A vast majority just want to get better:

Medical and professional societies have increasingly urged doctors to reveal all such conflicts of interest so patients can judge whether their doctor may have more than their health at heart. But perhaps because they are already overwhelmed by the challenges of their disease, most patients said they did not need to know those details and trusted that rules were in place ...

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Uh, they don't seem to know.

Hooray New Hampshire!

First state to offer the HPV vaccine free to girls 11 to 18. It's nice to be in the Granite State.

A health risk of prayer

Praying-induced oromandibular dystonia:

This general kind of problem is called "focal dystonia". It's the involuntary fluttering of muscles that one ordinarily controls masterfully. It arises, somewhat mysteriously, in a few extraordinarily unlucky people who perform "a highly stereotyped and frequently repeated motor task". It's what happens in writer's cramp, and in the eyelid twitching known as blepharospasm, and very occasionally in certain specialised professions. Doctors have seen it in ...

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Eye-opening stat. More than half of breast cancer patients had their treatment plan changed after being reviewed by a tumor board:

Researchers looked at the records of 149 consecutive patients referred to the U-M Cancer Center's multidisciplinary breast tumor board for a second opinion. The patients had already been diagnosed with breast cancer after having undergone initial evaluation, breast imaging and biopsy, and they already had a treatment ...

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More doctors are leaving their fields for cosmetic medicine. Blame Medicare and third-party reimbursement for this:

Five years ago, cosmetic medicine was primarily the domain of plastic surgeons, facial surgeons and dermatologists "” medical school graduates who undergo several years of training in facial skin and its underlying anatomy. But now obstetricians, family practitioners and emergency room physicians are gravitating to the beauty business, lured by lucrative cosmetic ...

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Dr. Crippen says doctors are in a no-win PR position:

My pay has gone up approximately 25% over the last two years. That extra money has been earned by hitting government targets. The targets were set by the government, not by us, and mostly have little to do with health care, but a lot to do with "process" and bogus but quantifiable "healthcare achievements".

We told the government at ...

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Pillowy SSRIs:



(via Unbounded Medicine)

Goodbye Google Answers

Google Answers announced that it is shutting down. This 4-year old service comprised a passionate community of 800 or so researchers answering questions of all varieties.

Although I haven't been an active researcher recently, it is where I got my "start", so to speak. It opened up web-related avenues for me, ranging from Med Help to this blog you're reading.

So, thanks Google Answers ...

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Can this be a viable way to increase primary care compensation, thus re-attracting medical students to the field?

Well, it definitely isn't like it used to be:

The first question I get asked when I pursue medical treatment is who is your insurance company and the responsible party. There is no one who is willing to give you any simple advice or reassurance for fear of being blamed for wrongdoing or sued for malpractice. The doctor that I had for 25 years, all my adult life, recently quit ...

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Instant first aid

Some good tips when an ER or doctor isn't handy, like rubbing an onion on first-degree burns.

Lawyers in the ER

Are they reluctant to tell physicians their profession? GruntDoc thinks so:

The most reticent to tell me what they do are lawyers (and I'm just guessing here, but if I was a lawyer in an ED I'd worry a little that I'd get over-tested and overdiagnosed due to medmal paranoia . . .

It's causing all sorts of confusion and dilemmas:

New York City appears to be on the forefront when it comes to transgender rights. Last month, the agency that runs the subway system agreed to allow transgender people to use the restrooms of their choice. Now comes news that the city will probably allow people born there to switch the gender on their birth certificates.

According to a proposal that's ...

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Medicine has too much variability, says Aggravated DocSurg, and can't be compared to flying a plane:

Now let's compare the pilot to, oh, I don't know, a general surgeon (what I lack in imagination is made up by a complete deficiency of imagination), and that surgeon will do four operations today. The first is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy on a healthy 50 year old; the second is an incisional hernia ...

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He takes exception with the AAP's reasons for opposing these clinics. I think this physician commenter truthfully explains the cause of the fear:

The big threat to us is that they cut into our biggest financial gain - the 2-minute visit. I make way more in 10 2-minute visits than I do 2 diabetic checks. I don't want to give our "bread and butter" (when it comes to revenue) ...

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Observes someone who works at a pharmacy. It's either ampicillin or ibuprofen. The more interesting observation is that these same patients often later return with prescriptions for broader-spectrum antibiotics, prescribed by the ER.

Bloodbath at Pfizer

PharmaGossip with more on the sales force cutdowns.

TBTAM reports on the HPV test and how to convince your doctor to order tests you may not need. However, with ancillary tests bringing in revenue, doctors may not need much convincing.

A urologist reports a bizarre case, which is reason enough to read. However, when patients threaten to leave AMA, they act as if this is some kind of threat against us. Trust me, it makes no difference to the doctors if they chose the path against medical advice.

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