Should this be routine?

More fallout from yesterday's big news about Avandia and its association with heart attacks and cardiovascular death.

Dr. Charles:
"The 43% increase in heart attacks/myocardial infarctions and the 64% increase in death from cardiovascular causes is also sensational. It is the same statistical trick the pharma companies use to promote the efficacy of their products, and the same eye-catching method the Women's Health Initiative reported when hormone replacement ...

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Hell has frozen over in NC:

In a turnaround from previous years, both doctors and lawyers are supporting a bill that would cap monetary damages at $1 million in some medical malpractice cases.

Both the North Carolina Medical Society and the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers support a bill, set for House debate Monday night, that caps monetary damages in negligence cases at $1 million, but only for those ...

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Could Avandia be the next Vioxx? The NEJM with some smoke. Will fire be far behind?

Rosiglitazone was associated with a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction and with an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes that had borderline significance. Our study was limited by a lack of access to original source data, which would have enabled time-to-event analysis. Despite these limitations, ...

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Blame the media, says Gary Schwitzer:

I'm a journalist so I always look in the mirror first and I blame journalists for creating much of this confusion. The "cure" or "killer" emphasis in many stories - in order to compete for space or airtime - shows no appreciation for public understanding. Fulltime health, medical and science reporting jobs are being slashed all over the country.

Eric Novack comments on the difficulties of a single-payer system:

. . . single payer advocates like to have it both ways. On the one hand they speak of inability to get care, while simultaneously decrying that up to 50% of care is unnecessary. Which is it? Or is it both? And, again, how is it that an unelected bureaucracy, given complete authority over what care you can choose to ...

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What will we have to give up if we go to universal coverage? That's something that isn't covered by the media:

You might think that providing universal health care coverage is going to solve a big health care problem in America. If that's what you think, I'm guessing that you have not delved into the matter in any great detail . . . My first eye-opening discovery was that ...

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The usual suspects are reasons: malpractice, reimbursement and high cost of living.

One new reason is cited however. The rise of concierge practices:

Dr. Greenwald also noted another significant reason for physician shortages "“ not a physical lack of physicians, but rather many physicians changing to so-called "concierge" medicine . . .

. . . Greenwald said this means that when one doctor leaves general private practice ...

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"I recognize that there are flaws in your system, but that's not for me to correct, that's for you to correct."

It's safe to say that he won't be doing a documentary attacking Canadian health care anytime soon.

Cyberchondria

It's what you get when you add Google + hypochondriacs:

Ninety percent of hypochondriacs with Internet access become cyberchondriacs, according to Fallon. He said it's a natural progression.

Too good to be true:

Last August most members of the Medical College of Georgia's 2008 class found a $2,961 tuition refund deposited in their bank accounts. In April, though, the sweet deal turned sour. The school sent certified letters informing students it wanted the money back.

Instead of owing $18,000 in tuition for the year, these students must pay $21,000 due to an erroneous refund.

All drugs have side effects, but so does life:

Their findings surprised them. For example, taking Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was withdrawn from the market in 2004, or Tysabri (natalizumab) for multiple sclerosis was comparable to or exceeded the risk of dying in a car crash, working as a truck driver or rock climbing.

Remaking a nose

Complex surgery replaces a veteran's nose:

In a series of six operations over a year-long period that ended with removal of the last sutures on May 2 - and that rank as one of the most complicated nasal reconstructions ever performed at Johns Hopkins - facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons have pieced together more than a dozen bits of bone, cartilage, skin, arteries and veins to rebuild Fletcher's nose. ...

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Pharma TV

Coming soon, a Big Pharma television station:

Four of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies are proposing to launch a television station to tell the public about their drugs, amid strenuous lobbying across Europe by the industry for an end to restrictions aimed at protecting patients. Pharma TV would be a dedicated interactive digital channel funded by the industry with health news and features but, at its heart, would be detailed ...

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So says Dr. Wes, when he compares patient privacy in case reports in JAMA and NEJM with what's going on in medical blogs:

While this concern is worthy of consideration, are we asking physician bloggers to uphold a double standard? While most physician bloggers I know are keenly aware of the perils of patient identity disclosure, it seems we must go to unprecedented lengths to conceal the identity of ...

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Could he have been saved today?

"This could be a recoverable injury, with a reasonable expectation he would survive," Scalea said.

The assassin's weapon was relatively impotent compared to the firepower now on the streets.

"He needed surgery, modern-day life support and the appropriate level of intensive care," he said.

Scalea and others will discuss how the brain injury - a small pistol ball lodged in Lincoln's ...

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Pfizer's CFO resigned after Dr. Rost revealed possible corruption within Pfizer's finance department.

More abscess porn

Scalpel with a couple.

The owner of the Patriots is branching into outpatient medicine in their newest business venture around Gilette Stadium:

The same doctors who treat Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi, and other New England Patriots players will soon be available to examine the knee your kid sprained at soccer practice.

Dr. Bertram Zarins and Dr. Thomas J. Gill , Massachusetts General Hospital orthopedic surgeons who serve as Patriots team doctors, will ...

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The eternal battle continues.

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