More bold words from the President: "A lot of OB/GYNs are leaving the practice because they're getting sued out of existence." (via This Makes Me Sick)

They are already in a defensive mode.

And he takes it personally.

I sincerely hope so.

They are up in arms about this leaked memo:

Richard Thomason, the policy director for SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, which is based in Oakland, said a leaked memo indicates that the physicians group, which is based in Walnut Creek, may be in violation of state and federal laws and regulations and of its own stated policies.

Thomason said the memo, which is dated March 6, 2006, says "primary ...

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Some are saying that Lyme disease is overdiagnosed and overtreated. Also becoming more popular are the so-called Lyme gurus, who give extended courses of antibiotics - which may not be evidence-based:

But what's even more devastating, says the chief of infectious disease at Northeast Health Systems, is the tendency for people to seek out "Lyme gurus" -"” cash-only, out-of-state doctors who make their living prescribing unneeded antibiotics.

And some economists feel that is just fine.

And the mother's moral of the story: "At least we got some Keflex out of the deal."

Imagine the outrage if her child didn't need antibiotics.

Sad that it's now almost part of the job description. (via This Makes Me Sick)

Check out the anger on the NY Times blog. Is it defensive medicine or money? The answer is yes. (via The Health Care Blog)

The war may be over

And the drug companies have won. A piece well worth reading by Medpundit:

I've grown used to patients requesting drugs their friends have recommended. I've grown used to patients insisting that certain drugs are the best in their class, based on nothing more than television commercials. I've grown used to the cozy relationship between drug companies and medical celebrities. But, when my favorite cardiologist, a man I've known ...

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Seems like the doctor did everything within standard of care:

The Blair County civil court jury found Dr. Debra S. Pike of Roaring Spring negligent in treating 39-year-old Cynthia Storm of Hollidaysburg, who went to Pike in January 2002 after discovering a lump in her breast.

The doctor conducted mammogram and ultrasound tests, which did not detect a tumor. Storm continued to say she felt the lump during doctor ...

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A third of married individuals said they would choose someone other than their spouse as their proxy.

Apparently, he was reciting his evening prayers.

Hey, it's working for the drug companies:

In one sense, the ads have been successful. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that every dollar drug companies spend on ads brings more than four dollars in additional sales. But for most others, the result has been soaring medical insurance costs, toxic side effects, and new tensions between doctors and patients, who increasingly badger doctors for the drugs they've seen on TV.

I would tend to agree with his assessment:

At one end, there's the growing field of concierge care. People pay from $1,000 to $10,000 a year just for access to a doctor. The doctor has a lesser workload, and the patient in theory gets more personal attention.

At the other end is emergency rooms, public health clinics and practices that handle high volumes of people with little personal attention.

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Beware the "car curse"

A physician commits suicide after being involved in three car accidents in two days. He believed he was cursed.

Physicians are becoming alarmed:

Dr. Frank Madda of the DuPage County Medical Society said chain clinics "will certainly drive many family-practice physicians, pediatricians and internists out of business. This will result in a decrease in the availability of physicians for all patients."
I don't think that physicians will go out of business because of this, but it does highlight an important consumer priority. Simply stated, patients want access ...

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This is what you get when you reimburse for quantity. Remember, more healthcare isn't always better.

An uncommon case of jimson weed poisoning.

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