Quite a bitter rant.

An incident that occurred in Sweden:

But when the American woman, accompanied by her husband and niece, went to meet the doctor in his treatment room, he declined to examine her.

Rather than introduce himself, the doctor waved the patient's papers and shouted "she doesn't have strep throat, she doesn't have strep throat". He then added that he would not treat her.

"He said he didn't like Americans," ...

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A case where a family requested an attending, rather than a resident, to do a procedure at a teaching hospital. When that fails to happen, a malpractice suit follows.

Interesting research on reward-based decision making:

The preference for immediate over delayed rewards of larger value, which researchers term "delay discounting," has already been linked to impulse-control problems, such as substance abuse, addiction and pathological gambling.

Despite appearances, some physicians and hospitals are forced to rely on reps:

. . . the most urgent reason we need our reps is that hospitals are low on trained staff these days. With the myriad parts and pieces it takes to do a spine fusion, knee replacement or robotic prostatectomy, operating room staffs need help keeping the trays and trays of little parts organized and ready for action. In ...

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Removal of a benign brain tumor goes wrong. The third neurosurgical opinion gets nailed in a $16M lawsuit:

"I was the third opinion on this and we were all saying the same thing," Morcos said. "This tumor was blocking the fluid spaces of her brain, causing a threat to her life "” not immediately, but eventually. There was some bleeding, but it was properly managed with medication. She ...

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Surely, a colonoscopy should have been ordered - but does the patient bear some responsibility?

But, the doctors successfully argued that Boyd bore some responsibility for her treatment and diagnosis because she was a medical professional who could have known her symptoms were cancer indicators. Boyd also had a family history of colon polyps (her father had several removed almost a decade earlier), and she never completed a take-home test ...

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A collection of odd medical studies during the past year.

More and more are using YouTube to disseminate medical advice. Some legitimate, most not. This could be a good tool for things like inhaler or glucometer teaching.

Diary of the so-called "Elephant Man", who was involved with the drug trial gone horribly wrong last year.

The gene screen

Genetic testing is available to screen for the increased risk of Alzheimer's, heart disease and some cancers. Is this something that you would want to know?

Yes, malpractice fears is one contributor to the medicalization of everyday life:

Medico-legal concerns also drive the epidemic. While failing to make a diagnosis can result in lawsuits, there are no corresponding penalties for overdiagnosis. Thus, the path of least resistance for clinicians is to diagnose liberally "” even when we wonder if doing so really helps our patients.

The "C" word

Blog, MD and #1 Dinosaur discuss what some feel is the most difficult conversation in medicine.

An interesting or noteworthy fact from each issue of AMNews from 2006.

His throat was slashed, requiring 50 to 80 stitches. As he was being wheeled to the ER, he was worried that he was still on call. That's dedication.

Some Muslims in the UK are refusing to use alcohol-based antibacterial hand cleansers:

Dispensers containing anti-bacterial gel have been placed outside wards at hospitals all over Britain in a bid to get rid of superbugs like MRSA and PVL.

It prevents people bringing in more infections. But some Muslims refuse to use the hand cleansers on religious grounds because they contain alcohol.

Women apparently receive more timely care for breast cancer than men for urological cancer. Some are blaming high-profile pressure groups and charities.

Abigail Zuger writes about how pressure about early hospital discharges sometimes confuses the diagnostic trail. Scattered outpatient follow-up for specialists and tests is not the most efficient way to diagnose:

Some liken the process of health care to a plane ride, a smooth arc from illness to wellness. But (this is your pilot speaking) among the many details overlooked by this appealing metaphor are the difficulties of just ...

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Employers are struggling with diabetics in the workforce. Even a diabetic wonders whether she would hire someone with diabetes:

Even an outspoken advocate for diabetics like Fran Carpentier, a Type 1 diabetic and a senior editor at Parade magazine, understands the implications for business. "Knowing what it's like to live with the disease hour by hour, day by day, I wonder if I owned my own company if ...

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Matthew Holt discusses President Ford's expensive, last year of care:

My guess is that over the last 12 months of his life well in excess of $100,000 was spent on his health care. And that money probably extended his life by three months at most. Now for all we know they may have been the most wonderful three months ever for him and his family, but I'm inclined to think ...

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