Vox's Julia Belluz wrote a nice article explaining why doctors overprescribe antibiotics.  She essentially gives two reasons: doctors unsure of the diagnosis want to be "safe," and patient demand. But there's a third reason that's an extension of demand: patient satisfaction. More patients have to take time off work to see their clinician, only to spend a few minutes in the exam room.  Those who take that inconvenience likely won't want a lecture on ...

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An August, 2015 study in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine is being touted as evidence that homeopathy is as effective as antibiotics for respiratory infections in children. It doesn’t show that at all -- in fact, it doesn’t show anything, except that crappy studies in crappy journals can nonetheless be used to manipulate opinion. Beware. First, the study itself. Researchers in Italy looked at about 90 children with ordinary colds. All ...

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Recently, public outrage over Daraprim’s price hike from $13.50 to $750 was loud and clear -- so loud that its CEO Martin Shkreli had to rescind it. In the business world, he might be praised as a savvy investor. He saw a product that was drastically undervalued and priced it at a level that the market was willing to bear, reaping huge profits. This type of mentality is a trait many ...

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Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that causes opportunistic infection in helpless people. It may have met its match. The cost of treating toxoplasmosis, a rare but extant infection, just shot up exponentially. Drug-resistant strain, you ask? Have physicians in infectious disease gone mercenary, you wonder? No. A change in ownership. Daraprim (pyrimethamine) is a nifty drug that kills parasites. It’s been around for eons. I still recall its name from my ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 22-year-old man is evaluated for diarrhea and weight loss. The patient has a 3-week history of foul-smelling, large-volume, watery stools associated with abdominal bloating. There is no visible blood or mucus in the stools. He reports a 4.5-kg (10-lb) weight loss, which he attributes to a poor appetite. One month before ...

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It was a week into my elderly patient's hospital admission when he began to have fever and profuse diarrhea, some 10 to 12 bowel movement a day. The diagnosis was not hard to make: a stool test showed he had C. difficile. Another patient, a thin women in her late 40s who had become paraplegic after a gunshot wound decades ago, came in from a nursing home when her urinary catheter ...

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shutterstock_117645061 Imagine the United States of America when a simple skin infection from a scrape causes a 10 percent chance of dying.  Out of every 1,000 women who give birth, nine will die, and out of the 1,000 infants born,  up to 30 percent will die.   It is difficult to imagine, but these are the alarming statistics prior to antibiotics in the early ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 40-year-old man is admitted to the emergency department with a 1-day history of headache and epistaxis. He has had type 1 diabetes mellitus requiring insulin for 30 years and two episodes of ketoacidosis in the past year. On physical examination, temperature is 36.0 °C (96.8 °F), blood pressure is 100/70 mm Hg, ...

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Antibiotic resistance is an alarming and increasing threat to global public health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two million people a year become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and lead to 23,000 deaths in the United States alone. Simply put, the bugs are getting stronger and smarter, our antibiotic arsenal has not kept pace, and we have overused our antibiotic resources in a manner ...

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Want to learn about sepsis?  This video from the residents at UCLA-Kern Medical Center teaches you, Justin Timberlake style. Get your sepsy on!

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