In detailing a simple car crash story, this newspaper felt the need to explain what a D.O. does, incompletely:

Baez is a doctor of osteopathy, a hospital spokesman said yesterday. Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive medical practice that focuses on total body health by treating the musculo-skeletal system, including joints, muscles and the spine.
Reminds me of this story, where Time felt the public didn't know what a D.O. ...

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Diabetes and kids

Obesity in kids is leading to diabetes at a younger age:

Now, an analysis of the claims processed by Medco Health Solutions, a manager of pharmacy benefits, finds that the use of drugs to treat type 2 diabetes in kids between the ages of 10 and 19 doubled between 2001 and 2006. The overall numbers remain relatively low "” about 1.47 per 1,000, the Financial Times reports. But the rising ...

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This is an explicit way to pressure physicians who order too many tests. Think of Medicare as just another large health insurer looking to cut costs:

CMS has the data and computer capacity to identify physicians who are inefficient compared with their colleagues and as early as mid-2008 might begin to contact those physicians and ask them to become more efficient . . . Kuhn said that identification of inefficient ...

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Newsweek spends 5 days at Grady Memorial's ER in Atlanta. What they found was not pretty, yet pretty routine at the same time:

Gunshot wounds. Blood and brain matter. Exhausted nurses, endless wait times"”and no end in sight. The only thing scarier than an average Saturday evening in the ER: What if it was forced to close?

More reaction to yesterday's WSJ sobering op-ed:

So a Democratic governor tries to force an ultra-liberal program that had failed once on a national level and failed to garner even one vote of his own party. So what happened to the centerpiece health care idea of the liberal left? It was a combination of lack of political support among people who would normally be considered his allies and stark ...

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Roy Poses on the dangers of the retail health clinic's formulaic approach to medicine.

The LA Times on the idiocy of this idea:

"That makes about as much sense as taxing teachers to provide a better education, or taxing Assembly members or senators to pay for upkeep of the Capitol," said Fink, a Tarzana internist. "We're part of the solution, not the problem." . . .

. . . a March poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that the levy ...

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A must-read. Gary Schwitzer notes some of the more recent citations by major media where they blatantly ignored the evidence of cancer screening tests (NBC's Nancy Snyderman is the worst offender in my opinion).

I am all for evidence-based cancer screening, and a balanced view needs to be communicated. This includes the very real risks of screening, including the concept of false positives and the harms ...

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Kim Painter writes more on medical blogs, and focuses on the privacy issue. (via David Rothman)

Looking for early signs of autism is part of this growing field:

Doctors and scientists are increasingly looking for early signs in babies of autism, attention deficit disorder and other mental problems that just a generation ago, scarcely anyone thought could appear in children so young.

Some scientists even believe that intensive treatment in some susceptible babies can actually prevent autism, attention deficit disorder and other problems.

Steven Leavitt writes about how a split-second decision by a 3-year old changed many lives:

Should a three-year-old be punished for being attached to her caretakers in the orphanage? What if the New Jersey couple had just held out a little longer? Mostly, though, I think about how the second child learned those words in the cab, and how different her life is now because that first ...

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Good luck finding a physician to prescribe narcotics for chronic pain in light of the recent penalties to Purdue:

But the price for those already in pain promises to be steep. Pharmaceutical development of improved slow-acting opiate medications may be derailed by fresh paranoia. More law-abiding physicians wary of litigation and regulatory scrutiny may withdraw from prescribing potent painkillers. It is hard enough for pain patients to get treatment. ...

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It's rampant in China. An antibiotic injection for a cold?

In China, the network of state-run hospitals calls the shots. Because doctors and hospitals rely on prescription drugs to boost their income, it is difficult for insurers to manage costs.

Recently, Xiao Ming, 29 years old, brought her feverish three-year-old son to see the doctor at a small hospital in Jiangsu province that derives most of its ...

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A novel vaccine for hypertension is being investigated. (via Medgadget)

This recent study will further lead to physicians hesitating to prescribe opioids for chronic back pain:

Substance use disorders are common in patients taking opioids for back pain, and aberrant medication-taking behaviors occur in up to 24% of cases.
(via Dr. RW)

Graham takes issue with Dr. Reece's bashing of the NY Times yesterday:

I think they [the American public] want their health care to work like I want my electricity does"“when I flick the switch, the light should go on. That is, if Medicare or a single-payer or whoever can keep the level of quality and choice the same but provide coverage to everybody, then we should all get it.
...

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Here's what Paul Levy did yesterday.

Sid Schwab pulls back the curtain and takes you on a guided tour of what it's like to perform surgery.

A look at some recent data from an oncologist's point of view.

A significant proportion of internal medicine residents wrongly assume that dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA:

More than a third of those who took the quiz wrongly believed that dietary supplements had to be approved by the FDA before being sold. Attending physicians fared better than the overall group, though 15% still thought supplements required FDA approval. And roughly 60% of both residents and attending physicians were unaware ...

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