A meta-analysis shows that amoxicillin and penicillin have a pretty high failure rate for the treatment of strep throat. Medpundit comments on this study.
A physician is sued for not ordering an upper endoscopy or GI referral. Cases of prolonged heartburn should indeed be scoped.
More insurances require pre-authorization for imaging tests. This may lead to an increase in ER visits to avoid the additional paperwork:
However, Dr. David Olson, a family practice physician in Brookfield and past president of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, said he hopes insurers will find another solution instead of requiring prior approval. The process will require more of physicians' time and could result in doctors sending patients to ...
Medical student debt is rising in the UK. Still not as high compared to US medical students.
A vascular surgeon won't treat a patient until he's quit smoking. "A smoker suffering from narrowed arteries in his legs has been told by surgeons to quit his habit before they will treat him.
Frederick Smith was urged by his GP to visit a specialist about the potentially crippling condition, which could leave him in a wheelchair.
But he was stunned when vascular surgeon Andrew Lamerton said ...
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Bedside manner: An anesthesiologist is alleged to have slapped a 3-year old child. "According to the family, the boy was now having nightmares, waking up constantly saying: 'Mean lady, mean lady, I don't want to go back there.'
It is alleged the 3-year-old became agitated last week during a pre-surgical check to have several decaying teeth removed and spat on the female anaesthetist."
A full face transplant may not be that far off. "When an appropriate patient comes forward, he or she could become the first in the world to receive an entire new face. Though a French team conducted the first partial face transplant last month, Mr Butler's team is proposing to perform a full graft from neck to scalp."
Lyme disease can certainly be a pickle. Some doctors are accused of not using antibiotics aggressively enough. Now, this one under fire for using extended-term antibiotics:
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection usually transmitted by a tick bite. In North Carolina, the number of reported cases has risen from 47 in 2000 to 111 in 2004.
Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic "bull's eye" ...
A woman is suing after being misdiagnosed with breast cancer. This seemed to be a particularly difficult pathological diagnosis:
He added that breast pathology like Ms Fizelle's was difficult to interpret, and that her particular case was a difficult one.
"Even if we had all the pathologists in the world, there's nothing to stop this sort of thing happening again," he said.
How to spot a potential plaintiff. One strategy for protection - obtain defensive referals, like this case of simple hypertension (emphasis mine):
Sometimes a patient wants a second opinion, but won't actually come out and say so. In such cases you have to read between the lines, and suggest that he see a specialist as soon as possible. A family physician learned this lesson the hard way when a ...
The downturn in pharmaceutical advertising has claimed BMJ USA. (via Notes from Dr. RW)
Bizarre non-medical news of the week: Japanese bride flatulence data. (via Boing Boing)