Top stories in health and medicine, February 20, 2013

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1. Deaths Trigger DEA Investigation of Pain Specialist. Among clinicians seeking ways to safely treat chronic pain, Lynn Webster, MD, serves as a beacon — a leading expert in the use of narcotic painkillers, who created an assessment tool to identify patients who are most likely to abuse opioids.

2. Psych Meds Often On Board in Opioid Overdoses. When patients overdose on prescription opioid painkillers, other drugs given for mental health disorders are often involved.

3. Use of Robots for Hysterectomy Soars, but with Little Benefit. Robotically assisted hysterectomy increased dramatically from 2007 to 2010, despite higher cost and similar complication rates compared with laparoscopic procedures.

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