There's no shortage of informed opinions on the Tom Daschle debacle, and how this will affect the chances of successful health care reform.

I don't pretend to be a political pundit, so instead, here is a collection of selected insights from news sites and health policy blogs that I regularly read.

First off, the NY Times says it will likely halt the momentum for health reform, and ...

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It appears so.

Chris Rangel points to a study showing that 21.2 percent of medical students (that's more than 1 in 5), suffer from depression, compared to 10 percent in the general population.

Depression seems to hit its peak during the second year of medical school, and then gradually improves. In general, the rates of depression for students were generally higher than in residency.

Indeed, the ...

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For the first time, a living donor had her kidney removed through her vagina.

She was left with three small scars, with one hidden in her navel. There's hope that the procedure, which reduces recovery time and is generally more tolerable than the traditional laparoscopic method, can encourage more people to donate.

Gynecologist Amy Tuteur takes a closer look at the procedure, and likens it to an ...

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Cheap, generic albuterol inhalers for asthma are being phased out in favor of more expensive, more environmentally friendly, inhalers.

Patients, however, are bearing the brunt of the cost, with what used to cost less than $10 now costing several times more.

This country doctor relates a story of one his patients who injected himself with epinephrine for his asthma attacks. "When his asthma kicked ...

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We are in the midst of a golden age of medical education, with schools expanding at an unprecedented level.

MedPage Today reports from a recent summit of medical educators, where they concluded that, with nine medical schools set to open and the majority of the remaining 126 schools planning to expand class size, this is an "unparalleled opportunity" to reform physician training.

That time can't come soon ...

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Many have been asking me to comment on the recent octuplet case in the news.

I have to admit, this is out of my field, so I'll point to a few other physicians who have been talking about the case.

When it was first reported, it was speculated that Ms. Suleman used fertility medications indiscriminately, and then had intercourse. Gynecologist Amy Tuteur suspected illicit use of ...

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As health care costs rise, more patients are switching to high-deductible insurance plans.

When that deductible hasn't been met, doctors are becoming more aggressive in asking for their payment up front.

This move entirely makes sense, since like other businesses, physician practices are also wading through the difficult economic times.

According to the LA Times, 13 percent of a practice's revenue comes from patients, and by becoming ...

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The economy is leading to a disturbing rise in family murder-suicide cases, with two high-profile cases in January.

And that's just the beginning, according to sociologists.

"The economic situation also portends a significant increase in other forms of family violence, including spousal and child abuse, child neglect and other forms of dysfunctional behavior like substance abuse," says sociology professor Sampson Blair at the University of Buffalo.

A ...

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I've always thought that good bedside manner, like personality, is something you can't learn.

So did Pauline Chen, but in her latest NY Times piece, she talks about a study that show us otherwise.

After an 18-month period where doctors met twice a month to practice skills designed to enhance compassion, or "reflected on their own work through discussion and narrative writing," they outscored the controls ...

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The interesting journey of so-called "cello scrotum" has come to an end.

Inspired by "guitarist's nipple," which is a real disease caused by irritation caused to the breast from guitar playing, a doctor submitted the spoof 34-years ago to the British Medical Journal.

Described as "chafing of the scrotum when the instrument was placed between the cellist's legs," the author of the hoax decided to come ...

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