The concept of paired donation. (via Freakonomics)

The recently freed doctor gives a harrowing account of the ordeal:

The Palestinian doctor who was held in Libyan custody along with five Bulgarian nurses on charges they infected hundreds of children with HIV, has described in detail how they were tortured during their eight-year ordeal. Ashraf Alhajouj, 38, said he was beaten, held in cages with police dogs and given electric shocks, including to his private parts. He said ...

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"Pay by the hour is the most difficult method to game," says Half Sigma. Makes sense, but without any productivity incentive, appointment shortages may become more dire as the longer visits will fill more physician schedules.

Apparently children of single dads make less well-child visits.

What to watch out for.

More drug detailing tactics:

"It's my job to figure out what a physician's price is. For some it's dinner at the finest restaurants, for others it's enough convincing data to let them prescribe confidently and for others it's my attention and friendship... but at the most basic level, everything is for sale and everything is an exchange," stated former Eli Lilly drug rep Shahram Ahari.

A USA Today op-ed:

I tell you these facts because of the knee-jerk reaction I hear that we should take measures to prevent the entry of foreign-born physicians. This would be a disaster for American health care, and it would not make us safer. We need to increase physician immigration and increase the supply of U.S. medical school graduates. Otherwise, we'll face a future of rationed health care.

Hidden in the debate over expanding the SCHIP is the fact that the impending Medicare fee cuts will also be abated:

The bill's main Medicare proposals include replacing the impending 2008 and 2009 physician fee cuts (projected to be 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively) with a 0.5 percent update for both years.

The AMA comes out in support of the dropped charges:

"The AMA continues to be very concerned about criminalizing decisions about patient care, especially those made during the chaotic aftermath of a disaster, when medical personnel and supplies are severely compromised."

An "opt-out" clause wasn't enough to satisfy these pharmacists:

Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after pill."

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between "their livelihoods and their deeply held ...

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Placebo Television

A hilarious weekly vlog from the writers of Placebo Journal. "Scrotox" is classic.

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Benjamin Brewer considers the questions when treating high cholesterol. (via The WSJ Health Blog)

Having had setbacks with torcetrapib and Exubera, and with generic competition to Norvasc and Lipitor, Pfizer is putting more emphasis into animal drugs.

Clogging the ER

Scalpel on flow-stoppers:

Any patient who requires an interpreter, any time-consuming procedure, patients who are overly demanding, patients with numerous concerned and annoying relatives, patients who want to be admitted but don't need to be, patients who need to be admitted but don't want to be, patients requiring more than one or two calls to other physicians, and so on.

Physicians aren't racist, says Chris Rangel. It's about where people go for care:

. . . the poor mostly seek care at urban health centers that tend to be underfunded, understaffed, and overburdened. It's basic economics. Poor people tend not to have the same access to the same quality of housing, cars, consumer products etc. that more affluent people do and health care is no exception . . .

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"Sometimes you have to invest money to make money," says Robert Centor. Can generalist care be saved?

A case where atypical depression was missed - due to the celebrity or VIP bias:

Dr. Groopman observes that V.I.P. or celebrity patients sometimes short-circuit the physician's normal diagnostic thinking. For example, these patients may be spared the doctor's usual tests and procedures. As our "top gun," Mike was just such a patient to me. Even as I entertained grandiose fantasies about curing him, my unconscious may have steered me ...

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What does that mean to you? More patients than you think are confused by drug labels:

Did that mean a total of two, or a total of four? A third of patients who were deemed literate got confused. A more clear instruction would be: "Take two tablets in the morning and two tablets at night."

Sick. A doctor is charged with facilitating the death of a man to harvest his organs:

A San Francisco transplant surgeon was charged Monday with prescribing overdoses of medication to speed up the death of a man at a San Luis Obispo hospital and harvest his organs.

Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 33, prescribed excessive amounts of morphine and Ativan and injected the topical antiseptic Betadine into Ruben Navarro's ...

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A panel stops short of pulling Avandia from the market.

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