The sphygmomanometer

Obsolete?

Medical news briefs

Doing more harm than good?

We're coming to the conclusion that such "briefs" may do more harm than good. Almost by default they oversimplify medical research stories. They generally fail to adequately explain how big is the potential benefit of the idea being discussed, or how big is the potential harm. They fail to scrutinize costs, conflicts of interest, or the quality of the evidence.

Always an entertaining read. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.

Talk about a love-hate relationship with her:

Some 16% of respondents trust Clinton "a great deal" on health care, while 32% trust her "not at all," according to the poll. On each measure, Clinton beat out all the major candidates in both parties.

Expert witness corruption

Cases like this explains the need for some expert witness reform:

Dr. Alex Zakharia, 69, of the Miami area, pleaded guilty to contempt of court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Authorities said he testified as an expert witness in 2002 on behalf of a plaintiff charging a doctor at the VA with medical malpractice in connection with a coronary artery bypass graft.

He admitted that during the ...

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No surprise, she's appealing the decision again. I think it's time for to give it a rest:

Currier, who has a four-month-old daughter, must pass the exam before she can graduate and begin a residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital later this fall.

In a three-page opinion, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Patrick Brady said Currier could still find a way to expel her milk during the test ...

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Many academic physicians support a single-payer system. This physician from Yale writes in the WSJ:

The only solution is to eliminate the HMOs and go to a single-payer system that does not have to be administered by the government. The savings would increase reimbursements to health-care providers (and, it is hoped, stem the annual loss of primary care physicians) so that there would be greater access to care ...

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Time spent with the patient plays a big role. Too bad that no one else values that.

Take it from someone who's been through it:

My opinion about the risks of a Canadian style medical system is related to the general American fear that the government may abuse the rights of individuals. In an all-out political battle between different interest groups, there are fewer checks and balances in Canada than in the United States. The health system is a weapon in such circumstances.

Surgeon to the sports star

ESPN profiles Dr. James Andrews:

A great surgeon is like a great athlete -- with extraordinary physical skills, exceptional powers of concentration, an ability to work through adversity and embrace, not shrink from, a challenge. All of that describes James Rheuben Andrews, 65, who has been patching up athletes for nearly as long as Joe Paterno has been coaching Penn State and is still at the top of his ...

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ED check-in kiosks

An ER nurse takes exception to this trend.

Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker doesn't think recent slate of reform proposals will accomplish much:

And hence, the conundrum. People want "reform" of the health care system, if you put it to them like that. They even like "fundamental reform." But the minute someone starts to fundamentally change the way the system works for THEM "” as the provider, employer, consumer, health plan, broker, supplier, etc. "” they get up ...

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"I woke up because the pain was unbearable."

I bet it was. Reminds me of that scene from Heroes where Claire wakes up during her autopsy.

Paul Hsieh in an op-ed. Thankfully, none of the major presidential candidates are proposing such a system:

To guarantee "free" health care, a government must force the individual to pay for everyone else's medical care and limit his freedom to pay voluntarily for his own. With bureaucrats deciding who receives what, the individual is therefore forbidden from spending his money according to his own rational judgment (and the advice ...

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Frivolous lawsuits happen in Australia too:

A woman has told the ACT Supreme Court she felt trapped when she found out she had conceived twins through the IVF program because she only wanted one child.

The former Canberra woman and her female partner are suing Doctor Sydney Robert Armellin for the wrongful birth of one of their twin girls.

Problems can arise from tattoos in this area:

Krzysztof Kuczkowski, chief of obstetric anesthesia at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, published an account in 2004 of a 34-year-old patient with tattoos covering her mid-lumbar area who received an epidural. Afterward she experienced unusual burning, tenderness and swelling where the epidural catheter had been placed. Dr. Kuczkowski believes the tattoo was the culprit. "It's possible there's a ...

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In a WSJ health care op-ed:

In short, the best health reform proposals will be those that recognize and build on the virtues of our market-based medical system. Sick people around the world come here because they can't get quality care in their home countries. Many health-care professionals come here to practice, leaving behind well-meaning health-care systems where government is in charge, bureaucrats make the decisions, and where the ...

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A plastic surgeon comments on her disastrous appearance at the VMAs:

Ms. Spears doesn't look in fact look "bad", she looks normal after having 2 children in rapid succession. Unfortunately, normal people aren't the benchmark for her field of work, and she did herself no favors wearing an outfit accentuating her body's changes.

She's got a modest "mommy tummy" which is relaxation of her muscles and fascia of ...

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It's generally advisable not to give too much curbside advice. Here's how to do it tactfully.

Predictably, Ezra Klein is drooling over the plan, while Cato's Michael Tanner hates it.

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