A glaring example of how a practice cannot live on Medicare patients alone:

After paying for clinical staff salaries, practice costs and malpractice insurance, a bariatric surgeon who performs nearly 300 laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures on Medicare patients makes just over $71,000 annually"”and that's before taxes, according to a recent report.

That is $20,000 less than the average pharmacist earns in a year, $50,000 less than the average ...

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I wasn't aware of how much radiation airport X-rays emit:

In the several seconds the baby spent in the machine, the doctor added, he was exposed to as much radiation as he would naturally get from cosmic rays "” or high energy from outer space "” in a day.

Strict guidelines that will eliminate many from adopting Chinese orphans:

Harrah's said that under the new rules, any couple who had been divorced more than twice will be barred from adopting. Single people will be ruled out and only couples who have been married for more than two years will qualify. The age range for would-be parents will be limited to between 30 and 50.

The new health conditions ...

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I think so. Just because Tylenol and NSAIDs are OTC, they can be dangerous, especially taken with other prescription medications.

In the hopes of reducing health care premiums, more employers are requiring blood tests to screen for disease. This can be good or bad, depending on what they are screening for. Non-evidence based tests like a TSH or urinalysis will be useless, and may actually drive up costs by leading to unnecessary testing.

A few common sense ideas. Is anyone willing to step up to the plate?

Arizona needs to bring a new university medical school in Phoenix to full operation and should support private alternatives that could train more doctors and nurses. And Gov. Janet Napolitano should reconsider her veto of a bill last year that would have made it harder for patients to successfully sue for malpractice. A task force ...

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"Just go to the ER"

An ER doc gets pissed when PCPs tell patients to go to the ER. I agree, this isn't an ideal situation, since many problems can be handled in the office.

"Just go to the ER" is the PCP's way of practicing defensive medicine. When a patient calls outside of office hours, there is no way to examine the patient - short of doing a house ...

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"May the spirit of Christmas remain in your heart as your profits soar."

Congratulations to Orac

Respectful Insolence is the winner of the best medical/health issues blog at the 2006 Weblog Awards.

Furious Seasons looks at how close these bedfellows really are.

The kicker: He sued his workplace and won over $6 million.

No word yet on whether the patient accepted the offer.

A physician gets paged in the middle of the night, about a lab report showing a WBC above 90,000. Good job getting this patient to the hospital stat.

The common perception is less hours = less tired doctors = less medical errors. However, what also is happening is that we are getting lesser-trained physicians:

The 405 regulations mean residents spend at least 25 percent less time in the hospital. As one doctor who just completed his training put it to me, a five-year surgical residency has suddenly become the equivalent of a three-year one.
PointofLaw.com observes:
The ...

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A booming industry, drawing physicians to this "unneeded specialty", according to this opinion:

As the baby boomers age into elderhood in the next few years, it won't be cosmetic surgeons they need and we can't afford to lose more doctors to this unneeded specialty. But the market is there; it is those who cannot bear the thought of growing old and now it is being expanded to include children.
...

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Will the treatment of pain eventually be tailored to a patient's gender?

When I get a particularly nasty headache, I race for the ibuprofen bottle and down three 200-milligram tablets (a dose long ago approved by my doctor) and get on with whatever I was doing, comforted by the knowledge that I've taken action to dull the pain and that I will feel better soon. When my husband has ...

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So, which specialties are reporting that drug reps aren't visiting them enough?

General surgeons (54%), emergency medicine physicians (49%), anesthesiologists (42%) and orthopedic surgeons (40%) most frequently reported that there are fewer reps than necessary or far too few currently calling on them. Notably, each of these physician groups reported seeing an average of two or fewer reps per week.
It's because most of these fields are busy in ...

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Physicians today operate as small businesses. The story of how rising malpractice premiums are forcing OBs out of business, and hampering recruitment in Maryland:

According to Ma, the longer doctors practice in this litigious country, the more likely it is that they will be named as a defendant in at least one medical malpractice lawsuit.

And win, lose or case dismissed, merely being sued is enough to send ...

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She had to pull him off an electric fence, while getting shocked herself. Bravo.

A patient writes about his experience with the subsequent leg amputation.

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