In the first, known prospective study, Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeons admitted that almost 20% of the imaging studies they ordered were for defensive purposes. All of the previous data that hinted at the rampant practice of defensive medicine relied on surveys or other forms of retrospective data. In this study,

A total of 72 orthopedic surgeons agreed to participate, submitting information on ...

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One of the stories circulating regarding the demonstrations in Wisconsin is the authenticity of the doctor work notes. Squarely in the cross-hairs are physicians from the University of Wisconsin's Department of Family Medicine. According to this excellent piece in The Atlantic by physician-writer Ford Vox,

In videos breathlessly presented throughout the conservative mediasphere this weekend, doctor after doctor is videotaped writing patently fraudulent sick notes so that the protesting teachers (whose contracts ...

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Consumer Reports recently released a survey of both patients and primary care doctors, regarding their perceptions of each other. Some interesting findings, as summarized by the WSJ's Health Blog:

On the issue of respect and appreciation, 70% of doctors said they were getting less of it from patients than when they started practicing. For patients, meantime, the more they reported being treated respectfully and listened to, the more satisfied they ...

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Should medical students receive immunity from malpractice liability? That's an interesting question that's raised in a bill from Arizona. According to the Arizona Daily Sun,

State lawmakers are moving to keep patients injured by medical students from being able to sue them. But proponents said that won't leave victims without recourse. SB1429, awaiting full Senate action, would spell out that students are not liable for malpractice if they are under the supervision of a ...

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Like most everyone else, I took a break from my evening chores the past few nights, and watched Jeopardy! IBM's super-computer, Watson, was taking on Jeopardy! phenoms Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.  [SPOILER] The computer won handily. After watching, I began to study for my upcoming board re-certification exam. But, then, I wondered.  Why? In the New York Times, applications for Watson are ...

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There are plenty of reasons why medical students aren't choosing primary care as careers. Lack of role models.  Perception of professional dissatisfaction.  High burnout rate among generalist doctors. Long, uncontrollable hours. But what about salary? Until now, the wage disparity between primary care doctors and specialists has only been an assumed reason; the evidence was largely circumstantial.  After all, ...

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The recurring narrative among health reformers is that hospitals that provide more care raise health costs, but don't necessarily improve quality. This has lead to a backlash against so-called "aggressive" hospitals and doctors, with upcoming financial penalties to match. But the situation, as always, appears to be more nuanced than that. In her column in the New York Times, Pauline Chen looks ...

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Abdominal pain is the bane of many emergency physicians. Recently, I wrote how CT scans are on the rise in the ER.  Much of those scans look for potential causes of abdominal pain. In an essay from TIME, Zachary Meisel discusses why abdominal pain, in his words, is the doctor's "booby prize."  And when you consider that there are 7 million visits annually by people who report abdominal pain, that's a ...

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Health reformers propose the proliferation of integrated health systems, like the Mayo Clinic or Kaiser Permanente, which, according to the Dartmouth Atlas, lead to better patient care and improved cost control. To that end, Accountable Care Organizations have been a major part of health reform, changing the way health care is delivered. Never mind that patients may not be receptive to the new model, but the creation of these large, integrated ...

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Female doctors make less than male physicians. That conclusion gained major media traction recently.  A recent post on KevinMD.com by medical student Emily Lu had some great conversation discussing some reasons why women make less money in medicine. To recap, the study from Health Affairs concluded that,

newly trained physicians who are women are being paid significantly lower salaries than their male counterparts according to a new study. The authors identify ...

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