$913 for removing earwax

The explanation: "Because the instrument used in the cleaning process is considered a surgical instrument, the procedure is considered to be surgery."

A whopping 51 percent.

Doctor vs Dr. Mom

See how some of your mother's advice for common ailments stack up.

So he put the infant in the freezer. Yes, he's on trial:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the mother found the girl crammed into the freezer alongside ice cubes and hamburger meat. Hardy said he had left the door ajar but the mother said it had been closed when she returned.

It presents a unique challenge in a culturally conservative society.

Radiology outsourced?

Matthew Holt thinks so, and I agree. With films going digital, insurance companies and hospitals will simply have their films read overseas - which is happening already. Of course, malpractice will be one hurdle, and the American radiologists will fight tooth and nail to prevent this from happening.

The CDC recommended technique for coughing and sneezing is to do it in our sleeves. This website and video aims to educate the public:

The Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. and of several states have put forth posters and public service announcements trying to get people to change the way they cough and sneeze. Only a small fraction of the population has adopted safe techniques. With ...


A debate ensues in this medical student forum. Similar discussion to whether doctors are allowed to be obese.

Nice article from Time Magazine - Why We Worry About The Things We Shouldn't ... And Ignore The Things We Should:

Shadowed by peril as we are, you would think we'd get pretty good at distinguishing the risks likeliest to do us in from the ones that are statistical long shots. But you would be wrong. We agonize over avian flu, which to date has killed precisely no one in ...


There has to be more to this story.

Similar to the VA, this may be be a result of Medicare negotiation for drug prices. Will patients want this?

American consumers have repeatedly resisted efforts to save money on medical care by restricting choice. Health maintenance organizations, for example, were once seen as the answer to rising healthcare costs, but millions of people rejected the approach, saying they wanted the freedom to choose their doctors.

Want to see all your patients sooner than 48 hours? Easy, simply don't schedule out more than 2 days.

It may be far off, but researchers are working on it:

"These can restore hair to a bald man, teeth to those in need and skin to scarred patients."

The use of stem cells to regenerate tissue is believed to hold promise because stem cells can be nudged to develop into specialized cell types. And some researchers have turned an eye toward stem cells for this very purpose.

Lawyers are withdrawing from these cases, citing a lack of evidence and patient misinterpretation:

Hospital officials said they sympathize with patients but believe misunderstandings might have given the impression of a cleanliness problem. For example, Thompson said one client complained that nurses weren't washing their hands, and were instead using a sort of "mousse" -- which actually was a hand sanitizer.
(via Dr. Wes)

This is how US primary care is seen by many medical students. It's sad to say that they're not too far from the truth:

The climate for primary care doctors, in as much as this medstudent can understand, seems fraught with patients wanting tests or specialists. Unfortunately the idea that a primary care doctor can control a lot of problems *without* extensive testing or referrals is becoming foreign ...


Wishful thinking that something like this would work. As long as someone else is footing the bill, many won't care about the macro-effects of their medical decisions:

Proscriptions (sic) could be aided by legislation demanding Doctors inform Patients in percentage terms the likely benefit of such Drug use; most truly sick Patients can understand a Doctor who says this Drug will make you feel 10% better at $12/day. They ...


Fascinating poisoning by a rare, exotic compound.

This time, fetus in fetu. A boy born with a fetus in his stomach:

Doctors carried out a scan on the boy's mother shortly before she gave birth on November 15 in the southern city of Temuco and noticed the 4-inch-long fetus inside the boy's abdomen.

It had limbs and a partially developed spinal cord but no head and stood no chance of survival, doctors said.

Popularized by the $4 Wal-mart and Target plans. Good news for patients. Bad news for Big Pharma.

John Mack suggests that Pfizer look at this opportunity:

I think smoking cessation support is a perfect application for Web 2.0 (aka, social networking) technology. In fact, it has been done before with another smoking cessation drug . . .

. . . The particular precedent I am thinking of used online bulletin boards where smokers who were attempting to quit could share stories, experience and encourage one ...


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