Missed diagnosis in the ER, and the need to look

by 911Doc, MD

WNL is doctor shorthand for “within normal limits”. Saves a bunch of time when checking the boxes on the physical exam. The temptation is to write “WNL” whenever possible, and, therefore, it often ends up meaning “We Never Looked”.

A homeless gentleman presented to my ER a few months ago. He had been hit in the head with a beer bottle. He had a suturable laceration to his scalp …

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Fighting AIDS compelled this student to become a doctor

by Timothy Dempsey

One thing changes everything.

While this may be a poor paraphrase of the cheesy slogan ESPN used for the recently finished World Cup, in my life this statement has revealed itself as a universal truth. For me, one book changed everything. It would lead me into research labs, on a trip to disease-riddled Gaborone, Botswana, and pique my interest into an epidemic whose global …

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New osteoporosis screening guidelines from the USPSTF

by Todd Neale

Postmenopausal women of any age with a 10-year fracture risk equal to or greater than that of a 65-year-old woman and no other osteoporosis risk factors should be screened for the disease, according to draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The 2002 USPSTF guidelines recommended routine screening only for women ages 65 and older, as well as women ages 60 to 64 with an increased …

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Can HSAs restore the doctor patient relationship?

by Charles W. Patterson, MD

Is it possible that some do not understand that to promote Healthcare Savings Accounts is the most effective thing we could do to preserve traditional medical practice? In a true doctor-patient relationship only doctors and patients discuss the options agree to the treatments and handle the money. No third party touches any of these.

If everyone had a HSA it would be just like the good old …

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The Empowered Patient: Finding Dr. Right

An except from The Empowered Patient.

by Elizabeth Cohen, MPH

Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets into trouble at the doctor’s office? While she’s waiting in the examining room, she sneaks a peek at her chart and notices that it says she’s “difficult.” When the doctor comes in, he whips the chart out of her hands.

DOCTOR: You shouldn’t be reading that.

ELAINE: …

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What cyberbullies have in common with their victims

by John Gever

So-called cyberbullies share many of the psychosocial features as their victims — and in fact many bullies were also victims themselves, researchers from Finland said.

A population-based cross-sectional study surveyed more than 2,000 seventh- and ninth-graders in two Finnish communities and found that cyberbullies had higher than average rates of self-perceived difficulties in life, headache, feeling unsafe at school, and perceiving teachers as uncaring, among other problems, reported Andre …

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A primary care direct pay model that works

by Brian Forrest, MD

When I started a cash-only, direct-pay practice nine years ago, my reasons were simple: spend more time with my patients, provide better care, and live a better life.

I was uncomfortable signing insurance contracts that limited my ability to care for my patients. I was unwilling to sign an employment contract that required me to see a patient every 7.5 minutes, or lose …

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Video games are linked with attention problems in children

by Michael Smith

It’s not just TV — video games are also associated with an increased risk of attention problems in children, researchers said.

A large study found that children who spent more than three hours in front of a computer or television screen — whether playing video games or watching TV — were significantly more likely to have attention problems, according to Edward Swing, MS, of Iowa State University in Ames, …

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Facebook and physician professionalism

by Walter van den Broek, MD, PhD

Do Facebook and other social networking services damage the profession of physicians or the public trust in this profession?

So far, no systematic research into this topic has been published. However several cases were presented in the media resulting in disciplinary measures. On social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors that compromises the professional relationship. Threats to …

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