There's a movement afoot to make physician apologies inadmissible in court for cases of adverse patient outcomes. Hospitalist Chris Rangel notes the absurdity of the situation, and says that expressing sympathy shouldn't always imply causation in the first place. After all, saying sorry and expressing sympathy is the right thing to do in these difficult circumstances. But not everyone supports such a move. For instance, Massachusetts is considering such a ...

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Most insurance plans require primary care doctors to refer patients to specialists, like surgeons, cardiologists, and dermatologists. Without a primary care source of patients, specialists will be without patients, and like any business, their practice will suffer as a result. In a recent essay, cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar talks about this system. He writes of an ironic paradox where primary care doctors yield a rare display of power: "Specialists are better ...

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Turns out, we don't know for sure. "Despite the very real risk that exists for all health care workers," writes surgeon Pauline Chen in her recent column, "the actual number of deaths from occupational injuries or infections is unknown. Unlike policemen and firefighters and other high-risk occupations, health care workers have no national registry to track deaths caused by infections or injuries acquired on the job." We can only extrapolate from ...

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The following is the first in a series of original guest columns by the American College of Physicians. by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP Much is written and discussed these days about the importance of care coordination by a primary care physician, not only to facilitate patient-centered quality of care, but also to curb the unsustainable growth in the nation’s health care tab. Yet, we hear that the current shortage of ...

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It's a sensitive subject, previously broached by a Canadian magazine last year. Now, to pour fuel onto the fire, a recent report finds that, in Canada at least, the growth of female physicians will cause a doctor shortage equivalent to 1,600 physicians over the next decade. It's a fact that female doctors work less clinical hours than their male counterparts. According to this article, "women, on average, provided 30 hours a ...

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A common complaint is that doctors these days are spending more time doing clerical tasks. Examples include filling out pre-authorization forms, talking to health plans for pre-certifications on imaging studies, and spending time jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Generally, you do not need a medical degree to do these tasks. Bob Doherty points to a study that gives some numbers to back up the claims. Primary care doctors spend about 3.5 ...

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Stuff the ballot box. The value of these sites, previously exposed as pretty useless in this Slate piece, is mainly due to the anonymous nature of the comments. Indeed, even if a doctor wanted to genuinely improve from this form of patient feedback, "posting anonymously on the Web (on sites a doctor does not regularly monitor) is probably the least effective way to accomplish that goal." So, physicians are fighting back by ...

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Yes, they should. Whether retail clinics will be a viable venue for the majority of minor medical conditions is in question, but in many cases, doctors seem to be taking an antagonistic front. As this piece in the NY Times writes, "Many primary-care doctors still denigrate the retail clinics as cheap, unworthy competitors." That's precisely the wrong strategy to take. Witness hospitals who do more to partner, rather than oppose, retail ...

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Surprisingly well. Although there are plenty of reports where people are splitting their pills, and delaying elective procedures and preventive care, those who are able to afford concierge medicine aren't cutting back. In these cases, health is showing resiliency during these tough economic times, and, "With jobs scarce and stress at a peak, many may see a link between continued health and continued employment. And with savings depleted, they recognize that ...

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The hospital gown has been much-maligned.

So, in response, textile companies are coming up with innovative replacements that are more functional and stylish, as well as offering better access for medical personnel.

Of course, the biggest obstacle is cost, and with many hospitals financially floundering, spending double the money on hospital gowns is pretty low on the priority list.

Some, like patient Duncan Cross, doesn't feel ...

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