Should physicians strive to keep hospital beds full or empty? Obviously, in an economically optimal situation, just like in the hotel business, the hospital beds that are "needed" and available should be kept pretty close to full, in order to cover fixed costs and balance the hospital budget. A recent discussion board on another physician website has called attention to an alleged practice of both emergency physicians and hospital administrators being paid ...

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by Steve Levine The sad story of the fraud Dr. Andrew Wakefield perpetrated on the world’s autism community lies at the intersection of my personal and professional lives. Could these latest revelations be the final chapter? As chief of communications at Texas Medical Association, I promote the ...

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I do not wish simply to use the buzz word of the hour. Nor do I wish to assert that I have all the answers. I genuinely desire to bring to light an interesting conflict that has plagued the nursing profession for decades. Bullying. Why in a profession centered around the concepts of compassion, caring, and healing has a mindset of bullying permeated the culture. Even more confusing is that most often, this ...

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If you are one of the more than 100 million Americans who visit emergency rooms (ER) at least once a year, you’re not alone. Americans, insured and not, make ample use of hospital emergency rooms. One out of every five visited an ER at least once in 2007, the latest year for which the National Center for Health Statistics ...

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by Peter J. Pitts "Newspeak," the language of Big Brother, was designed "not to extend but to diminish the range of thought." Some well-known examples of Newspeak are Bellyfeel (a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea), Duckspeak (meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking), Crimethink (the Newspeak word for thought crime) and Goodthink (or "political orthodoxy"). Which brings us from the nightmare fantasy of "1984" to the health ...

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As in anyone’s life, the hardest thing to achieve in life is a balance. Whether it’s work, school, home, or play, it’s just plain tough. For those of us with challenges such as cerebral palsy, it brings a new set of challenges. Here’s why. Task execution takes longer. Where it might take my sister thirty minutes to get herself ready and out the door in the mornings, it will take me ...

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Here are the top posts from this past week, based on the number of times they were viewed. 1. Primary care physicians are rebelling against the system. The system has made primary care physicians suffer emotionally and financially. 2. What is a difficult patient, and how doctors may be responsible. Doctors can tell many tales of what they term as a difficult encounter. Just as many patients can recall ...

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Governor Brewer’s decision to withhold liver transplants for Medicaid recipients in Arizona should serve as a loud warning to the electorate regarding governmental intrusions into health care financing and health care operations. The decision was ill advised on the basis of multiple factors.  The survival rates differ from one facility to another. What is the liver transplant survival rate and what information needs to be considered when looking at such numbers? For example, ...

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by Earlexia M. Norwood, MD The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is second only to the Department of Defense in its total budget, but first in the Federal government in terms of its influence on most American’s daily lives. The most important agency within HHS is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which protects our food supply and keeps tabs on new pharmaceuticals to ensure they are ...

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I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time talking about professionalism. It is not that I don't think we should promote professionalism. Of course we should. But many discussions of professionalism descend into overly academic and scholarly treatises that end up obscuring rather than clarifying the values such discussions hope to promote. It may be a mistake to overly ...

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