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

Where do you stand on bystander CPR?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A survey about CPR found that just over half of those who responded knew how to perform it. Many people are concerned that they will do it wrong, or don’t feel comfortable getting involved, but learning and performing CPR is now easier than before.

Why it’s so hard to lose excess weight and keep it off: The Biggest Losers’ experience

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As a person loses weight, the body reacts by lowering its metabolic rate to conserve energy, an evolutionary adaptation that makes it harder to lose additional weight. A study of participants from The Biggest Loser found that this metabolic adjustment persists for years.

Knowing when to screen… and when to quit

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Medical screening tests can help detect problems before they become hard to treat. Many screening tests are recommended for adults or when a person has certain risk factors. But when should screening stop? A new study examines this issue for colonoscopies.

Dr. Google: The top 10 health searches in 2017

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Do you ever wonder what health questions people research online? We look at the top 10 health searches in Google for 2017 and offer some answers to these questions from hiccups to kidney stones.

Stem-cell transplant: A possible high-risk/high-reward treatment for scleroderma

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Scleroderma is a painful, potentially debilitating autoimmune disease without good treatments. A novel approach to treating severe scleroderma using stem-cell transplantation to “reboot” the immune system shows great promise but not without potentially serious side effects.

Vaccinations: More than just kid stuff

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some people think that once they reach adulthood they no longer need any vaccinations, but this is not true. Besides an annual flu shot (which everyone should get), adults should get several other vaccinations, and depending on current guidelines, may need an occasional booster shot or a new vaccine.

10 things you can do for your pet when it’s cold outside

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Winter is as challenging for our pets as it is for us, but there is a lot you can do to keep your pets safe and comfortable during the cold months.

The flu is here — and so is a new advisory from the CDC

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you have not yet gotten a flu shot, the CDC has issued an advisory for this season that may make you reconsider. The severity of the virus is stronger this year, and while the vaccine may not be as effective as in years past, some protection is better than none.

Is “man flu” really a thing?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The concept of “man flu” sounds like a joke or a ploy for sympathy, but men and women do experience other diseases and conditions differently, and there is some evidence that this is also true of the influenza virus.

Are you getting the most out of your high-deductible health plan?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

One way to manage healthcare costs is to choose a health plan with a higher deductible, but it’s important to understand that such plans don’t make sense for everyone, and that sometimes the cost of a service or procedure can be negotiated.