Annual salary for a geriatrician: Less than $16,000. "As an internist who obtained certification in geriatrics the first year it was offered, I found your editorial on the graying of America to lack a full understanding of the problem.

No one in a practice that is not subsidized by other physicians, or has ancillary income such as lab or X-ray, can afford to be identified as a geriatrician today. ...

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"A perfect storm of medical, legal and personal choice issues." More on the record high C-section rates:

The increase in primary C-sections and decrease in VBACs continue a trend established in the mid-1990s, the report noted. In 1996, C-sections accounted for just more than 20% of all U.S. births, with primary C-sections constituting about 13% of the surgeries. At the same time, VBACs rose to about 28% of births to ...

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Meth cases are straining emergency rooms. "The problem was particularly intense in the middle of the country: 70 percent of hospitals in the Midwest and 80 percent in the Upper Midwest said methamphetamine accounted for 10 percent of their patients. Nationwide, 14 percent of the hospitals said such cases made up 20 percent of their emergency room visits."

Search engines and blogs are becoming top desintations for finding health information on the internet. "Consumers and physicians alike increasingly are turning to search engines to find health information on the Internet, rather than pointing their browsers toward specific, known Web sites." (via The Healthcare IT Guy)

A CDC physician claims that a drug error, not chelation therapy, killed a 5-year old boy. This case is well-documented. Here's what the CDC physician had to say:

"It's a case of look-alike/sound-alike medications," she said yesterday. "The child was given Disodium EDTA instead of Calcium Disodium EDTA. The generic names are Versinate and Endrate. They sound alike. They're clear and colorless and odorless. They were mixed ...

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The government is putting pressure on physician pay in the UK. "Yet for all our hard work, the government is effectively saying that we should be punished for the failure of NHS managers to balance the books."

Congratulations to the winners of the Medical Weblog Awards. "After a wonderful year of medical blogging, with so much quality writing in so many fields of medicine, it's time to announce the winners of The 2005 Medical Weblog Awards!

These awards were chosen by you, the readers -- and boy, did you keep it interesting. We thank you for your opinions and are grateful for your continued patronage ...

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DB on the Medicare reimbursement dance. "Doctors have said they will not embrace pay-for-performance without long-term payment reform, and Congress is saying it will not consider such changes without assurances that doctors will play ball on quality reporting."

And therein lies the stalemate.

One obstacle to the "potential windfall of litigation" in New Orleans - finding a jury:

More than four months after Katrina wrecked much of the city, Bruno & Bruno has filed dozens of lawsuits that reflect the rising frustration and anger among thousands of residents and business owners who lost homes, jobs and relatives in the flooding. The lawsuits' targets include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local government ...

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Hikikomori, or the act shutting oneself in his room, is a growing problem in Japan. "One morning when he was 15, Takeshi shut the door to his bedroom, and for the next four years he did not come out. He didn't go to school. He didn't have a job. He didn't have friends. Month after month, he spent 23 hours a day in a room no ...

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Can a thick wallet in your back pocket cause sciatica? The short answer is yes.

A Steelers' fan had a heart attack after Jerome Bettis' fumble in the fourth quarter. "I wasn't upset that the Steelers might lose. I was upset because I didn't want to see him end his career like that. A guy like that deserves better. I guess it was a little too much for me to handle."

Dogs sniffing out cancer. First bladder cancer, now lung cancer:

The near-perfection in the clinic's study, as Dr. Donald Berry, the chairman of biostatistics at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, put it, "is off the charts: there are no laboratory tests as good as this, not Pap tests, not diabetes tests, nothing."

NY Times on the gray areas when treating stroke.

A dentist let her unqualified boyfriend drill teeth. "Mogjan Azari allowed her lover Omid Amidi-Mazaheri to work on more than 600 patients, leaving many in agony.

He drilled out cavities without local anaesthetic and installed expensive fillings that crumbled within days."

I'm enjoying reading some of the WebMD blogs. One blog in particular, Mad About Medicine, rants about many of the same issues discussed here. Here's his take on defensive medicine:

Which brings us back to horses, zebras, and fears. The training of physicians stimulates the push to look for every diagnosis possible. This noble approach unfortunately is then exponentially exaggerated by the fear of lawsuits. Physicians ...

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An ER physician is sued for not giving written discharge instructions.

Despite the evidence, why do people continue to ask for PSA screening? "One factor in the popularity of PSA testing is that it is backed by powerful commercial forces which assiduously promote its benefits. One prominent campaigning group, Us Too! International - which is based in the USA with branches in other countries, including several in the UK - describes itself as a 'grassroots' organisation set up by prostate cancer ...

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Different drugs having the same name. Dilacor is diltiazem in the USA, but digoxin in Serbia.

A doctor bans PlayStation to stop head-twitching in a boy. "All the head jerking is gone and his eyes are completely back to normal."