Doctors are being terrorized in Iraq. "Abu Mohammed can't go near a hospital now. The Iraqi bone specialist, 37, has lived in fear since August, when his younger brother, also a doctor, was shot dead one night while walking home from his clinic in Baghdad. Abu Mohammed bought a pistol after that, but he still doesn't feel safe. Recently he was offered a managerial job at one of the city's ...

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Sometimes treating patients means not doing everything they say. "For medical consumers, there is a message here: good medicine sometimes means that the customer - I mean patient - isn't always right.

Or even happy."

Is the medical malpractice crisis over? "Pennsylvania Medical Society spokesman Chuck Moran said yesterday that it's premature to declare the crisis over. He said the overall payouts in medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania rose in 2004, and medical malpractice insurance premiums haven't gone down."

Doctor shortage: In Ghana, there are 1,700 doctors responsible for 20 million people.

Unsued drugs that are being flushed are being found in the reservoir:

When prescription drugs expire or are no longer needed, many people simply flush and forget them.

That's the best way to keep them away from people who shouldn't have them, including children, poison prevention groups and pharmaceutical associations say.

But growing evidence suggests that flushing pharmaceuticals poses environmental risks.

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority ...

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Washington Post: Are many clinical trials unnecessary?

Hurricane Katrina will cost 200,000 their health insurance.

Want to avoid the emergency room? Read Harry Potter.

Voting begins for the 2005 Medical Weblog Awards. Kevin, M.D. is nominated in the Best Medical Weblog category.

This editorial questions why physicians who work charity clinic should be exempt from malpractice. Can't have it both ways.

This is smart: A vending machine to dispense free generic samples.

How the new Medicare drug plan is affecting smaller pharmacies.

A disturbing trend - Insurers are starting to blend 99213 and 99214 payments:

Of special concern are letters sent to OAFP members in northern and central Ohio questioning their overuse of the 99214 code and the decision by Anthem in southern Ohio to blend payment rates for 99213 and 99214 codes. While Anthem denied the intent of devaluing primary care services, this is certainly the perception among some family physicians. ...

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Medpundit talks about the growing field of adoption medicine. Diagnosis via photos. Dr. Frist should apply.

Medicare or Canada? The AARP compares the drug prices.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is going to have a PFO closure. Readers of this blog should be well familiar with PFO's.

This health-care actuary is not so confident in high-deductible insurance plans. "Most people aren't yet comfortable with the idea of high-deductible insurance, and with good reason. You pay lower premiums but are left with a riskier plan. Over time, people will make the switch to save money, just like they did when HMOs came around. After that it's anybody's guess. Some people think that this will save health care. More ...

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Lose-lose: On birth injuries and malpractice. "In Virginia Beach, another mother with a child injured at birth described why lawyers declined to bring a malpractice suit.

'They told me there was negligence,' the woman said, asking not to be identified. 'But because my child looks normal and only has learning problems, they said a jury wouldn't feel that much sympathy.'"

A pediatrician leaves patients waiting in the office to buy a new truck. "In one incident, he left his Townsend office twice on Feb. 8 to finalize a deal on a new truck, according to the complaint.

He allegedly first left the office for about 20 minutes around 9 a.m., even though two patients were in the office waiting to be seen, then left again in the early afternoon ...

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Doctors in poverty. Apparently, a call for doctors in the UK have left many broke as they await their certification:

Standing in the courtyard of the Sri Mahalakshmi Hindu temple in east London, a dozen jobless doctors are eating dhal, rice and potatoes off paper plates.

Wrapped against the cold in anoraks and sweaters, they come here each evening when the temple serves free food. They eat in the ...

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