A 17-year old shows how easy it is to get narcotics in Illinois:

Though you need to show a photo ID to buy cold medicine in Illinois, addictive medications can be obtained with nothing more than an easily faked prescription slip. Pharmacists aren't legally obligated to verify an order is genuine, and tamper-proof prescription pads, a security measure used in other states, are not required here.

There is a "Let's Talk About Fees" campaign in Australia that encourages patients to talk to their doctors about the costs of procedures.

Single-payer woes

Finding a PCP really shouldn't be that hard:

Terry Daley thought her year-long search for a family doctor was over when she heard London physicians last month were appealing for more patients.

But Daley and others who filled out applications say they have been discriminated against by doctors who are cherry-picking healthy patients and rejecting people with medical problems.
Update:
To clear up any confusion - this is from ...

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retired doc points to an article from the Annals:

Academic medicine is the carpenter that fashioned the coffin of internal medicine. Instead of reengineering internal medicine to accommodate changes, it cannibalized the discipline by reducing its worth, creating the hospitalist and ambulatory care internist. These were both nails that helped seal the coffin; the former reduced the influence of the internist in the acute care environment and the latter ...

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Apparently patients thought friendly doctors with great bedside-manner were acceptable, even if they missed almost half of the recommended quality measures:

The patients, all of whom were enrolled in Medicare managed-care plans, received about 55% of the recommended care for protocols such as prompt medication after heart failure and appropriate evaluation after a fall, the study said. But most patients rated all the health care they received in ...

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Hot flashes

A meta-analysis examines non-hormonal options for hot flashes - which is important since many women are reluctant to go on estrogen:

The researchers found that on average, antidepressants and the blood pressure drug Catapres each appeared to reduce hot flashes by about one per day, and the seizure drug Neurontin by about two per day. Estrogen, by comparison, gets rid of two to three flashes a day.

Among ...

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Experts suggested prolonging CPR to keep blood flowing to organs so that they may be better candidates for donation.

Funny stuff.

To no one's surprise, Medicare will go broke 2 years earlier than expected.

David Blaine

The "magician" is going to try to hold his breath for nine minutes. Some interesting physiology goes into this:

Blaine has been working on maneuvers to increase his body's ability to withstand carbon dioxide while also doing yoga-style moves to expand his rib cage and the connecting muscles to get more oxygen into his lungs during his final breath.

"We want him to be able to tolerate ...

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My turn

Dean Giustini interviews me today.

A patient fit for discharge stays in the hospital for 4 years.

Not sure what procedure is being done from the article, but that's putting a lot of faith into acupuncture while going under the knife:

Here's how it works. Instead of getting a muscle relaxer like Valium, the patient spends 30 minutes in a room with an acupuncturist.

Every effort is made to help the patient relax. Music, soothing words and candles all contribute to a quiet atmosphere.

Needles ...

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Apparently there are no clear advanced directive laws there.

Stories are emerging where illicit quacks are injecting silicone into patients:

Silicone is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used for any cosmetic purpose. However, cases around the country indicate injections of household items directly under patients' skin is more common than one might think.

In Georgia, a woman named Verna Barnett was arrested in 2005 for allegedly mixing silicone with baby oil to ...

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They're cracking down on narcotic prescriptions up north as well:

"I can predict the net effect is (doctors) are going to tell even legitimate pain patients who aren't at risk, 'I'Â’m sorry, the college is looking over my shoulder, I can'Â’t prescribe this any more,'" Dr. Jovey said. The last provincial budget committed $300,000 to a review of pain management services across Nova Scotia.
The only pain management clinic in Nova ...

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Meet the physician who is clogging up the court system with frivolous lawsuits:

"In 40 years of practice, she is one of the most litigious and filing non-attorneys I have ever seen," said Tom Keever, chief of the Denton County district attorney's civil division . . .

. . . Rohr, who serves as her own attorney, has filed suit over such things as being forbidden to go to ...

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The bureaucracy of the NHS has pushed this UK physician into retirement:

"I would probably have stuck in for a few more years but the bureaucracy is catching up and I can't keep up with it any more.

"The targets are not all for the benefit of the patient.

I feel strongly that a lot of these changes are for saving money, not for helping the patient ...

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Home-made x-rays

This guy found out how to do x-rays at home using a dental x-ray machine (bought on eBay) on Polaroid 600 color film.



(via kottke.org)

Take a trip down memory lane.