This letter to the editor gives a contrarian opinion:

What Emma neglected to address, as most proponents of universal health care do, is who will be funding the program. I wonder who Emma believes she has the right to enslave in order to pay for her medical care. There are only two choices: the doctor who will be forced to work for free, or taxpayers.

Anyone forced to work ...


With their reliance on the colonoscopy, gastroenterologists are worried about being antiquated: "Dependence of a specialty on a single procedure is always a concern."

Men die at higher rates of almost every disease, and the NY Times looks at the lack of attention on this fact.

Much has been made of the recommendations to decrease time to the cath lab for acute MIs. However, Dr. Wes points out it isn't always that easy. For one, consider the idea of having a cardiologist in-house at all times. Somehow I don't think the bigshots making this recommendation will be the ones to stay overnight.

A physician roundtable discussion at Medscape. My top 3 changes: i) health-courts or no-fault malpractice insurance; ii) increasing reimbursement for primary care; iii) a universal EHR.

Maybe next year, they can get it just right.

A dissenting opinion suggesting that what the Democrats want to do - namely allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices - will increase cost. DTC advertising is one sticking point that will prevent this approach from working:

In fact, the government negotiating on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries may lead to some unintended adverse consequences. Since direct-to-consumer advertising is legal in the U.S., there is nothing preventing pharmaceutical companies from funding ...


Virtual checkups

A new trend is the remote checkup via a computer video camera:

Patients and their home health aides are trained on how to use the computer station, which includes a stethoscope, vital sign equipment, a glucose meter and a pulse oximeter. Readings from the machines are transmitted to the nursing agency, sometimes on a daily basis. The camera also allows the nurse to remotely view injuries or other problems.

Acne and suicide

A third of teenagers with bad acne have suicidal thoughts and more than 10 per cent have tried to kill themselves.

A man without cardiac risk factors dies of a heart attack after being sent home from the ER. It is successful malpractice cases like these that cause ER physicians to defensively admit everybody to rule out an MI, further ballooning health care costs.

As the defense states, the only definitive test to determine whether someone has heart disease is a cardiac catheterization. The day is coming when ...


Lack of clarity in the laws are causing trouble for those legally able to use and grow marijuana.

Follow-up on Dr. RW's take on how hypocritical AMSA is. How could a medical student organization be so uncritical?

On what studies or evidence does AMSA base these assertions, particularly the last one, in which AMSA explicitly states that TCM is "well-suited" to a certain group of patients? None whatsoever. The references are all books on TCM and acupuncture. There's not a single peer-reviewed scientific study or clinical ...


If the floor has bacteria on it, even one to two seconds is enough to contaminate the food.

Revolutionary, or the next step to designer babies?

Before, they had to go to the edge of campus to smoke a joint to treat their pain.

They're the only state with this restriction. It's a losing battle, and it is only delaying the inevitable:

Some doctors fear midlevel providers are "dumbing down" the medical profession. Dr. John Wernert, past president of the Indianapolis Medical Society, wrote in July a letter to IMS members titled: "Turf Wars "“ Defending the Practice of Medicine," about midlevel providers having expanded privileges.

He wrote: "As physicians, we need ...


Apparently he pocketed the settlement and jumped town.

Merck's Vioxx replacement is off to a bad start.

I don't know how they can continue to give medical advice over the phone in the UK. Disaster waiting to happen.

Could some of it be a placebo effect? I am not aware of a significant amount of cases where generic medications did not appropriately stand in for its brand name counterpart.

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