The Cheerful Oncologist translates oncology jargon for patients.

As Michelle Au finds out during a night at the SICU.

Flea says there is no best time to go. If you can choose when you can go to an ER, you don't have an emergency.

The case of a malfunctioning penile implant:

Charles "Chick" Lennon, 68, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before Viagra went on the market. The Dura-II is designed to allow impotent men to position the penis upward for sex, then lower it.

But Lennon could not position his penis downward. He said he could no longer hug people, ride a bike, swim or wear ...

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Simple test, big ordeal:

I thought back to the time that I too had suffered intractable diarrhea. I was already a doctor and had ordered many stool cultures on other people without pause. I suppose I had considered what the patients would have to go through, at least in an abstract sort of way. But as the old apocryphal proverb goes: Do not judge a man, nor trifle ...

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Some docs just get it. Medicine is simply a customer-service business:

It is not just a matter of moving to a small town. Ms. Kissell's doctor, Melissa Gerdes, is one of a rapidly growing number of physicians who have streamlined their schedules and added Internet services, among other steps, to better meet the needs of patients. For physicians like Dr. Gerdes, it is simply good business.


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It's happened in Indonesia.

If a prescription isn't hand-printed, typed or electronically generated, it can't be filled:

Robertson said random samples of 6,000 prescriptions were collected throughout the state with help from the state's Board of Pharmacy. When pharmacists, physician assistants and others tested the samples, they found 24 percent to 32 percent illegible.
(via medmusings)

Maybe. Many physicians are bringing patients back for multiple visits rather than dealing with all of them during a single visit. Blame the HMOs:

People made more than 1 billion visits in 2004 to doctors' offices, emergency rooms and hospital outpatient departments, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

This is an increase of 31 percent from 10 years before, while population ...

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A doctor explains why Japan's population is declining.

It is as weird as it sounds:

Two competitors face each other in 11 alternating rounds, six of chess, five of boxing. A bout begins with chess, which is played on a board placed directly in the middle of the ring. Each round of chess lasts four minutes. After each chess round, the bell sounds, and workmen remove the chessboard for a two-minute round of boxing, the gloves go ...

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Seems like everyone is pointing fingers.

Dr. Centor writes on the possible increased reimbursement for E/M services. This single action, if it goes through, will go a long way in resuscitating primary care.

Shadowfax also writes about how emergency medicine will benefit.

Can they be finally cluing in? One can only hope.

There is no data supporting that it works.

Instead of targeting PCPs as they have, they should be making big pharma a cost-cutting focus. What HMOs and Medicare have done is virtually destroy primary care in the US:

It remains a mystery why managed care and Medicare have centered their cost reduction efforts for so long on physicians, and particularly on the least well paid physicians, while apparently willingly paying out ever more for pharmaceuticals . ...

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Joe Paduda writes:

It appears the answer lies in declining reimbursement rates. These hard-working docs are spending plenty of time (over 45 hours a week) with patients, but their reimbursement rates have not kept pace with inflation. For example, Medicare has increased fees by 13% during the study period, while the underlying inflation was 21%. And, private payers' reimbursement declined from 143% of Medicare's rate in 1997 to 123% in ...

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The BMJ has this unfortunate case:

According to the BBC, the British Medical Journal cites the case of a 15-year-old girl who was struck by lightning in a London park while talking on her phone. She suffered a burst eardrum and cardiac arrest and, a year later, "has severe physical difficulties as well as brain damage which has led to emotional and cognitive problems".

This is one plausible solution to malpractice reform that I've always supported. Dr. Charles writes more on a bill introducing health courts:

Our lawsuit culture is disgusting. Anyone who stands up to do anything of consequence in our society is at risk of being sued for it. Teachers, policemen, doctors, coaches, ministers - we're generally trying to make the world a better place, but we're all living in fear, ...

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A small, unscientific survey to be sure - but I'm not surprised by the results.

It makes it harder for hospitals to fire physicians, since this doctor is making the hospital beg for mercy:

Randall Andrada, who represented Fremont-Rideout Medical Group, declined to comment following the Wednesday's verdict. During the closing statements, he said the hospital leadership "got the message" the jury sent with Friday's award and pleaded with the jury not to award additional monetary damages.