were more likely to develop an autoimmune disease, but was unable to provide proof of a directly causal relationship.