It seems that way, when compared to other professions:

William Weeks, a Dartmouth professor, has done a number of studies on the work life of physicians. He found that, if you view the expense of going to college and professional school as an investment, the payoff is somewhat poorer in medicine than in other professions. Tracking the fortunes of graduates of medical schools, law schools, and business schools with comparable ...

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More cases are settled than you can imagine. All the statistics that say physicians often win in malpractice trials fail to take this into account. A settlement almost counts as a loss.

A reader highlights the disconnect between the ivory tower academics and real-world physician when it comes to board exams:

. . . the boards are costly and time consuming. They have spawned a whole industry of CME that feeds on doctors' fears of not being up-to-date. I get a constant stream of advertisements for board reviews and courses throughout the year which makes me believe that the boards have become ...

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A lawsuit from advice dispensed over e-mail:

In one case, an interventional radiologist gave advice to a 65-year-old woman who had selected the "contact us" option on the practice's website. The woman had written that her doctor recommended a vertebroplasty because radiographs of the lumbar spine showed diffuse osteoporosis and a collapsed third lumbar vertebra. The radiologist responded that he, too, recommended the procedure. An orthopedic surgeon performed the vertebroplasty, ...

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Medical blogs 101

A nice starting point for those about to jump into the medical blosophere.

Comparing what we have here versus a NHS-style system:

Is a socialist system that fails 100% of its members when it comes to the supply of advanced medical technology not worse than or better than a system that fails to fund the needs of 15% of the population? Is providing universal health care much more important than providing efficient and quality health care to the vast majority of the population?

#1 Dinosaur looks at the implications of this request:

What if the roles were reversed? Certainly I've written myself orders for routine screening tests. I even have a "chart" for myself in my office to keep track of labs and immunizations and other things. I occasionally go see a doctor -- usually a specialist -- for specific acute problems, but I must confess that I do not have a ...

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Physician salaries

Richard Reece summarizes the ridiculous comparison between physicians salaries here and abroad:

Sermo readers, some of whom had practiced in Europe, commented,

"¢Americans must pay off educational debts of up to $200,000 while European college and medical training is subsidized.

"¢Europeans may work half the hours of Americans.

"¢Europeans enjoy miniscule malpractice costs.

"¢American practice costs are higher.

To sum up, comparative incomes of ...

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The NY Times on hospital favoritism by the government. GruntDoc speculates on the corruption that can occur with more government involvement:

I'm not so naive as to believe this sort of political foolishness is new, but for now, consider you're a competing hospital of the ones that just got congressionally mandated favorite-son treatment. Being a hospital administrator s now even harder than it was, now you'll be expected ...

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A man surgically trims his fingers to better use the iPhone.

First time I heard of the video capsule being lodged within the digestive tract.

Arnold Kling solves the health care problem:

In politics, the victim status of the uninsured is overstated. Meanwhile, the health policy debate is ignoring some important victims:

--The future victims of the financial unsoundness of Medicare

--the victims of the licensing cartel, which lowers productivity and raises costs

--the victims of the wasteful medical expenditures promoted by consumer insulation from cost, which in turn is promoted by ...

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Odds on health reform

Are you backing the right horse?

A 50-year-old woman presented with abdominal tenderness, fever, and vaginal bleeding. A crazy case from the NEJM.



(via Graham)

Rattlesnake bite

Story and graphic pictures:

On July 21, 2002, just after my 13th birthday, I was bitten by a Northern Pacific rattlesnake (the snake was originally identified as a Western Diamondback rattlesnake, but that species is not found near Yosemite). I was located on a trail in a hiking area near Yosemite National Park, California. The bite occurred when I was sitting on a small boulder at a distance of ...

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"Free" antibiotics

There's always a catch.

Some doubts:

No one really knows whether preventive medicine will save money in the long run, let alone free up the billions of dollars a year needed to help pay for universal health insurance. In fact, studies have shown that preventive care "” be it cancer screening, smoking cessation or plain old checkups "” usually ends up costing money. It makes people healthier, but it's not free.
(via
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Why Sicko bombed

Analyzing the tepid box office returns:

Boosters argue that Fahrenheit 9/11, which had much sexier subject matter, isn't a fair comparison and instead point to Moore's 2002 Bowling for Columbine. Certainly Sicko looks healthier next to Columbine's total domestic take (adjusted for inflation and ticket price hikes) of $24.1 million. But consider that Sicko benefited from much greater pre-release media attention, and was showing in over 1,000 theaters at its widest ...

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Or is it a myth?

The bottom line is this: the true administrative costs of government-run health care aren't lower than those of the private insurance industry. This is just another myth promulgated by the evangelists of socialized medicine.

Limit specialists?

That is Matthew Holt's solution to cutting physician pay:

What's the rational answer? Do what most other countries do and restrict the amount of specialty positions available. Instead insist that most physicians focus on primary care which is both cheaper to the system and more cost-effective. Of course, doing that would be better for the system overall, but it would be worse for individual physicians--or at least for their ...

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