My take: Heath Ledger, contracts, disease prevention

1) Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.

My take: Two narcotics, three benzodiazepines, and one sedating antihistamine. If a single physician was responsible for these prescriptions, that’s a serious error in judgment. It is more likely that Mr. Ledger received multiple prescriptions from different physicians around the world, perhaps not knowing the danger these medications have when taken together.

2) Residency generally gives little training in negotiating physician employment contracts.

My take: Another way newly graduated doctors are ill-prepared to face the real world. Remember, physicians are negotiating from a position of strength, as there are shortages in pretty much every area of medicine. Don’t lose this advantage.

There are no circumstances where you should be without a health care attorney and a copy of the latest MGMA Compensation Survey. When talking salary, negotiate in terms of MGMA percentile, rather than absolute numbers.

Remember, everything is negotiable. Without exception.

3) Hillary Clinton’s health care plan is partially paid for by disease prevention that her plan will emphasize.

My take: I wonder what she thinks of the recent study that debunks the myth that preventing obesity and smoking saves money. The bottom line is that healthier people live longer, costing more in the long run.

Universal coverage will cost more money. Period. Hillary/Obama will make this a central, contrasting theme against McCain, essentially rendering the federal election a referendum about whether the American people is willing to pay for universal health care or not.

From where I stand, I see it a 50/50 proposition either way.

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