A stent anecdote from a former FDA Associate Commissioner

by Peter J. Pitts

As the saying goes, the plural of anecdote isn’t data.  That is unless the anecdote supports your theory.  Here’s a personal anecdote — a story of how the system works.

Being adopted, I have no family history, so when I suffered through some late night chest pains I figured I’d better act on the warning signals. I called my GP and got a same-day consultation, resulting in a next-day referral …

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Bioethics and bedside communication in daily patient interaction

by Zakari Tata, MD

Biomedical ethics and bedside communication is currently taught to medical students in a classroom mainly in the first two years. In residency it is not usually given a lot of attention. This is leading to a situation where a very basic part of daily patient interaction is not addressed. This leads to many complex problems in the hospital that lead to moral dilemmas and conflicts.

The idea needs …

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Confidence in a student’s ability to become a competent physician

by Timothy Dempsey

Looking in the mirror before heading out the door for my first patient encounter, I slouched. Something looked off. I had on my new, absurdly short white coat complemented nicely by the equally as new black stethoscope draped around my neck; yet the way I looked wasn’t the problem. It was the way I felt. No matter how well I dressed the part …

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Why the time is right for collaborative care

by John Mooney

A recent study conducted by Dove Press Patient Intelligence Journal asked this question of patients: “Have you ever asked your physician to prescribe something different than the original recommendation?” Thirty-four percent of the respondents indicated that in fact they had.  Perhaps even more interesting: of that 34 percent, 69 percent of the doctors agreed to prescribe the alternative drug when asked.  Why is this important?  The health …

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Alternatives to NSAIDs, pros and cons

by Marianna Rakovitsky, RPh

Recently, I have talked about the concerns with the use of NSAIDs and their effects on the heart.  All medications carry a risk of adverse effects. NSAIDs are usually very effective in controlling pain especially muscle and bone pain, but they also carry a potential risk of side effects such as stomach and kidney problems, increased risk of bleeding and adverse effects …

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Ethics of the individual mandate

by Raymond Raad, MD, MPH

There is a remarkable inconsistency between the ethics of medical practice and the discussion about the health care reform law passed this past March, especially the individual mandate.

In medicine, it is considered unethical to force a patient to do something against his will.  Patients are allowed to disagree with their doctors and to decide for themselves whether they want to heed their advice.  Patients are even …

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USA Today op-ed: Violence against doctors and nurses due health care dysfunction

My latest column was published this morning in USA Today: Violence is symptom of health care dysfunction.

I discuss the disturbing trend of violence against health care workers.  Here’s an excerpt:

Violence is most common in psychiatric facilities and emergency departments, but can also be seen in waiting rooms, long-term care facilities and critical care units. Nurses are the most frequent targets. According to a 2010 survey from the Emergency …

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