Apparently, there are some legitimate reasons why a patient may lie to their physicians. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times discusses the phenomenon, which as Dr. Gregory House would aptly summarize as, "Everyone lies." In fact, a recent survey suggests that "38% of respondents said they lied about following doctors' orders and 32% about diet or exercise." One interesting reason is that patients are wary disclosing potentially damaging information ...

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A patient recounts a dubious recent experience at a retail clinic. Blogging over at Ill and Uninsured in Illinois (via Duncan Cross' new patient-focused blog carnival), the patient correctly surmises that, "they're a stop-gap, not a replacement for a primary-care physician," and, "if you rely on on such clinics for your medical care, it's very possible that underlying problems will go on unrecognized." Worse, studies have shown that many of these ...

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Not always. Most quality measures are based on billable data, such as rate of breast or colon cancer screening, or in young women, the rates of chlamydia screening. But do these numbers necessarily tell patients who are the best doctors? Over at Better Health, Evan Falchuk has his doubts. He asserts that "the information is simply not valuable to consumers. Worse, I think it is deeply misleading. A medical group ...

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With doctors pressed for time, and patients increasingly dissatisfied with their care, how can physicians do it all? According to a 2006 study, patients want their doctors to be "confident, empathetic, humane, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough." But in the age of conveyor-belt medicine, and the standard 15-minute office visit, it's becoming apparent that today's physician will have trouble fitting that mold. There are some tips a busy doctor can ...

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It's not as easy as you think. In this piece from Slate, two physicians question the numbers circulating in the media that sensationalize medical mistakes. For instance, when citing the Institute of Medicine's popular assertion that close to 100,000 patient deaths are preventable, they say that, "had [the researchers] used a different calculation method, the number of estimated deaths would have been less than 10 percent of the original." Determining ...

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In a scathing review, the Associated Press reports that $2.5 billion in federal funding has been spent on researching alternative therapies. None have been conclusively shown to work. Despite this, more medical schools and hospitals are embracing alternative medicine, and in some cases, offering them to patients who are gravely ill. Also, health insurers are making deals to provide alternative services, as well as nutritional supplements, to their members. The main reason ...

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Oprah Winfrey has been taken to task, rightly, by both bloggers and mainstream media on her advice on health issues. Most prominently is a recent front page story on Newsweek, titled, Live your best life ever! Pediatrician Rahul Parikh was ahead of the curve on this topic, blogging a similar stance a few weeks before the Newsweek piece was published. But how should Oprah, who, as Dr. Parikh writes, is an ...

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Here are some of the more interesting comments readers have left recently. 1. Carla Kakutani on how Massachusetts' health reform won't relieve ER overcrowding: Insurance does not equal access (although it’s better than nothing). Nothing changes until every stakeholder recognizes they have to control costs and allow a rebuilding of primary care in the US. That includes doctors and patients, along with everybody’s favorite villians, the insurance companies and big pharma. ...

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Here's a fascinating, and scary, video of an implanted automatic defibrillator in action. 20 year-old Belgian soccer player, Anthony Van Loo, collapsed during a match. Blogging over at MedPage Today, electrophysiologist Dr. Wes analyzes the subsequent video, giving a precise play-by-play, so to speak, of when the defibrillator kicked in, likely restoring the arrhythmia into a normal heart rhythm. As for the cause, Dr. Wes has got you covered: "In ...

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There have been plenty of stories detailing how difficult it is to treat the morbidly obese. Most of the time, the stories have centered on simply how difficult it is to transport these patients to the hospital. Once there, however, emergency physician Shadowfax talks about other issues. For instance, obtaining IV access is near impossible, and 500+ pound patients present grave challenges to securing an airway, managing ventilation, or performing ...

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