I learned recently that the antipsychotic Abilify is the biggest selling prescription drug in the U.S.  To be a top seller, a drug has to be expensive and also widely used.  Abilify is both.  It’s the 14th most prescribed brand-name medication, and it retails for about $30 a pill.  Annual sales are over $7 billion, nearly a billion more than the next runner-up. Yes, you read that right: $30 a pill.  A little more ...

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shutterstock_113514799 No physician, however conscientious or careful, can tell what day or hour he may not be the object of some undeserved attack, malicious accusation, blackmail or suit for damages  ... " - Assaults Upon Medical Men. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1892 It’s happened again: A well-liked doctor is killed by his patient. Last year’s horrific death of a physician in our community, a ...

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GVE8468-640x424 Standing on the edge of his hotel balcony, a doctor describes the rolling hills. He tells me, “It’s a beautiful place to die.” Ten minutes later, he agrees not to injure himself -- for now. I’m not running a physician suicide hotline. But doctors keep calling me. It’s midnight, and I’m speaking to a psychiatry intern. Bullied by residents and her attending, she ...

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shutterstock_230620183 Every year 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide. More than 10 percent of doctors are thought to have depression, a frequent precursor to suicide. Rates of depression and suicide among physicians are higher than in the general population. Many reasons including stress, heavy workload, sleep deprivation, lack of autonomy, and lack of outlets for personal care may contribute to higher vulnerability in doctors. ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Trends in Teen, Young Adult Suicide Differ by Gender. Patterns of suicides among adolescents and young adults changed dramatically from 1994 to 2012, with major gender differences in these 19-year trends.
  2. Early Hot Flashes May Predict Heart Disease. Early-onset and frequent hot flashes and night sweats in women were ...

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There are many good reasons for Congress to enact President Obama’s proposal to raise the Federal minimum wage to $9 per hour.  Many of these reasons, from economic stimulus to possible reductions in gaping income inequality to much-needed financial relief for working families, have been extensively discussed in the public sphere.  However, one important benefit of increasing wages has not received enough attention: improving mental health. Numerous studies show that poverty ...

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0121_davidson-620x411 When we perceive any object of a familiar kind, much of what appears subjectively to be immediately given is really derived from past experience. - Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind I’ve learned a few more things about Stephen Pasceri, the man who murdered a cardiovascular surgeon in Boston recently.  He had money troubles involving credit card debt.   He declared bankruptcy at one ...

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Michael Davidson’s death was the result of a senseless act, and it has shaken our community to its core. We physicians are part of a profession that prides itself on healing and restoring lives, and it is difficult to accept an untimely and unjust death in any context. It is all the more incomprehensible that such tragic circumstances could exist as to result in such an irrevocable end to one ...

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As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as a forest: beautiful, scenic and picturesque from afar but ...

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Doctors prescribe way too many medicines for patients who don't really need them. A lot of the pressure comes from intense drug company marketing. Some comes from patients who aren't happy leaving the office without a pill. And doctors have too little time with each patient to explain non-pill solutions to problems. Wild prescribing is not new. For thousands of years, doctors have given patients useless (and often quite harmful) ...

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