Dr. Ken

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Ken Jeong is an physician by day, comedian by night.

Music to Lipitor’s ears

A study suggesting that switching from Lipitor to a generic can increase mortality.

The next Medical Specialty Stereotype cartoon from Michelle. Also check out orthopedics.

Problem-based learning

Panda with his take on a growing medical school trend:

Problem-based learning is an admission by medical schools that most of first and second year is self-study. Instead of following this admission to its logical conclusion, that people should study on their own, Problem Based Learning was devised to justify both freeing up faculty to concentrate on their real interests and to not provide lectures while still collecting tuition. If ...

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Maria talks about a sad case of psychosis, and how the bureaucrats responded.

A psychiatrist slams a ghost-written article published under his name:

After the broadcast, the CME company, i3 CME, presented DeVane with an article based on the discussion, apparently ghost-written by a medical writer hired by the company. DeVane called this a "ridicuous text"¦ parts of it were inaccurate, simplistic, and [contained] over-generalizations." It is not clear whether DeVane insisted that editorial changes be made. He had not read the ...

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David Hogberg explains why dermatologists see Botox patients quicker than mole checks:

The final problem with the third-party payer system is that it makes providers less "patient centered." Since the patient isn't paying directly, the doctors have less incentive to make the care more convenient, like having evening and weekend appointments. That further diminishes the amount of time available for appointments for dermatologists, thereby increasing the wait.

Thus, I ...

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A hospital in Sweden has banned them due to a buildup of static electricity. Now there are safety and infection concerns.

Open access scheduling

Slate on what doctor's offices should learn from the restaurant business:

Successful restaurants understand that long waits lead to no-shows and lost income, which is why many of the most popular places don't allow reservations until at most, say, a month in advance. In the restaurant business, deftly balancing supply and demand enables most places to take same-day reservations. Likewise, doctors should stop deferring for weeks and months what, ...

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Studies in JAMA suggest no improvement in mortality:

Cutting the grueling work hours of doctors-in-training had little effect on reducing patient deaths, according to two large studies . . .

. . . For the groups with no change, Volpp said one possible explanation is that more patient handoffs by residents offset the benefits of reduced fatigue.
Update:
Roy Poses with his thoughts.

The medical hierarchy

Michelle Au with a new (and long-awaited) Scutmonkey comic. Here are the rest of them.

Less than half of heart attack victims in a recent study arrived to the hospital via ambulance. When in doubt, call 911:

. . . as many as 5% of patients go into cardiac arrest en route to the hospital "” a very, very good time to be snug inside an ambulance rather than the family SUV. And a growing number of ambulances do electrocardiograms on the way ...

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Delay in Vioxx payouts

Is the plaintiff's attorney Mark Lanier partly responsible?

Real or simply more aggressive diagnosis?

The spread of the diagnosis is a boon to drug makers, some psychiatrists point out, because treatments typically include medications that can be three to five times more expensive than those for other disorders like depression or anxiety . . .

. . . "From a developmental point of view," Dr. March said, "we simply don't know how accurately we can diagnose ...

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A woman with incurable cancer is looking for that right Canadian man:

Jeanne Sather, 52, posted a personal ad last week in her blog, The Assertive Cancer Patient, looking for a marriage-minded Canadian gent.

"If I moved [240 kilometres] north I wouldn't have to worry about medical care," said Sather, who has been battling breast cancer for nine years.

She pays $20,000 annually in medical costs, including insurance ...

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An argument that physicians should be taken out of the quality management decisions:

The principle here is that if you want the checklist done, take the doctors out of it. They can concentrate on diagnostics, management and advising. Their fundamental asset is the relationship with the patient. Get the quality check done by someone specifically trained for the process.

Anyone ever wonder why hospital operating rooms are always ...

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Should drama be a requirement to teach empathy?

Doctors taught empathy techniques by theater professors show improved bedside manner, according to a pilot study by a Virginia Commonwealth University research team.

The findings may help in the development of medical curriculum for clinical empathy training. Clinical empathy skills allow doctors to recognize a patient's emotional status and to respond to the patient's needs. Patients often identify empathy skills, ...

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Health care in China:

The most common prescription is for antibiotics, with devastating effect. The health ministry announced the results of a survey this week showing about 70 per cent of child pneumonia patients were resistant to drugs used to treat the disease, because of overuse of antibiotics. In three children's hospitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the country's wealthiest cities, the figure climbed to 90 per cent.


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John Edwards is now mandating physician visits. The right-wing blogosphere is having a field day with this.

The Liberty Papers, Les Jones, Texas Hold'Em Blogger, The American Pundit, and Right Angle Blog all comment.

Some say he's just pandering to the doctors:

"Doctors will appreciate the guarantee of life-long employment.

If that's enacted (shortly after hell freezes over), a whole new occupational group will be created: ...

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It is a verdict like this that drives defensive medicine:

I see 30-year-olds with chest pain every single day. Like the ER doc in this case, most go home with a reassuring diagnosis and some supportive medication. And I have been lucky -- none of them unexpectly dropped dead. And I know, as all ER docs working in the pits know, that if and when one does drop dead, ...

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