Bizarre non-medical story of the week - Man accidentally divorces wife in his sleep:

Under Islamic law, a husband need only say "I divorce you" three times to secure a permanent end to his marriage . . .

. . . But 30-year-old Ansari said he had no intention of leaving his wife of 11 years.

"I have not given talaq. When I uttered talaq three times I ...


When is a patient too ill or old for medicine?

Doctors should take into account the patient's life expectancy and whether the drug is likely to provide much benefit in the months or years the patient has remaining.
Not so cut and dry in these litigious times. Let's say you stop BP medications in someone with terminal cancer. They have a hypertensive stroke. Is the doctor liable?

On neck ties and white coats . . . should doctors practice naked?

A bang-on article about superstition amongst the medical staff:

"Every doctor is either a black cloud or a white cloud," said Ponsky, 33, a pediatric surgery fellow at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "I am a black cloud. When I'm on call, things are incredibly busy. Crazy things happen."

As unscientific as it sounds, the "cloud theory" is an almost universally known superstition in hospitals, part of ...


10 medical symptoms that require immediate attention.

Welcome to Kenya, where medical malpractice is barely punished:

Dr Peter Kiama Wangai, a consultant medical doctor, who also happens to be an advocate of the High Court, argues that doctors in Kenya have it easy when it comes to being punished or admonished for crimes and mistakes related to their work.

"I do not remember in the medical-legal history of this country of a doctor who has been ...


Not all pathologists are trained to do autopsies:

Autopsies in some rural places often are performed by doctors not fully trained to look for evidence of a crime. In urban areas, they are done by forensic pathologists, who are specially trained and certified as medical investigators.

"If you had a blockage in your arteries going to your heart, about to kill you, would you be comfortable going to ...


Sounds pretty negligent to me:

Nemoto, the ear, nose and throat specialist who was in charge of the boy at the time, was accused of causing Shunzo to die by failing to find out from his mother what happened and neglecting his responsibility take a tomography scan. He sent the boy home without realizing that the chopstick was lodged in his brain.
At least take a proper history and physical.

A naturopath goes to jail:

The Flanagans said they went to O'Connell after their son's physicians said there was nothing more they could do.

O'Connell told them "he could save Sean and that no Irish kid was going to die on his watch," said David Flanagan, Sean's father.

But Flanagan died two weeks after getting "photoluminescense" treatments in which a small amount of his blood was removed, exposed ...


This is hilarious. (via Dr. Crippen)

SI's Peter King talks about not having "home bathroom advantage" for his colonoscopy prep. Mr. King has had three colonoscopies before the age of 50. Recommendations from the USPSTF suggests screening colonoscopies every 10 years assuming a normal result or even small hypertrophic polyps. Unless there's something his doctors are following, I'm not sure why he's having so many.

Newsweek - "My Black Skin Makes My White Coat Vanish"

I remember talking to one of the white, male attending physicians in my training program after he witnessed one such encounter. "Listen," he said, trying to comfort me, "I can walk in wearing a T shirt and jeans and I'll always be seen as the doctor, even without an introduction. You will not."

Some law students planning to represent malpractice plaintiffs are unaware about physicians defensive medicine:

Still, several law students say they have learned from the physicians. They now know about the daily pressures and the impacts of litigation on medical practitioners. Until the class, some were unaware that more physicians are practicing defensive medicine to thwart possible claims.

Distracted by snooker:

Shuna Gregory and Ryan Abrahams's child, Saffron, became critically ill after contracting an infection during birth. She died aged 11 months. Her parents claim that John Miller, a consultant obstetrician, took no action over Miss Gregory's continuous bleeding in the hours before she gave birth to her daughter, in which she suffered a tear in her placenta. The tear caused blood loss, triggering renal complications that ...


The sad case of a cardiologist closing his practice because of Parkinson's.

Are lazy employees invoking HIPAA to skirt work?

I'm a general surgeon and I still practice as well as being a medical school administrator, and I have very little problems in general in getting the information I need from other facilities. Of course, there are always people who are looking for a reason not to do their jobs and nowadays they can invoke HIPAA.

A picture of the LA patient dump (via the Washington Post):

Imagine trying to navigate Medicare Part D if you don't speak English.

I couldn't resist. No offense meant - I do value your contrarian input on the comments.

RangelMD - how cutting physician reimbursement is actually increasing medical costs:

Ironically these Medicare cuts combined with anesthesiologist shortages may lead to increased salaries as hospitals, desperate to find someone to staff surgical procedures, increase subsidies and provide recruitment incentives. Most of this added cost will be passed on to private insurers and some to tax payers as increased medical care costs.