One might assume that inmates in correctional facilities would not be influenced by big pharma’s direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) strategies. After all, their communication channels with the outside world have largely been silenced. However, many do have access to television. And despite an increase in online pharmaceutical marketing, TV remains a common medium for trying to persuade patients to “ask your doctor” about drug X. Inmates also read magazines, another common ...

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Most psychiatrists and primary care physicians who work in corrections long enough will end up being named in a lawsuit or having a complaint filed against them with their licensing board. So, from a risk-management standpoint, is it worth the potential hassle? Yes, in most cases I think it is. It is a fact that physicians who treat inmates are at greater risk of litigation. I don’t have specific figures to give ...

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I love running. I typically run 3-4 miles a day 5 to 6 days per week. It's only about a half hour of time, and it's well worth it. I get 'in the zone' when I run, and I can tune out the rest of the world and enjoy just being. It feels great physically and mentally each time. It's helped me immensely to stave off the obesity issues that have ...

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Eric Cropp was a pharmacist who was sent to prison for a mistake that resulted in the death of a child. This was a high profile case, but it was just one of many examples of a disturbing trend I’ve seen in the U.S. in recent years: a person commits a mistake–with no malicious intent and without being under the ...

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Working as a psychiatrist is very rewarding. It’s stressful in a unique way, and some people may look at me strangely for having an unusual job. But overall I really enjoy it. Here are some of the aspects of psychiatry that I really appreciate. 1. Being trusted. Psychiatrists meet people when they are at their most vulnerable points, and we are entrusted with extremely ...

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This post was inspired by Dinah, a psychiatrist over at Shrink Rap. She recently described how a psychiatrist friend of hers has been going through some phase-of-life changes. Recently he has regretted some of the advice that he previously had given to patients who were going through the same life changes he’s now going through himself. He realizes that he was not nearly so qualified to give the advice ...

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Winning the lottery -- yes, I've heard the horror stories of how people's lives have taken a turn for the worse after it's happened. But, like many others, I still wonder what it would be like. I'd be willing to take my chances with the win! But this post is not about money. Not at all. Actually it's about gratitude. It's about the many 'lotteries' in life that have nothing to do ...

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As the saying goes, when you’ve got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Send a patient to a surgeon, and he very well might get surgery. Send a patient to a psychiatrist, and he very well may end up on psychotropic medication. As physicians, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. We should not prescribe or perform procedures unnecessarily. However, even if we are responsible for our own ...

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The psychiatrist knocks on the door of the patient’s hospital room. Patient: “Come in.” Psychiatrist: “Good afternoon, Mrs. Jones. I’m Dr. Moodbetter, one of the psychiatrists here. Your doctor asked me to see you. Did he say anything about this?” Patient: “No, he didn’t! You know, I’m not nuts. I didn’t think he believed me. Great. Now he just thinks it’s all in my head.” Psychiatrist: “Well, I don’t think he meant to imply ...

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One of the most difficult family decisions can be whether to move an aging parent(s) out of their own home and into assisted living or even a nursing home. I’ve seen families face this dilemma numerous times. (After my psychiatry residency, I completed a geriatric psychiatry fellowship and also spent the first few years in practice consulting at nursing homes.) Nobody wants to face this situation. In fact, I’ve seen repeated instances ...

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