Taking care of a toothache himself:

I had a toothache while working one time which ended up being the beginning of a sinus infection. Every time I opened my mouth, my whole upper gumline throbbed. It was giving me a rocking headache. I couldn't think straight. I sprayed lidocaine on my gums with no relief and eventually stuck a needle in my gumline and did a nerve block on ...

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The polls say yes, but do they really understand what's involved? The "more medicine is better medicine" mentality would have to be the first to go:

The polls show that many Americans like what they have; if there is excess in our system, they embrace it. They find comfort in the idea that, when they consider their medical options, they have a long list of choices, including the newest ...

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Almost a quarter of Maine residents are on Medicaid, which is making life tough for physicians.

The fascinating story of the turmoil between two titans: Dr. Michael E. DeBakey and Dr. Denton A. Cooley.

The longer patients live in hospice care, the more money the facility loses:

Over the last eight years, the refusal of patients to die according to actuarial schedules has led the federal government to demand that hospices exceeding reimbursement limits repay hundreds of millions of dollars to Medicare.

No one better than cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Wes to analyze the situation.

Ask Panda

Panda Bear answers your reader questions, addressing what it takes to get into medical school and patients who annoy him.

Extravasation injury

Suture for a Living talks about this complication from chemotherapy.

Opting out of Medicare

DrRich looks at how feasible that would be.

The fact that many physicians are piss-poor at business and have learned to bend over and keep taking it during medical school and residency places doctors at a disadvantage during any difficult negotiation. We need to toughen up as a profession.

A sense of the bizarre complexity of coding that is the lifeblood of every physician. Most residencies don't spend enough time on this aspect, which are doing new physicians a severe disservice.

Rapid response teams

What seems good in theory is proving difficult, and expensive, to implement.

Anyone who couldn't see this coming is blind:

"Pay for performance," one of the great health-care buzzwords of the moment, is often described as paying hospitals more if they take better care of patients. In a 104-page proposal unveiled today, Medicare offers a twist: Pay hospitals less if they aren't among the top performers.
There is no doubt that many would want this extended to all physicians.

There is no question that the use CT scanning is exploding. Which is not good on many levels. Especially if you're pregnant:

The notion that pregnant women are also being scanned at an increasing rate is even more troubling, given that exposure to excess radiation can severely damage a developing fetus. Some of the rise is due to the fact that better technology is now available to ...

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A hospital does a wrong-side neurosurgery. Not once, but twice. What's going on at this Rhode Island hospital?

I'm happy to see mainstream media starting to publicize the death of primary care:

"Why do we pay somebody $1,000 for a half-hour of surgery and pay someone $100 for a half-hour of thinking?" he asked. "I do a preventative test on someone that keeps them from getting cancer - a pap smear, a colonoscopy, whatever - and I get my $50," he said. "But if I cut off ...

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A PA misdiagnoses sinusitis, which leads to a brain abscess. Although this happened in a physician's office, it could have just as easily occurred in Minute Clinic staffed by mid-levels.

A few high-profile cases like these against them will no doubt kill them off, which I think will be inevitable.

A bizarre case of trichophagia.

Maybe this patient should realize that only office visits gets reimbursed - not telephone calls - explaining the need to come in. Blame the system, not the doctor:

For those of you who know of my legendary patience, you'll find the next bit surprising.

I ripped that doctor a brand new number two.

I let him know that I hate how I was left wondering if there ...

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Now we can point to the evidence:

The study found people who had a family physician were less likely to use their local emergency room and, in general, benefited from a better quality of care than someone who was seen in a walk-in or specialty clinic where the treating physician did not know them or their medical history as well.

They were also less likely to suffer a medical emergency ...

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Thank you for pointing that out.

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