As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, it is interesting to look back and reflect on the most significant medical advances we’ve seen. I’d like to present 12 medical advances that I consider to have been the most important over the past decade, and I’d like to ask you, the wider world, to contribute in two ways:

- Add your nomination in the comment field regarding ...

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It’s common knowledge that fewer medical students are entering primary care and that patients are having a hard time finding a primary care doctor. Part of the reason is that insurance companies place little value on much of the work that primary care doctors do. Even though physicians’ complaints are seen in the medical and lay media, it is rare to see descriptions of a primary care physician’s “typical day” in ...

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Two years ago, I wrote about the case of Julie Thao, the Wisconsin nurse sent to prison for a medication error. I argued then that – although Julie bypassed some safety rules – she most certainly did not deserve jail time. Along comes another case involving jail time for a medical mistake, this one featuring an Ohio pharmacist named Eric Cropp. I became aware of Eric’s case through the efforts of ...

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Cardiologist Dr. Wes gives his take on primary care's demise, asking, "How does one go about putting the 'sexy' back in primary care?" He contends that the sex appeal of primary care has been completely neutered. Indeed, paperwork and pre-authorization responsibilities overwhelm the professional satisfaction of the field. The purported savior, the patient centered medical home, comes with heavy regulation, putting its potential in doubt. He also supports what ...

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Originally published in HCPLive.com by Robert J. Mintz, JD As EHRs are widely adopted and the quantity of information about a patient expands dramatically, does provider liability increase even if the quality of care is vastly improved? What happens if the quality of care really does get better but because of all the new and easily accessible information, the standard of care for ...

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What are two of the hardest words for a doctor to say? "I'm sorry." Evan Falchuk, speaking from a legal perspective, understands why some defense lawyers counsels physicians not to apologize to patients: "If you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened. Plaintiff’s lawyers will use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what ...

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As the health reform debates continue, I am struck by the lack of attention to what seems to be a critical issue in poor health care delivery. With the technologizing of medicine (and more recently the hospitalist "movement"), delivery of health care has come to be centralized around acute care hospitals. Over time, patient care has been divided into acute inpatient care and 'ambulatory' outpatient care. While transitions of care, hospital-at-home, ...

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Originally published in HCPLive.com by Jeff Brown, MD You might be thinking, "Why should I consider branding or marketing?” And your reasoning might go something like this: 1. As a doctor, I already have a powerful, built-in identity; 2. My practice is full; 3. Even if my practice isn't full, Congress is in the process of putting 40 million more insured people into the available patient pool over the next few years.
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Originally published in Insidermedicine More than half of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide are suffering from infections, which lengthen their hospital stays and increase their mortality rate, according to research published in the December 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. id="play_continuous_flvs" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="385" height="239" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">
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I practice in the rural, northwest corner of South Carolina, also known as “The Upstate.” It is a place of expansive lakes, white-water rivers and the mist covered foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area includes thousands of acres of Sumter National Forest. The natural beauty is breathtaking. Sumter National Forest and our various parks are laced with hiking trails, which are lined with unique plants and trees, some ...

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