Sounds like primary care physicians are going through the same pains in Canada
"Family medicine is a tough sell. Patient needs are more complex than ever. They're older and not coming through their doctor's door with one ailment. Some have diabetes and heart disease. Others have had a stroke and are now battling cancer. These aren't patients that can be seen and sent on their way at the end of ...

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A doc in Canada gives up - and lets us know all about it
"You start to realize some patients don't give a s---.They don't
appreciate you or what you have to go through. I'm busting my butt, working all hours and getting called at 4 a.m. I have people crying on my shoulder and I have to stick my finger up people's butts -- and for what? . . ...

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Blindness and Viagra
"The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it had received reports of partial vision loss in 38 men taking Viagra, the impotence drug, and among 4 men taking Cialis, a newer competitor."

It has long been known that Viagra can affect vision in 1 to 10% of cases - mainly color changes, or blurred or increased sensitivity to light. Blindness caused by Naion ...

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Some patients and lawyers are using the subjective findings of postconcussive syndrome to their advantage
"The vast majority of postconcussional syndrome symptoms -- like headache, dizziness and memory loss -- are subjective, which makes it hard for doctors to distinguish feigned or dramatized complaints from legitimate injuries . . .

. . . 'It's a tool for lawyers basically,' he says. 'Patients think they will get a pot ...

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How skyrocketing malpractice premiums can shutter physician practices
"To illustrate the mathematics, Al-Aswad disclosed his personal finances: His practice earned about $830,000 last year. Out of that came his insurance costs, rent, utilities, staff salaries and, lastly, his own salary, which was in 'the low $200,000-range.'

He hasn't had a payout for a malpractice claim in 15 years, yet his insurance costs are high — just below what obstetricians ...

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A doctor banned "Dr. Death" from operating on his patients
I've never quite heard of anything like the stories that are coming out down under: "Miach said that around June or July 2003 he decided to ensure that his patients never received surgery from Patel. He said he told Patel he was banned from operating on his patients. Nurses kept vigils over patients to ensure Patel performed no procedures on ...

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The BMJ suggests a "money-back guarantee" for medications
"A large percentage of all prescribed drugs do not have the desired effect on patients' problems. The many influences on this poor outcome include wrong choice of drug, genetic factors, interactions, non-compliance, and poor drug quality.

A no cure, no pay approach can counter these problems by optimising the effect yet still making the treatment economically feasible. If the drug ...

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A UK company launches an in-car toilet



"The company says that the chemicals break down waste into a 'sweet smelling, inoffensive liquid', which can be disposed of at the end of a journey."

Big surprise - ER visits reach a record high
"At a time when the number of hospital emergency departments has been cut by 14 percent, visits to the ER reached a record high of nearly 114 million, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data for 2003, the most recent data available . . .

. . . Many of the ER visits were made by elderly ...

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"Our lawsuit-inspired culture is quickly destroying the medical profession. Instead of focusing on treating patients, doctors must now spend their day focused on dodging lawsuits."
A mother's plea to her son continues: "To those lawyers who see doctors and malpractice-insurance companies as bearers of deep pockets, blame is key. If you can make people believe that an imperfect outcome is somebody's fault, well then you've just won the lottery. Doctors ...

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"Even the best computer systems can't stop hospitals from being killing machines."
The tabloid-like melodramatic statements continue:

Harmful medication-related mishaps cropped up in a quarter of all patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, one of the most high-tech hospitals in the country, according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

"If you were on an airplane and a quarter of the time ...

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Doctor turned off life support to free up bed
More horror stories about Dr. Death.

Illinois passes a $500,000 cap on malpractice damages
"Under the new proposal, backed by both parties and expected to move quickly through the Legislature, individual doctors could be sued for no more than $500,000 in noneconomic damages, and hospitals would face no more than $1 million awards for pain and suffering . . .

. . . The compromise would require for the first time that trial lawyers ...

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Please welcome KidneyNotes, California Medicine Man, and retired doc's thoughts to the blogroll.

Two cases where a disabled resident (with ADD) and medical student (with dyslexia) are suing for special treatment
The first is the case of Heidi Baer, "who having failed the medical boards three times is now suing the National Board of Medical Examiners under the Americans with Disabilities Act for not giving her extra time on the exam to accommodate her dyslexia."

The second is a case of a ...

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The physical exam is dead - as evidenced by the growth of telemedicine services
"Robert Berenson, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute and a medical doctor, says much of medicine can be done simply by getting a verbal description of the patient's condition and health history. While it's best to know the patient beforehand, doctors quite often provide treatment for patients they've never met.

'If you're covering ...

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Even the defense is asking for damages in this malpractice case where the hospital admitted fault
"Some damages seem inevitable, as William Beaumont Hospital admits its fault in the fire. The hospital's lawyer, Keefe Brooks, said it is rare for a defense lawyer in a civil trial to ask for damages.

'Yes, it's true that William Beaumont Hospital caused that fire,' said Brooks. "William Beaumont Hospital caused Nathan to ...

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"If [high premiums] mean a doctor who is making $1 million [a year] now makes $700,000, does that mean he has to leave the state?"
More lawyer soundbites. I'm not making $1 million a year, and I don't know very many physicians who make even close to that.

75 per cent of Canadians in British Columbia say they would be willing to cough up a $5 fee to see a doctor or to go to a hospital emergency room
Can this be the birth of a co-pay in Canada?

A doctor was sued after a patient lost his vision after a cervical myelogram
I'm not sure what the rate of this particular complication is. With the advent of MRIs, the use of myelograms has steadily decreased.

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