There has always been an underlying tension between obstetricians and midwives. From the doctor's side, the only times they interact with midwives is when trouble arises. Or, as this article in Time puts it, "When hospital-based obstetricians see midwives and their clients it's usually because something has gone wrong . . . OBs don't see the uneventful births that proceed successfully at home [and] doctors in this position find themselves ...

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A hospital that denied a woman from visiting her dying partner at a hospital is now at the center of a federal lawsuit. Tara Parker-Pope details the case, which is sparking outrage. I won't rehash the discussion, which has been quite vigorous over at her blog. Indeed, the results of the pending lawsuit can have far-ranging effects, including "the way hospitals treat all patients with non-marital relationships, including ...

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When it comes to influence, you need not go further than Oprah Winfrey. Just ask Kentucky Fried Chicken. With the recent news that she is giving anti-vaccine proponent Jenny McCarthy prominent airtime, as well as her previous endorsement of Suzanne Somers' book on "bioidentical hormones," is she doing more harm than good? That's what Rahul Parikh suggests in a piece on Salon. Despite her soaring ratings captive audience, Dr. Parikh thinks that, ...

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A recent poll conducted by the Consumer's Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, found that only 4 percent of patients said their doctors talk with them about the cost of prescriptions. And 60 percent find out what the price is for the first time when they pick up their drugs at the pharmacy. Should doctors discuss the price of medication before prescribing it? As physicians, we’re trained to make treatment decisions without the ...

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But can that be a good thing?

More patients have higher deductible health insurances, making them question the costs of emergency room tests and treatments. The fear of sticker shock is causing some to leave the hospital against medical advice.

In fact, discharges against a doctor's advice jumped by almost 50 percent over the last decade.

Such cases can range from patients not willing ...

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Transplant surgeon Pauline Chen uses that harrowing personal account to discuss the intersection between motherhood and medicine.

Women currently make up the majority of students at most medical schools, which means that female physicians will comprise a major part of the future medical workforce. But, despite the stress that you'd intuitively associate between juggling medicine and raising children, "work-family conflicts were not a major source of stress ...

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The physical exam is increasingly being overlooked, and replaced by diagnostic tests, which are easier, and take less time, to order.

At this new blog over at The Atlantic, Abraham Verghese talks about how the physical exam, when done well, "earns the trust of the patient, and it also lays the foundation for the patient-physician relationship."

However, when done poorly, "it does the opposite--it creates ...

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Yes, cash can transmit the flu.

In an interesting report (via Well), it's noted that the flu, including the H1N1 virus, can last for as long as an hour on money and other forms of paper currency. Worse, "mix in some human nasal mucus, and the potential for the virus to hang on long enough to find a victim increases, according to one of the few ...

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Prior to a breast or bone marrow biopsy, intravenous sedation is typically offered to, and accepted by, patients.

But, what if some don't really need such heavy sedation?

Over at Better Health, Harriet Hall wonders if some patients would do just fine with a simple local anesthetic: "Has it become a knee-jerk reflex to sedate everyone as a general principle? Why? To avoid complaints and keep patients ...

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Coverage on the H1N1 influenza has been nothing short of constant.

But, how is it affecting your physician's office? For me, there's been many questions, some patient anxiety, and lots of diagnostic nasal swabs. But, being in New Hampshire, the prevalence of the H1N1 virus has been relatively low, compared to other parts of the country.

For a more detailed look behind the scenes, Rob Lamberts ...

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