It really has gotten this bad when a physician would rather drive a truck cross country than practice primary care:

In the last six months in our community, five primary care physicians have called it quits. Some have gone into hospital medicine, some have gone into the more controlled atmosphere of nursing home medicine, some have gone into the fringe of nutritional medicine and one will simply be driving a ...

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Patients are benefiting, lawyers are seething and scheming:

Medical malpractice reform, we now know, is working for Texas.

We mean for the patients. It isn't working for the trial lawyers, to be sure. But then again, it wasn't intended to.

Alas, it comes as no surprise that, in light of all this good news, Texas' lawsuit industry is still angling behind the scenes to bring back our ...

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John Ford writes about the continuing confusion surrounding opiods and pain management:

As the appropriate indications for narcotics are expanding, more doctors may be going to jail for offering such progressive care. Given the modern recognition of pain as the "fifth vital sign" not to mention the increasing medical liability assumed by not controlling it, prosecuting more doctors doesn't seem the way to go.

Medical boards and regulators ...

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Something about keeping the sperm in fresh supply:

"I remember one couple in which the woman would only let the man ejaculate when she was in her fertile period, so the poor chap was going without for almost a month at a time.

"But if sperm is released in a steady stream, the sperm that is ejaculated are newer and less damaged.

"There is a trade-off between genetic ...

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Did emotion trump science?

A dramatic moment in the trial came when the boy's father, Jose E. Bejarano Sr., a truck driver, led his son in a wheelchair before jurors, Carey said. The father pointed out the boy's feeding tube and explained how he responds to sound and affection. "The family felt strongly that they wanted [jurors] to meet him," Carey said.

Chronic Lyme disease

Nothing stokes the passion of activists like rebuking the mercury-vaccine association, as well as the existence of chronic Lyme disease. The Angry Doctor gives it his best shot:

The attorney general of Connecticut has begun an unprecedented antitrust investigation of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which issued treatment guidelines for Lyme disease that do not support open-ended antibiotic treatment regimens

An attorney general is actually pursuing ...

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The uvula

Paying this oft-neglected part of the body some respect.

What it’s like to die

A somewhat disturbing article. Here's what they say about decapitation:

Beheading, if somewhat gruesome, can be one of the quickest and least painful ways to die - so long as the executioner is skilled, his blade sharp, and the condemned sits still.
(via Maria)

Cancer death rates

They are experiencing historic drops. Finally, some good press about something we're doing right.

Update:
As The Physician Executive puts it:

The profit motive in medicine, while causing significant unanticipated problems (costs, insurance etc.), has been able to deliver some significant improvements in survival, lifespan and quality of life.

Sermo and Pfizer

Is the physician's social network making a deal with the devil?

Of course, this opens a Pandora's box. There's nothing to say Pfizer or any other drugmaker shouldn't participate in online forums. But the venue could, conceivably, create myriad scenarios in which, say, off-label info is conveyed or trial results are somehow whispered prematurely or selectively. The FDA, if it pays attention, will likely have its bureaucratic hands full keeping ...

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Dr. Chris Coppola blogs from Iraq. The latest story is a dramatic delivery of a baby:

After gearing up the team and heating up the operating room, we opened her belly and looked for damage caused by the bullet. The tissue of her uterus was bleeding and she was leaking urine. I carefully opened her uterus, releasing the waters. I felt her baby's head and quickly unwound the ...

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Where's his cape?

"A member began to experience heart palpitations while on a business trip in China. I called the hospital; arranged for a translator, who was there on arrival; and followed that with faxed medical records within minutes. The patient was seen immediately. His EKG's indicated an acute heart attack. I reviewed faxes of the EKG's with a Chinesespeaking cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University and confirmed ...

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The wrong physician was named in a lawsuit, and is still dealing with the legal ramifications:

. . . he spent the next year defending himself because plaintiff attorney Charles E. Gibson III of Ridgeland, Miss., failed to drop him from the case voluntarily. Because Dr. Stewart's medical liability insurance policy had a $10,000 deductible, he was forced to pay $6,100 of his own money to cover the cost of ...

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Medical identity theft

Rising health care costs are fueling this new, growing trend of identity theft:

Escalating health-care costs and the growing ranks of the uninsured are fueling this fast-growing fraud. Before he was caught, Daniel Sullivan, an uninsured Pennsylvanian, racked up more than $144,000 in medical bills at five hospitals posing as an acquaintance whose insurance information he had stolen.

In addition, drug addicts in search of their next high -- ...

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Lead in lipstick

Is it concerning? Yes, if your child eats 71 tubes of lipstick.

Jay Parkinson

Wondering how this new-style doc is doing? Check out his blog.

Templated charting

One of the biggest EHR perks is templates for charting. It is also a very slippery slope to fraud.

Needless ER visits

How needless ER visits sucks money and time from the health care system.

And you wonder why the field of obstetrics is dying.

People seem to be shocked that insurance premiums for Massachusetts' individual mandate are prohibitively expensive.

Folks, health insurance is expensive because health care is expensive. Deal with it. Nothing is free, and I think it's a positive thing that the public is slowly being acclimated to not taking health-care for granted.

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