Good to keep handy when travelling to China.

Of course they are, says this doctor:

Now, it's a mathematical certainty (and simple common-sense) that the more the tests you perform, the higher the likelihood that at least one will be abnormal. If you perform a panel of over 20 tests for any woman, at least one (or even more) are going to be "abnormal". This condition, when the result of the test is abnormal, but the patient ...

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This is a lethal dose. An osteopathic surgeon (not exactly sure what that is - a DO perhaps?) had to change his name due to the 110 other malpractice suits against him.

A study suggests that black patients are more likely than white patients to prefer life-sustaining care when confronted with an incurable illness or serious mental and physical disabilities.

Recent studies have demonstrated the safety of cellphones in the hospitals. Banning them forces patients to pay the hospital for telephone access:

But it reveals that Health Service authorities have prohibited their use after signing deals with private telephone providers.

These firms, which have installed bedside entertainment systems under the Government's 'Patient Power' policy, have made millions by charging up to 75p a minute for incoming calls ...

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He wants to raise money for the Bone Marrow Registry:

The sixth-grader said many people have visited his Web site but there have been no bidders.

"I hope that people start bidding on it now, before it ends Dec. 6 and that's all I can hope for," Pedraja said. "Bidding will not only help you by advertising, it will also help save a bunch of lives."

Some stories from the hospital "vampires":

It never seems to amaze me in the winter, people walk in with the big, bulk coat sit in the draw chair, and then say "oh, do I have to take my coat off?" how do you expect me to get the blood, I love to say, "no keep the coat on, it may take me 15 times to hit the vein, but I ...

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No matter what the circumstance, this is not allowed.

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.

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