Duty to the patient or their religion?

Benedict told a gathering of Catholic pharmacists Monday that they have the right to refuse to dispense emergency contraception or euthanasia drugs to people who have been given prescriptions by their doctors. He also said they should inform patients of the ethical implications of using certain drugs.

That's objectionable on many levels. But what next? Will the pope demand that pharmacists ...

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I agree that this would be a helpful approach. I don't see it happening anything soon.

As physician shortages are projected to explode (in primary care anyways), it will be the patients increasingly competing for physicians. For every patient that leaves a primary care practice, 10 more will be in line waiting to sign up.

Patients continue to lose, as more of these stories are surfacing:

Lalka, 54, says that with an income of only $60,000 last year, and little opportunity to expand his practice, he no longer is able to make ends meet.

"I am giving up my practice, the love of my life," he said recently as he stared out of his office window . . .

. . . ...

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One of the more balanced opinions of our health care systems.

If they only could:

* About 71 percent said they would likely or definitely speak to a neighbor who is a secretary at an MRI clinic if it meant getting moved up a list instead of waiting three months

* Some 30 percent would give their surgeon tickets to basketball and hockey games if it meant getting hip replacement surgery faster.

* Just over 50 percent were ...

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Some are saying that the Board is going too far in disciplining doctors and listening to anonymous complaints:

One by one, angry, frustrated doctors from Houston to Laredo took the microphone at a legislative hearing in Austin, spilling woeful tales of overzealous oversight "” grueling, expensive probes, witch hunts, railroading "” allegedly committ
(via Every Patient's Advocate)

Average PCP salary rises to an average of $226,000, most of it due to quality incentives.

One of many reasons why too many tests are ordered:

Some patients have significant misperceptions about the way medicine is, or should be, practiced. Even if these patients have no basis for their misperceptions, all they need to do is complain about an emergency physician and the doctor will hear about it. There is a constant dynamic tension in the ED: administrators and hospital boards want patients to be ...

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There's no real direction on the issue, so physicians often err on the side of secrecy:

"Doctors are very confused," said Dr. Tom Delbanco, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who recently made a film, "When Things Go Wrong, Voices of Patients and Families. "Some [people] tell them to open their hearts and spill the beans. Others tell them to keep their mouths shut. It depends on ...

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The sculpted six-pack

The new rage in plastic surgery:

The suction six-pack costs between $4,000 and $7,000 and is only suitable for certain patients, Aldo Benjamin Guerra, the Arizona plastic surgeon who authored the abstract, told us. "I probably turn down about twice as many patients as I work on," he said. "You have to have a certain amount of fat. If you have too little or too much you're not going ...

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Uninsured vets

So much for the pseudo-single payer VA providing universal coverage:

About one of every eight veterans under the age of 65 is uninsured, a finding that contradicts the assumption many have that all vets qualify for free health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, says a new study.
(via The Medical Quack)

Marcus Welby is dead

Older doctors are looking to jump off the Titanic:

When Baby Boom doctors entered medicine they had control over how they practiced and the fee they charged. But the rules changed on them in mid-stream and now many are looking for a ticket out.
(via The Medical Quack)

A mantra I have been preaching for some time. Some untoward effects from newborn screening are starting to be realized:

The recent adoption of widespread screening of newborns for congenital health problems is saving thousands of lives every year, identifying potentially deadly conditions in time to begin treatment. But now, health-care professionals recognize that success has highlighted glitches in the system.

More screening has meant more potential ...

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Developing countries are ripe for pharmaceutical bribery of doctors:

Gifts include air conditioners, laptops, club membership, domestic cattle, foreign conferences at five-star hotels, brand new cars and school tuition fees, according to the report. Murad Khan, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry at Aga Khan University, told researchers that in Pakistan "for writing 200 prescriptions of the company's high priced drug, a doctor is rewarded with the down ...

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Pallimed on embracing mortality as a celebration of life.

Halloween and medicine

Maria does a literature search. Happy Halloween everyone.

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(via Catron)

Restless legs syndrome

Disease mongering at its finest?

Many would like to see a flood of foreign doctors bring down physician salaries:

In a 2003 study Baker, who is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that by adding roughly 100,000 physicians to our current pool of about 760,000, we could pull doctors' salaries down from an average of $203,000 to somewhere between $74,000 and $126,000. For the average middle-class American family of ...

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A radical suggestion from ERnursey:

. . . these people take up a huge amount of medical resources being paid for by your tax dollars. Since they can not appropriately take care of themselves they should be institutionalized which would be much cheaper for the taxpayers.

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