by Charles R. D'Agostino, MD We’ve all seen the headlines –- “Primary Care Physicians Becoming a Scarce Breed”, “Wait Times for Appointments Increasing”, “Primary Care in Crisis” –- and have heard the pundits pontificating on the deteriorating state of primary care. But rarely do we hear what’s happening from physicians on the front lines, those actually seeing patients. Consequently, with direct access to the primary care trenches, replete with an overworked ...

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Donkey Kong has a new record holder. And he's a plastic surgeon. Hank Chien, MD scored 1,061,700 points in 2 hours, 35 minutes, breaking the world-record score for the classic arcade game Donkey Kong. Go and read the piece as to how he did it, and more interestingly, the painstaking steps he had to take to verify his score. The feat does lend some anecdotal support ...

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The new reform law which is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be a huge disappointment to the millions of previously uninsured people who finally purchase insurance policies when they try to find a doctor. Primary care physicians are already in short supply and the most popular ones have closed practices or long waits for new patients. Imagine when 2014 hits and all of those patients come ...

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Working in the hospital this month, my team has been caring for Mr. M. He was here when we started on service at the beginning of the month, and unless his planned transfer to another facility goes through, he’ll be here when we sign off to the next team at the end of the month. Mr. M is in his fifties. He speaks Spanish. He is an undocumented immigrant from Central ...

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Let's face it. Health care is an odd field. Costs are unknown or indecipherable. Prices for the services offered are hidden from consumers. Likewise, the value (efficacy, quality, safety) of the services received is hidden from consumers. In no sense does it represent other markets, in which transparency of these elements reigns and which therefore have a better chance of reaching the "efficient market" described by economists. In such an environment, ...

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The National Center for Health Statistics recently released a new report, Recent Trends in Cesarean Delivery in the United States. The report is most notable for a startling statistic; the C-section rate has reached the astronomical level of 32%, an increase of more than 50% since 1996. This is disturbing news. Why is the C-section rate sky high? The pervasive nature of the increase may hold some clues. The increase has ...

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by Marie Cooper St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Greenwich Village was founded in 1849, making it the third oldest hospital in New York City. It has been an occasional scene of notoriety but mostly it has witnessed countless episodes of anonymous compassion and care. My two sons were born there. As a major teaching hospital, it has over 1000 affiliated physicians. It is where generations of ...

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by John Gever Surgeons in Barcelona announced on Friday that they had performed the most extensive face transplant yet reported, including skin, muscles, teeth, and some bone. The procedure was performed March 20 by a team of 30 surgeons at Vall D'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona. classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="356" height="294" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"> Doctors led by Joan Pere Barret, MD, took 24 ...

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Not long ago, I attended the Shining Knight Gala, a fundraising dinner that benefited the trauma surgery and injury prevention programs at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. The highlight of the evening was the dramatic presentation of the story of a young man who had suffered severe, life-threatening injuries in a car accident and, through the skill and dedication of first responders and the VCU trauma and rehabilitation professionals, was stabilized ...

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Our state of South Carolina is a delight. From wonderful people to beautiful landscapes, from a vibrant Southern culture to excellent food like shrimp and grits, it’s a place I’m thrilled to live. But we do lack a few things. And one of the most striking is adequate mental health care. The state budget, like so many state budgets, has been trimming anything and everything. And of course, mental health coverage ...

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