The AMA warns against spring break:

Kathleen Fitzgerald, a 21-year-old junior at Illinois State University, said the AMA's effort to raise awareness is a good idea, but probably won't do much to curb drinking during spring break.

"I think a lot of students wouldn't really pay that much attention to it," Fitzgerald said. "They would just be like, 'Duh, that's why we do it.'"

Another patient advocate who demands perfect physicians:

The word "diagnosis" is simply a fancy word for "opinion." In a medical environment, that opinion is based on accumulated evidence, including your symptoms, test results and previous medical history. Your doctor's evaluation of that evidence should yield an accurate diagnosis, which should result in the most effective treatment decisions.

But "should" is the operative word. "Should" could end up meaning ...

Read more...

Jail inmates have to pay a $10 co-pay to see a doctor. "The move comes in response to too many inmates making frivolous medical visits, county officials said."

A man talks about his time in hospice:

I don't know if this is true or not, but I think some people, not many, are starting to wonder why I'm still around. In fact, a few are sending me get-well cards. These are the hard ones to answer.

So far things are going my way. I am known in the hospice as The Man Who Wouldn't Die. How ...

Read more...

The importance of food in hospitals.

Miracle Workers is going to further promote overtesting:

"It sounds scary, frankly," said Dr. Richard Deyo, professor of medicine and health services at the University of Washington and co-author of "Hope or Hype: The Obsession with Medical Advances and the High Cost of False Promises."

The "Miracle Workers," he said, "sounds like it's destined to create wild expectations on the part of people watching ...

Read more...

Think we have it tough here? Take a look at India:

Patients everywhere in the world complain of negligence and neglect, understandable given their situation. But arguably only in India are doctors assaulted if patients fail to respond to treatment and die. In Mumbai itself, this is the sixth incident of relatives assaulting doctors in the last nine months. Only an incendiary build-up of emotions arising from such circumstances ...

Read more...

The future of doctor-patient interaction, via e-mail:

TopGuy.com: As I relax this Sunday evening at my weekend getaway, I'd like to invite you to do likewise. I've had enough of our eight-minute office visits, and I'm sure you have, too. So I've decided to join the 10 to 20 percent of American physicians using e-mail to restore personal connection with patients.

Terminal Patient: How the hell did you get ...

Read more...

Is the stethoscope becoming a useless prop of doctorhood? You betcha:

As physicians rely on more accurate and expensive tests of cardiac function, including echocardiography, the art of listening to the heart has fallen on hard times. In recent years, a spate of studies has shown that as few as 20 percent of new doctors and 40 percent of practicing primary-care doctors can discern the difference between a healthy ...

Read more...

Gastroenterologists and anesthesiologists are fighting over the use of propofol:

Dr. Edgar Canada, president of the California Society of Anesthesiology, adds that unlike many sedatives, propofol does not have an antidote to reverse unintended effects. The petition by the rival group is "troubling in terms of patient safety," Dr. Canada says. "Gastroenterologists lack the training and experience."

But gastroenterologists counter that anesthesiologists are just protecting their turf ...

Read more...

A physician blog criticizes the hospital he works for. Not sure if that's very smart.

It seems that patients are surprised and upset at the amount of defensive medicine and overtesting routinely thrown at them.

What about giving patients a choice? Not realistic, as this physician commenter eloquently summarizes our defensive medicine conundrum. I hope that every patient and lawyer reads this (emphasis mine):

I wanted to address a misconception: giving patients information about risks of diagnostic testing and allowing them ...

Read more...

Is it time to step up the defense?



The tabloid Boston Herald writes a lawyer-friendly medical malpractice piece, showing conscientious plaintiff lawyers busy diagnosing cancer that radiologists have missed:



The article implies that doctors are clearly not achieving the 100% accuracy rates that lawyers and patients are demanding:

Doctors in the medical mecca of Boston are missing cancer diagnoses at a troubling rate, ...

Read more...

A 30-cm spatula was left inside a patient after surgery:

A doctor at the Jikei University School of Medicine's Aoto Hospital in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo, left a 30-centimeter-long metal spatula in a patient's stomach after an operation in January, it was learned Wednesday.

According to the hospital, the 68-year-old patient underwent an operation on Jan. 31 to have an ovarian tumor removed. While the doctor sutured her stomach, a ...

Read more...

Happy to be British - a UK doctor to an obese patient:

"How do you feel about taking up my time when there are people dying of cancer in the waiting room?"

He says he was also told that he couldn't be assisted further because his body mass index was only 37.7, and guidelines said he needed to be 40 or more in order for him to receive help.

Meet the physician-host behind ABC's new series, Miracle Workers:

Nearly everybody at ABC believes that whatever the ultimate fate of Miracle Workers, it will make Burke a star. "Look, he was in here the other day, and all the women were sneaking into the lunchroom to get a peek at him," confided one network official. "He's got it."

But the show also may make him an inviting ...

Read more...

The Toronto Star looks at the Canadian Medical Association Journal scandal:

There's a fear among some that the CMA's relatively conservative leadership will skew the Journal toward the right "” a not unreasonable worry given the fact that delegates to the association's annual convention last August voted overwhelmingly to support two-tier health care.

Kassirer's panel says the CMA has to make up its mind. If it wants a house ...

Read more...

Medpundit preaches to the choir on primary care:

The trick is to get family medicine (and pediatrics and general internal medicine) to be as attractive as specialty medicine and rural and poor urban areas to be as attractive as suburbia. One way would be to pay primary care doctors better. (Like that's going to happen.) Or the field more "glamorous." (Even less likely.) Specialty fields are attractive not just ...

Read more...

Aggravated DocSurg reams the AMA, referencing their backdoor dealings with Congress that I mentioned previously:

This sort of behind-closed-doors deal is just the right kind of inanity that keeps AMA membership plummeting --- and it will ensure that the "quality" measures they come up with are [1] likely to be ignored, [2] well out of date by the time they are published, and [3] unable to meet any ...

Read more...

Beware of sex injuries:

"A 29-year-old man heard a snap during sexual intercourse followed by immediate detumescence and a swelling of the penile basis and scrotum, due to a penile fracture."

I'd call that an emergency.

In fact, as much as I wish it were, breaking your penis isn't rare. Guys do it when they get all pile-drivery and they miss the bull's-eye, or when she's riding ...

Read more...