Contrary to popular belief, the answer is no.

EPO controversy

The recent controversy on EPO is leaving doctors in a no-win situation:

John Glaspy, an oncologist and professor of medicine at UCLA, says that for patients with falling hemoglobin - a critical protein carried by red blood cells -- doctors must face a quandary. "When we see a patient whose hemoglobin is falling, there is a theoretical risk if we do something - blood clots and possible effect on survival ...

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If medical practice was like Wal-Mart, primary care is like the $3 generics that bring people into the store.

Philip Alper on primary care contributing the large multispecialty practices:

The self-satisfied primary physician in the multispecialty group has always worked in his group environment. If his group is typical, primary care may function as a loss-leader into the provision of more lucrative procedural services, both diagnostic and therapeutic. ...

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Interesting take:

Think for a moment about the amount of money that is spent a year on cancer medication. How many drug companies would go out of business if a cure for cancer were found? How many politicians would loose elections because they did not have the backing of these drug companies? . . .

. . . It was once estimated that one out of every thousand people ...

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In a physician survey measuring payment delays amongst the largest insurance companies.

The Hurwitz verdict is going to scare even more doctors off of chronic pain management. Patients lose yet again:

By prosecuting Hurwitz for drug trafficking because some of his patients abused or sold painkillers he prescribed, the Justice Department reminded physicians throughout the country that they are expected to be cops as well as doctors. If they fail to reconcile these irreconcilable roles, if they do not treat their ...

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Dr. Paul Hsieh takes the fight to the Denver Post where he irks a columnist:

The craziest letter to the editor that I've read in some time came from a physician who claimed that Coloradans have no right to health care.

Seems the guy not only forgot his Hippocratic oath but also the law.

If you're sick enough or badly injured, they have to treat you at the ...

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Some truths are revealed about the state of American medicine in this survey:

And one physician says his hospital's young chief operating officer once compared the hospital to a donut shop. The COO told the physician: "We are like a donut shop. Our job is to sell donuts. If we don't sell a lot of donuts we go out of business. Your job, as chief of emergency services, is ...

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One of the most common patient encounters ends badly with a malpractice lawsuit:

According to court documents, her doctor, Dr. P.Z. Vora, prescribed Bactrim, an antibiotic containing sulfa.

Instead of helping Rees, the drug eventually killed her.

Herfamily is now suing her Dr. Vora and Walgreens, claiming they should have known about her sulfa allergy from her medical chart.

"I've seen a number ...

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Former Intel CEO Andy Grove gives it a try. Like many economists and policy wonks, technology mavens are trying to fix something they are completely over their heads in. Try doing a few shifts in the ER or spend a week shadowing a primary care physician before spouting off solutions. GruntDoc explains.

Bill Richardson, a politician not in touch with reality:

Medicare should be made available to people 55 and over "¦ Universal health care must be implemented"”without creating new bureaucracy.
David Catron can't stop laughing:
That's right. He's talking about a monumental expansion of the federal role in health care, and he thinks he can do it without adding more apparatchiks. He's apparently been away from D.C. for too long. He ...

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It's true, physicians normally send patients out of the hospital with a long list of medication. I've always wished pharmacists luck in sorting them out. The Angry Pharmacist writes about this frustrating ordeal.

My home state of New Hampshire was supposed to be the first to protect providers' prescription patterns from Big Pharma. However, a judge put an end to that and showed us where the judicial loyalties lie:

In yet another slam on the medical profession by the judicial system, a federal judge has declared New Hampshire's Prescription Restraint Law unconstitutional.

The law, which was passed by ...

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Drug store clinics are set to invade Massachusetts. Old-school doctors in Boston are not happy:

Dr. Allan Goroll, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the opening of clinics in CVS stores and in Walmarts in other states reflects "the sorry state of primary care in America." He said insurers underpay primary care doctors, leading to a physician shortage. One answer, he said, is more investment by payers ...

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There is something comical about this:

Also, there's something ridiculous about spending all day intubating and giving life support to humans, only to spend the entire afternoon and evening "learning" how to intubate and resuscitate a plastic dummy with no legs.

Doctors aren't trained to be businesspeople. Many are learning on the job:

"Most physicians know nothing about budgeting, marketing, billing and all the tasks involved in running a business." Dr. Foxman estimated that he spends 25% of his time dealing with administrative issues.
The business aspects of private practice are almost as important as the medicine itself.

To everyone who believes that equates more CT scans to better medicine, consider one of the downsides:

They were concerned that patients coming through the emergency room could end up having unnecessary CT ("cat") scans without anyone informing them of the risks from the doses of radiation they were getting.

They calculated that a CT scan of the abdomen gives the body a radiation dose that is the equivalent ...

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Legendary surgeon Michael DeBakey operated on Boris Yeltsin in 1996 with profound political and historical consequences.

Marc Siegel writes on medicine as it should be:

In an age of impersonal medicine, marked by bottom-line thinking and rushed doctor-patient interactions, some doctors still buck the trend -- the way Soroff did -- and go to extraordinary lengths to give their patients personal care. Some let patients call them at home, day or night; some keep their offices open late; some find other ways to show that ...

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Physicians who provided care to the uninsured during Hurricane Katrina gets shafted by the government:

The lawsuit, brought by 381 physicians at West Jefferson Medical Center, says the state failed to reimburse them for treating indigent patients since the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane closed the state-funded Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

"This is severely straining our area emergency rooms, and the lack of proper outpatient care is harming these ...

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