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.

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 -- ...


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.

When a procedure goes right.

Battle-SCHIP continues

Eric Novack with his take:

I suspect that most Americans would suddenly be less inclined to support the SCHIP expansion when they see several children negatively affected for every 1 child helped. However, given that most government programs ignore both "the children" and common sense financial planning, we are likely to see the SCHIP debate played out with them tucked away and forgotten.

From his book, Cutting Remarks.

Brilliant op-ed in the Washington Post:

The debate over vaccine litigation has thus shifted from a presumption of innocence to a presumption of guilt. While the number of major studies that have failed to find any substantive link between vaccines and developmental disorders or autism is now in the double-digits (including a September 27th CDC study in the New England Journal), critics are effectively demanding that scientists prove that ...


A welcome return.

Scenes from Pri-Med

Some observations from Pri-Med East 2007.

* The pharmaceutical exhibit hall seems toned down this year. No golf, origami, nor sleeping models this year. Still had the magician-drug rep and lots of coffee booths. Nothing gets a physician's attention like caffeine.

* My bathroom handwash was brought to you by Amitiza, a medication for constipation.

* Not sure why some physicians ...


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