Washington Post: Are many clinical trials unnecessary?

Hurricane Katrina will cost 200,000 their health insurance.

Want to avoid the emergency room? Read Harry Potter.

Voting begins for the 2005 Medical Weblog Awards. Kevin, M.D. is nominated in the Best Medical Weblog category.

This editorial questions why physicians who work charity clinic should be exempt from malpractice. Can't have it both ways.

This is smart: A vending machine to dispense free generic samples.

How the new Medicare drug plan is affecting smaller pharmacies.

A disturbing trend - Insurers are starting to blend 99213 and 99214 payments:

Of special concern are letters sent to OAFP members in northern and central Ohio questioning their overuse of the 99214 code and the decision by Anthem in southern Ohio to blend payment rates for 99213 and 99214 codes. While Anthem denied the intent of devaluing primary care services, this is certainly the perception among some family physicians. ...

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Medpundit talks about the growing field of adoption medicine. Diagnosis via photos. Dr. Frist should apply.

Medicare or Canada? The AARP compares the drug prices.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is going to have a PFO closure. Readers of this blog should be well familiar with PFO's.

This health-care actuary is not so confident in high-deductible insurance plans. "Most people aren't yet comfortable with the idea of high-deductible insurance, and with good reason. You pay lower premiums but are left with a riskier plan. Over time, people will make the switch to save money, just like they did when HMOs came around. After that it's anybody's guess. Some people think that this will save health care. More ...

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Lose-lose: On birth injuries and malpractice. "In Virginia Beach, another mother with a child injured at birth described why lawyers declined to bring a malpractice suit.

'They told me there was negligence,' the woman said, asking not to be identified. 'But because my child looks normal and only has learning problems, they said a jury wouldn't feel that much sympathy.'"

A pediatrician leaves patients waiting in the office to buy a new truck. "In one incident, he left his Townsend office twice on Feb. 8 to finalize a deal on a new truck, according to the complaint.

He allegedly first left the office for about 20 minutes around 9 a.m., even though two patients were in the office waiting to be seen, then left again in the early afternoon ...

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Doctors in poverty. Apparently, a call for doctors in the UK have left many broke as they await their certification:

Standing in the courtyard of the Sri Mahalakshmi Hindu temple in east London, a dozen jobless doctors are eating dhal, rice and potatoes off paper plates.

Wrapped against the cold in anoraks and sweaters, they come here each evening when the temple serves free food. They eat in the ...

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Lawsuits are hounding UC Irvine after they closed their liver transplant program. "Two more civil lawsuits targeting the liver transplant program at an Orange County hospital were filed Friday on behalf of four patients who claim they never received a transplant and the families of three people who died while waiting for a new liver."

More medical students are refusing pharmaceutical handouts. "'People will often ask, 'why didn't you take the pen? Or, why didn't you eat the lunch?',' says Kenyon, a Boston University medical student who packs a sandwich, apple, and granola bar almost every day so he won't have to eat meals sponsored by drugmakers.

'It gives you the green light to talk about it when somebody asks,' adds Petersen, who ...

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Are drug makers oversimplifying depression? "Makers of antidepressants skirt, and sometimes cross, that line by telling consumers that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin and that their pills help boost levels of the brain chemical.

They offer Zoloft as one example, quoting a TV commercial that claims depression is a medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and that, 'Zoloft works to correct this ...

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Your style of sneezing is inherited.

I hope everyone had a safe holiday season as well as a Happy New Year.

A hearty thanks to the "visiting professors" who kept the blog warm in my absence. Be sure to continue reading their blogs to keep up with their excellent content:

Craig Hildreth, M.D. aka The Cheerful Oncologist
DrTony
KidneyNotes
Red State Moron
shrinkette

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