Many doctors feel that religion can outweigh their professional advice when making medical decisions
"The reasons for this shift may be multifaceted but Kover, also a sociologist, said it is partly due to direct-to-consumer drug advertising and consumers' religious beliefs. He says both are helping to move some of the power away from doctors and into the hands of consumers.

Over half (57 percent) of the physicians surveyed said ...

Read more...

Strange bedfellows: A hospital accepts a $25 million gift and decides to name a tower after a trial lawyer
"But doctors questioned the source of the generosity. A plaintiff's lawyer who often has sued doctors, O'Quinn made some of his fortune on litigation involving breast implants, which bankrupted a company (Dow Corning) even though the consensus later developed that the science didn't back up the claims. Doctors ultimately were dismissed ...

Read more...

The WSJ on Wisconsin's unfortunate decision to overturn malpractice caps
"A 4-3... decision last month by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that overturned a $350,000 state cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits 'toppled what had been a highly successful medical liability reform,' a Wall Street Journal editorial states. According to the editorial, studies have found that noneconomic damages 'are the damages ... that tend to drive up insurance rates ...

Read more...

As seen on TV: A patient writes
"Have you seen or talked to your doctor lately? I don't know about you, but I intend to have a lengthy visit and conversation with my doctor, and I'm sure he will be patient and answer all of my concerns.

According to many TV ads I'm obligated to see and discuss with my doctor about the following medical breakthroughs: Procrit, Cialis, Vitorin, ...

Read more...

Shortage: Hundreds of patients without PCPs line up in Canada for a chance to be patients at a new clinic
There's something wrong with this picture: "More than 300 prospective patients were processed in the first two hours the centre was open yesterday, with people lined up for more than hour just to leave their application.

The two family doctors, recruited from Atlantic Canada, are expected to take ...

Read more...

A doctor in Australia is charged with manslaughter after giving a woman medications to abort her fetus

A 14-year old cheerleader dies after complaining of abdominal pain
"She was practicing an 'arabesque double down' stunt with four other teammates just before she started to complain of pains. The routine requires the flyer to be thrown twice up in the air and then be caught.

Burns' coach said she was caught in her teammate's arms and never hit the floor, but a short while later she ...

Read more...

A 28-year old man died after playing 50 hours of computer games
"The man, identified by his family name, Lee, started playing Starcraft on 3 August. He only paused playing to go to the toilet and for short periods of sleep, said the police.

'We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion,' a Taegu provincial police official told the Reuters news agency.

He ...

Read more...

Why medical studies are often wrong
"One obvious problem is that studies vary in size and quality. Some are well-designed, others are not, yet most media reports give all of them the same status "” the medical variant of 'astonomers say one thing, astrologers another, so let's hear from both.' Margins of error, low correlations, or very large ones that mask confounding variables seldom make it into the lede ...

Read more...

SoundPractice.Net does a podcast with Medpundit

Battle of the expert witnesses in the Vioxx trial
"The head pathologist at Baylor College of Medicine told jurors yesterday in the nation's first Vioxx-related civil trial the once-popular painkiller could not have caused a Texas man's death and that clogged arteries made him a 'walking time bomb.'

'No, and I say that respectfully,' Dr. Thomas Wheeler said when asked by a Merck attorney if the drug caused Robert ...

Read more...

The worst of times: Why obstetrics is in a free-fall
"Every program I applied to offered me an interview, many even before they saw objective criteria like my grades and board scores.

I was elated that so many programs showed an interest in me, but at the same time, a gnawing ambivalence set in. Crisscrossing the country and interviewing at different programs, I asked residents, professors and department ...

Read more...

An important point to understand: More screening does not always equal to lives saved
The NY Times talks about a BMJ study suggesting that frequent screenings may be leading to the "increased" melanoma rate. But does it save lives? The answer is no:

Dr. Welch and two colleagues, Dr. Steven Woloshin and Dr. Lisa M. Schwartz, argue that if there was really an epidemic of melanoma - for example, ...

Read more...

Grand rounds 46 is up at Parallel Universes
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

The Journal of Clinical Investigation takes a look at the claims of Tom Cruise
"My favorite part of this interview was when Cruise equated psychiatrists to drug dealers. 'You know what? I'm sure drug dealers on the street, in some way, they are making money. That's what I equate it to. Here is the thing: you have to understand, with psychiatry, there is no science behind it. And to pretend ...

Read more...

Did they miss a case of Lyme disease in Nova Scotia?
It seems they treated her regardless: "Back in August 2001, Mrs. Burke was prescribed the antibiotic doxycyclene by Dr. Schlech for Lyme, her medical records show. But she believes he was just appeasing her.

'They are clearly convinced that this is Lyme disease and the placebo effect associated with active treatment should be strong,' Dr. Schlech said in ...

Read more...

A vascular surgeon in Australia has a 10-year waiting list for non-urgent procedures
"He said waiting times for non-urgent surgery at RBWH had blown out to 10 years and the situation had become so critical there were 'waiting lists for waiting lists'.

Waiting times for category two patients, where admission within 90 days is considered desirable, had also blown out as much as two years, he said."

The NY Times talks about the hospice movement
"Hospice today is as different from its grass-roots origins as Charles Meys is from Florence Nightingale. It began in the 1960's as an antiestablishment, largely volunteer movement advocating a gentle death as an alternative to the medicalized death many people had come to dread. People still dread those deaths; surveys show most of us want to die at home, not in ...

Read more...

The cutbacks in TennCare are forcing doctors to make tough decisions
"Doctors have to decide whether to keep treating patients who no longer have their office visits paid for. And when drug coverage is cut back, physicians are forced to choose which drugs patients need most."

A pilot program in Boston is allowing dermatologists to conduct "office visits" over the internet
"Dermatologists at two Boston hospitals will start treating acne patients this month via Web visits that include patients transmitting photos from their digital cameras, in a major test of whether doctors can care for certain patients as successfully over the Internet as in person."

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.