A hospital patient being treated with a flammable gel for a skin condition has died after being engulfed in flames as he lit a cigarette.

The Washington Post publishes recommended screening tests. I would add pushing up colon cancer screening to 40 years old in those with a family history (i.e. first-degree relative) of colon cancer. Otherwise, their recommendations are in line with the USPSTF.

With all the hoopla about Evista and breast cancer, the NYT points out one potential risk - buried at the bottom of the article:

Dr. Larry Norton, a breast cancer expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said the greater risk of the early breast tumors with raloxifene was cause for concern. "They can eventually turn into invasive cancers," he said.

Even if raloxifene ...


The WSJ says, "why don't you live in my single-payer utopia?" (via THCB)

Is not prescribing medications over the phone is a manifestation of defensive medicine? Dr. Blackman says no, and simply says it's good medicine.

Boston Globe - blogging is essential to a good career:

"It's the new public relations and it's the new home page. Instead of a static home page, you have your blog," he said. It's a way to let people know what you are thinking about the field that interests you.

Employers regularly Google prospective employees to learn more about them. Blogging gives you a way to control what employers ...


The blog of Google's staff physician. (via KidneyNotes)

A wrong-site surgery could occur once every 5 to 10 years at any single large hospital.

The CDC lists Alzheimer's disease as the 8th leading cause of death. Lawyers feel that malpractice should take that place. (via a reader tip)

The University of Michigan's medical school endorses a student blog. (via AMNews)

It's about time. A website that rates mainstream medical news reporting:

HealthNewsReview.org is an attempt to help improve the accuracy, balance and completeness of news stories that make claims about new ideas in health care. It is not intended to belittle the hard work of well-intentioned journalists.

How a delivery room experience inspired an obese OB/GYN to start running marathons.

A chemotherapy patient is continually targeted for his pain medication.

Prior authorization for MRIs and CTs are becoming common:

Whenever he wants to order an MRI, CAT scan, PET Scan or Nuclear Cardiology test, he has to consult with the insurer first. In some cases it'Â’s a matter of informing the plan, in others he has to get approval.
Simply asking the pre-certifying radiologist, "Are you willing to accept liability for your refusal of the CT/MRI request?", will get the test ...


Alternative medicine: "The placebo effect is a very big component to all this."

The future of primary care? Dr. Crippen takes aim at mid-level providers:

Medical judgment is acquired gradually over a long period of time. A bedrock of two to three years scientific training, supplemented by three years clinical experience, followed by many more years of medical apprenticeship before you become an independent doctor working as a GP or consultant.

This process of acquiring medical judgment is also known as ...


How physicians can use Google Calendar.

Twenty-eight percent of medical schools require students to have PDAs.

Tragic in China:

A hospital is facing a huge compensation claim after a baby's life support system was switched off because doctors said he was terminally ill, only for the infant to survive and lose his vision as a result.

The tourist died from Epcot's Mission Space ride had a hypertensive brain hemorrhage. Going on a ride that spins you 2 G's probably isn't the best thing for someone with long-standing hypertension.

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