Physics majors are found to do better than biology majors. They even scored better in the biology section.

Doctors are fined by "local health-care monitors" if suspected of overprescribing medications:

In this remote mountain village, residents were complaining about a local doctor. Some suspected he was prescribing drugs that weren't necessary.

That set off an unusual response: A special council of local health-care monitors -- formed as part of an experiment to address sweeping problems in China's health-care system -- swung into action. In 2004, they fined ...

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Already adding to the irreparable damage he's done to the UK's public health system.

A GSK executive falls prey to the side effects of the OTC obesity drug, Alli. (via John Mack)

Orac thoughtfully looks at the controversy surrounding this issue:

Don't even get me started on the liability issues involved. It's impossible to give truly informed consent regarding a drug that hasn't made it through at least Phase II testing. Given the litigious nature of the U.S., it's highly unlikely that a blanket immunization from liability to physicians prescribing such drugs or drug companies making them would pass muster. And the ...

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TBTAM chimes in on the continuing controversy:

Right now, because the HPV vaccine does more good than harm, the healthcare community and the media seem to be willing to let Merck slide on this one. But I believe it is a very slippery slope upon which we are allowing them to ride. They still need to get better at covering their tracks, but their recent absence from the WIG ...

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More openness from Paul Levy, CEO of BI-Deaconness in Boston. (via White Coat Notes)

If this is true, it does seem like an unreasonable workload:

Among other things, Monke claims she was required to be on call for 19 days without a break, to be on call for nursing homes over 300 miles away on weekends and holidays, to commute 100 miles a day between nursing homes, to make daily rounds at 12 nursing homes and to visit 25 patients per day.

It sounds like he was in a rush to get the surgery. Did he underestimate the risks?

Dailey also pointed out the doctors waived the normal counseling period before the operation -- at Weis' request -- so he could be healthy in time for the following football season.

Weis said he was so secretive about his decision to have the surgery that he didn't tell his wife until about ...

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The man with two hearts



Fascinating images and EKG from the NEJM of a patient who had a heart transplant, but the native heart was left in:

A 64-year-old man presented with progressive shortness of breath and exercise intolerance due to end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy. Since he remained severely symptomatic despite maximal medical therapy, he underwent a heterotopic cardiac transplantation. Because of ...

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Are doctors ageist?

This study suggests so:

The researchers compared the responses of doctors to people aged under 65 and over 65. They pointed out that 65 was no longer regarded as being particularly old in British society.

Prof Ann Bowling, of the department of psychology, at University College London, led the study. She said: "Resources are limited and doctors have to make difficult decisions. Maybe they have run out of ...

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. . .when this reader sees what's going on overseas:

What seems harsh to me here is the fact that the average Scotch worker would be precluded from being able to afford private health care, because they could not afford to contribute both their tax dollars to the "National Health Service" and their remaining earnings to a private plan. The article states that the "National Health Service" is spending the ...

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Skimping on light

Debt-ridden UK hospitals are taking down light bulbs to save money.

Well, certainly that explains the appeal of a group like AMSA. This poster suggests their views change during residency:

Academic physicians are more liberal than community physicians as a generality. Also, medical students are far more liberal than physicians. There is something about 80 hour weeks with minimal reimbursement tends to change some minds about unlimited self-sacrifice to humanity. Half of your liberal classmates won't be by the ...

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This student is taking a complaint to court in a lawsuit against the AAMC.

A prescription-monitoring system is about to go online in Tennessee.

After the malpractice loss, the surgeon fires back: "In the end, everybody's health care costs go up because this guy couldn't take care of himself."

Reimbursement:

So why is Monroe County losing physicians? In September 2005, the Monroe County Medical Society, as part of the Rochester Physician Workforce Task Force, interviewed physicians relocating to other communities. Of the several reasons doctors gave for leaving Rochester, the No. 1 reason was low reimbursement.

Little can be done to boost Medicare and Medicaid payments, since those reimbursement rates are set by the federal and state governments, ...

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His gastric bypass surgery had dire complications, and it goes to show that the gray areas of complicated cases lend themselves to questioning:

At the trial of Weis's malpractice lawsuit yesterday, attorney Michael E. Mone asserted in his opening statement that two surgeons involved in the weight-reduction surgery disregarded warning signs that Weis was bleeding internally following the June 14, 2002, operation. Not until June 16, when a nurse ...

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Claims denials from health insurance companies have spawned a growing industry:

"The insurers outcode us, they outsmart us and they have more manpower," says Shari Reynolds, the administrator at Paluxy Valley, which pays athenahealth a little over 3% of the $2.5 million it collects annually from insurers. "Now at least we have a fighting chance."

Doctors increasingly complain that the insurance industry uses complex, opaque claims systems to ...

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