How do you know which doctors are the ones who can appropriately comfort patients during times of suffering?

You don't.

Anesthesiologist Dr. T talks about how medical schools don't really screen which prospective physicians are "cavalry-ready," or not.

"People are either ready, willing, and able to be close to human suffering - to look at a weeping man, woman, or child in the eye, talk ...


Personal health records have been in the news lately, with the focus on how inaccurate they can be.

Should patients have complete access to medical records at their physician's office or hospital?

Primary care doctor Rob Lamberts offers some thoughts on the subject. There are some parts of the record that patients shouldn't read. "What if someone comes into the office with a child and I have ...


Walgreens made some headlines with their program to give free acute care services to those who are unemployed.

Before you think that they're doing this out of the goodness of their hearts,

Patients who have trouble understanding, or acting upon, the information as it relates to their health are more than twice as likely to die.

So writes Pauline Chen in recent column, where she writes about how patients need to take a more active role understanding their health. It's indeed a big problem, especially given the trend towards a more patient-centered orientation for medical care.

But, that ...


An inspiring post supporting the use of evidence-based medicine.

Often times, what's deemed common-sense and based on ideology is proved wrong by the evidence. And it's up to both patients and doctors to accept the findings of studies that disproves previously accepted dogma.

Physician David Newman gives us his best Jack Nicholson impression in driving that point home: "The critical question that looms ...


Susan H.: Cura te ipsum

The following is a reader take by Susan H.

To solve the current healthcare crisis
And obviate unconscionable insurance prices
We should all get requisite medical degrees,
And minister alone,
To our own maladies.

This may present a quandary
To the Juris Doc., M.D.;
What will the legal remedy be
For a literal personal injury?

The majority of patients on Medicare have several medical issues to contend with.

For instance, according to this piece in the NY Times, "Two-thirds of people over age 65, and almost three-quarters of people over 80, have multiple chronic health conditions, and 68 percent of Medicare spending goes to people who have five or more chronic diseases."

And, often times, these patients are seeing anywhere from five ...


The zeal to rapidly implement quality measures to improve patient care has had some unintended consequences.

Bob Wachter writes about the latest episode, namely, tight control of glucose in intensive care patients.

Initial studies in 2001 showed a marked improvement in mortality when sugars were closely monitored, but since then, recent data has actually concluded the opposite.

Citing a recent NEJM study, not only were deaths, ...


Football fans may want to engage in some relaxation techniques or anxiety management prior to the big game.

MedPage Today
reports on a study where researchers looked at the 1980 Super Bowl, where the (then) Los Angeles Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was "high-intensity, [where] the lead changed hands seven times. The game was played in nearby Pasadena, and the Rams had been in ...


Consider that the average American reads at an eighth-grade reading level.

That's a problem when you consider how complicated and dense the actual Patients' Bill of Rights one typically receives at health care institutions.

There is no federal bill of rights, so the document's complexity can vary by state. A recent study showed that almost half of the states' bills required a level equivalent to two years ...


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