Minutes from melting in the summer heat, I dumped my stuff at a table and homed in on the hospital café’s soda display for something -cold. The gentleman at the next table glanced my way and said, "Are you in the medical field?" "Yes sir, I’m a medical student." He eyed my drink and asked, "Did you hear that diet soda can increase your risk of diabetes by 70%? Even just a few ...

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I used to think medicine would get easier over time. It makes sense, right? You see patterns, you learn how treatments work, and you just get to know stuff. Experience should make it easier to diagnose and treat. That’s not been the case for me. In fact, it’s closer to the opposite. In the exam room, as I look up to the patient from my stool, and before I stand at ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Fruit Takes a Bite Out of Diabetes Risk. Eating more fruit, particularly apples, grapes, and blueberries, meant lower type 2 diabetes risk.
  2. Congress Probing VA Bonuses to Doctors. A congressional committee is using a recent report questioning performance bonuses given to Department of Veterans Affairs physicians as reason to examine a range of pay-for-performance issues at the VA.
  3. Financial ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Indoor Tanning Still Common in Girls, Women. Indoor tanning among adolescent girls and young women rises through the teen years, peaking at about 18 through 21, and then declines with age.
  2. 1 Autistic Child in Family Hikes Risk for More. Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) had a greater risk of being affected with an ASD themselves.

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Data Promising for Next-Gen Inhaled Insulin. Two late-stage trials in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have shown benefits for the latest incarnation of rapid-acting inhaled insulin (Afrezza) over insulin and oral diabetes drugs.
  2. Byetta May Help in Type 1 Diabetes, Too. The GLP-1 agonist exenatide (Byetta), used in type 2 diabetes, may have metabolic effects on patients with ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Oncology Clinics Caught in Financial Vise. Community oncology clinics continue to feel the squeeze of a changing reimbursement structure that has forced 288 clinics to close in the past 6 years. 2. More Docs Seek Traditional MBA Degrees. When nervous dental patients make their first visit to Dr. Sree Koka, chair of dental specialties at the Mayo ...

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In 2009 I wrote a post titled “Quality or Conformity," where I pointed out that many of the quality measures in primary care have more to do with whether doctors follow guidelines than if they deliver care that helps patients live long and well. There is a tendency to focus quality efforts on measuring what is easy to measure, rather than what matters the most. That phenomenon is called ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Supreme Court Nixes State Suits Against Generics. Makers of generic drugs cannot be sued under state law for side effects of their products, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, angering patients' rights advocates. 2. Parental Focus on Weight Loss May Harm Teens. Parents who engaged their children in discussion about healthy eating habits offered them a protective effect ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. Risk Model May Catch Type 1 Diabetes Early. A threshold based on risk prediction data from a large epidemiological study of type 1 diabetes may help better predict which patients will develop the disease. 2. Drug Combo Beats Step-Up Tx in New T2D. Starting newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients on triple combination therapy rather than progressing step-wise ...

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Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market a new drug is a critical waypoint along the path to profits for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Unfortunately, recent case studies have illustrated that FDA approval does not necessarily provide assurances of effectiveness and safety. In last month's Georgetown University Health Policy seminar, we discussed two examples, anemia drugs and the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia), which were ...

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