What a great idea.

Not a good start for this dog of a drug. First the UK, now Germany.

Lyme wars

Non-evidence-based therapies, such as months to years of antibiotics, are coming under fire.

USA Today tries to get a straight answer and finds that it's nearly impossible. The reason is because of the insurance companies:

USA TODAY's story on the difficulties consumers encounter in getting information on health care prices leaves the impression that doctors are unwilling to disclose their prices. In truth, a typical doctor might have 20 or more prices for the same procedure "” because each insurer ...

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PCPs are starting to protect their turf against this growing trend. Malpractice lawsuits will kill off these clinics soon enough.

Blog, MD hosts the best of pediatric blogging.

Not the thrust of this article, but I found this point interesting:

With this in mind, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Presbyterian Hospital installed alcohol-wash dispensers in every room and allowed nurses to ban doctors who don't wash up from entering patients' rooms. Yet more than one-quarter of UPMC's doctors still haven't gotten the message . . .

One major cause for such huge gaps in care is ...

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I'm happy that this study is getting some play in the media. Essentially, many of the "routine" tests done on a physical are not recommended (the whole concept of a "routine physical" is controversial - but that's for another discussion). Merenstein concludes:

# 37 percent of checkups included a urinalysis.

# 9 percent of checkups included an electrocardiogram.

# 8 percent of checkups included ...

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No surprise to anyone reading this blog. BTW, it's good to see our old friend Dr. Merenstein back in the news:

During your next routine medical checkup you have at least a 43 percent chance of undergoing an unnecessary medical test, a new study shows.

It's not like you're getting something for nothing. If you're not having symptoms, and your doctor has no reason to suspect ...

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He remembers his first time and opines:

Medical students have to learn. Simulators are available, but they are not as good as the real thing. It is a difficult area. From what I hear from medical students, they get much less opportunity to do personal examinations than I did.

I do not know what happens nowadays to patients under anaesthetic. But the next time you are having an operation, ...

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No surprise about the pharmaceutical influence over prescribing practices:

At a recent speech before another society, the American College of Cardiology, its new president, Dr. Steven E. Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, suggested that the medical profession had become addicted to industry money just as the nation was addicted to foreign oil.
There really should be no reason to treat hypertension with any brand-name drugs. The exception is the ...

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How the DEA is fighting battles it knows it can win:

"If the battles you're fighting are being lost, then, to win the war, find battles that you can win," says David Brushwood, a professor of pharmacy health care administration at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and a critic of government narcotics policy. "Doctors are more conspicuous and easier to find than drug dealers, and, besides, they don't have guns ...

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The Herald in Washington:

The Harvard researchers may not think the system is riddled with frivolous lawsuits, but we agree with the AMA that 40 percent is too many, and they do burden the system, even when there is no payout.

Perhaps a penalty for filing a frivolous suit might help some patients have more respect for the law. Getting those numbers down would put the focus where it ...

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I have no comment.

I'm sure this is the wave of the future:

A senior clinician and staff, present in the Milan lab and ready to intervene should complications arise, inserted the catheter into the groin. From there, Pappone took over the controls in Boston and via a secure satellite link was able to manipulate the catheter with the magnetic navigation system (Stereotaxis, St Louis, MO) to perform the ablation. Pappone completed the ablation ...

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Apparently, you can't be depressed if you can't frown:

Dr. Finzi, who runs a private medical practice in Chevy Chase, Md., believes the patients felt better simply because they could not frown. "I think there has got to be some type of feedback between the muscles for facial expression and the brain," said Dr. Finzi, whose study was published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery.

It is unknown whether he knew about the disease:

. . . sperm donors are routinely tested for most common genetic diseases, like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, but not for extremely rare ones like severe congenital neutropenia, the one afflicting the Michigan children.

The DNR tattoo

Chris Rangel takes a closer look.

This new study from the Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy debunks the myth that malpractice premiums are related to insurance industry price gouging.

A man with Tourette Syndrome will be on Big Brother: "Pete Bennett, 24, who lives in Brighton, has a severe form of the condition and swears uncontrollably."