A town loses it's orthopedic surgeons to retirement. They could not recruit others, which causes this OB to lament:

I arrived at the office from the hospital at noon on a January day and began to look at the mail on my desk. On the top was the bill for my liability insurance coverage for the coming year, necessary for defense against lawsuits. The amount was a startling increase, ...

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Behind Bush's anti-science family planning office appointee:

As medical director of A Woman's Concern, a small chain of nonprofit pregnancy counseling clinics that offer no information on birth control, Keroack has agitated against abortion and even contraception "” including for married women. The organization continues to push the discredited nonsense that abortion increases a woman's chances of breast cancer and is more dangerous during the first eight weeks of pregnancy ...

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The landmark malpractice case that led to regulation of medical residents' hours. Sad to say, the situation described in 1984 could have easily happened when I was a medicine intern in 1999. My very first rotation, a week out of medical school, was the night float intern. One week, I was a 4th year medical student. The next, I was cross-covering 60 patients overnight. ...

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This blog tries to find out payment plans and pricing from a variety of hospitals. Here's what he found when posing as an uninsured patient requesting an elective CT scan:

* The list price varies by 75% ($1,013 to $3,970).
* The best uninsured price varies by 92% ($204 to $2,600).
* List price discounts range from 0% to 86%.
* To get many of the discounts hospitals ...

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Can money buy happiness?

Maybe just a bit, says this recent study:

In one study, they said, people with household incomes of $90,000 or more were only slightly more likely to call themselves very happy over all than were people from households making $50,000 to $89,999 "” 43 percent to 42 percent. (Members of the first group were nearly twice as likely to be "very happy" as people from households with incomes below ...

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Physicians are jumping from a sinking ship to the lure of riches:

"There were doctors at the reunion "” very, very smart people," Dr. Glassman recalled in a recent interview. "They went to the top programs, they remained true to their ethics and really had very pure goals. And then they went to the 20th-year reunion and saw that somebody else who was 10 times less smart was making ...

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The BMJ explains why:

Waxman believes that it is because the complementary therapists offer something that doctors cannot offer "“ hope. If you eat this, take that, avoid this, and really believe this then we can promise you sincerely that you will be cured.

And if the patient is not cured, it is the patient who has failed, not the alternative therapy. The patient has let down the ...

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(via At the End of the Boom)

Denying jobs to smokers

Some employers are resorting to urine tests to screen out smokers from jobs:

Some enforce the policy by requiring a urine sample from prospective employees. If the urine cotinine level exceeds the threshold that indicates active smoking, then the applicant is automatically rejected for the position, regardless of his or her qualifications for employment. Several of these employers go so far as to fire existing smokers if they are ...

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I still don't know how juries and judges are able to sort out all the expert testimony during sometimes highly nuanced malpractice cases:

Doctors and lawyers are rarely cross-trained in each other's professions, posing a problem when crucial decisions need to be made that are beyond one's specialty. Fear of litigation may prompt physicians to order excessive precautionary tests and procedures, while judges with no medical training must weigh the ...

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$913 for removing earwax

The explanation: "Because the instrument used in the cleaning process is considered a surgical instrument, the procedure is considered to be surgery."

A whopping 51 percent.

Doctor vs Dr. Mom

See how some of your mother's advice for common ailments stack up.

So he put the infant in the freezer. Yes, he's on trial:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the mother found the girl crammed into the freezer alongside ice cubes and hamburger meat. Hardy said he had left the door ajar but the mother said it had been closed when she returned.

It presents a unique challenge in a culturally conservative society.

Radiology outsourced?

Matthew Holt thinks so, and I agree. With films going digital, insurance companies and hospitals will simply have their films read overseas - which is happening already. Of course, malpractice will be one hurdle, and the American radiologists will fight tooth and nail to prevent this from happening.

The CDC recommended technique for coughing and sneezing is to do it in our sleeves. This website and video aims to educate the public:

The Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. and of several states have put forth posters and public service announcements trying to get people to change the way they cough and sneeze. Only a small fraction of the population has adopted safe techniques. With ...

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A debate ensues in this medical student forum. Similar discussion to whether doctors are allowed to be obese.

Nice article from Time Magazine - Why We Worry About The Things We Shouldn't ... And Ignore The Things We Should:

Shadowed by peril as we are, you would think we'd get pretty good at distinguishing the risks likeliest to do us in from the ones that are statistical long shots. But you would be wrong. We agonize over avian flu, which to date has killed precisely no one in ...

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There has to be more to this story.

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