A doctor talks about what he learned as a cancer patient
"I've been in practice for 23 years, and my experience as a cancer patient has taught me a few things, and confirmed things I suspected all along."

A surgeon was found liable for leaving a needle in a patient
"Heymann had called Iraci in to help him find the needle, and the two doctors spent hours searching for it, eventually closing up Faas' abdomen without locating it."

Those must have been anxious hours trying the find that needle.

Irony: Using the Merck Manual against Merck in the Vioxx trials
"However, plaintiffs attorney Mark Lanier argues that the sudden death left no time for Ernst's heart to show damage. During Santanello's earlier testimony, Lanier pointed out that Merck's medical manual says arrhythmia in some form occurs in more than 90 percent of heart attack patients."

10 latent TB cases are linked to the surgical resident who had active TB
"Nine healthcare workers at the hospital who tested positive for TB in recent weeks also probably contracted their infections from the physician, said Dr. Anita Barry, top disease tracker at the Boston Public Health Commission."

Medicare will give away the VA's EHR to physician practices
"Now, however, Medicare, which says the lack of electronic records is one of the biggest impediments to improving health care, has decided to step in. In an unprecedented move, it said it planned to announce that it would give doctors - free of charge - software to computerize their medical practices. An office with five doctors could save more ...

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A doctor follows an erratic motorist on way to a crash and gives first aid
"An Athens physician expected to spend his lunch hour at home Wednesday, but instead rescued a diabetic motorist who crashed into a garage."

A NY heart surgeon was beat up by cops: Did race play a role?
"Moss said he started to follow, but the officers grabbed him. He said he introduced himself as a doctor, but officers yelled at him to back off and one pushed him in the chest, forced him to the ground and handcuffed him.

He said his shoulder separated, and he had to put it into its ...

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retired doc talks about time pressures
"Physicians have allowed their practice terms of engagement to be dictated by others either directly as in some HMOs or large clinics or indirectly by insurance plans controlling the fees to the point where physicians decide that in order to survive economically they have to increase their output by seeing more patients in less time. Their job satisfaction plummets, patients get short changed ...

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Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi is out for the season
A big loss for the Patriots defense, although I think that incoming linebacker Chad Brown will not be a bad replacement. I speculated on a possible PFO last year.

Oregon has passed a bill making cold medicines prescription-only
"Oregon would become the first state in the nation to require a doctor's prescription for many types of cold medicines under a bill overwhelmingly passed Wednesday by the House as part of the Legislature's attack on the methamphetamine scourge." (via Serenade in Blue)

I was interviewed by SoundPractice.net today, talking about the phenomenon of medical blogs. The interview can be found in its entirety under "Featured Podcasts", or can be downloaded as a mp3 file.

Cornell Law Review takes a look at medical malpractice and poor state of health care quality
"The scholars further recommend that physicians who adhere to evidence-based medical standards developed by the profession be immune from malpractice suits. 'If physicians fear malpractice as much as they say they do, the prospect of immunity should be an immediate incentive for the implementation of these standards.'"

That is the smartest suggestion ...

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Patients couldn't reach their doctors when the answering service was hacked
"The founder of a company that runs answering services for doctors nationwide tried to destroy a rival by hacking into that firm's computer so that patients heard either a busy signal or sexual moaning when they tried to call their doctors."

A grim look inside Iraq's hospitals
"On average we have 28 bodies turning up every day - 90% of them victims of violence."

Sleep aids are about to get into a DTC ad war
"There's no money to be made advertising those simple lifestyle solutions, but there are billions to be made getting patients onto lifelong use of expensive medications."

The need to place blame: The Feds are again fending off parents about the vaccine-autism link
"The government assembled some leading scientists Tuesday to try again to lay to rest public suspicions that a mercury-based preservative once used in childhood vaccines causes autism.

A day before parents who blame the chemical were to complain to Congress, federal health officials stressed that the only childhood vaccines that still contain the ...

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Forbes brings you the Scariest Drug Side Effects [cue music]

High gas prices are pinching home health nurses
"But key to the nurses' home visits, of course, is driving, and the key to driving is gas -- whose price is going up like bad blood pressure . . .

. . . Understandably, when she's paying for it and driving 50 to 80 miles a day. If the reimbursement for mileage didn't go up, Corr and other home care ...

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Talking about the pros and cons of a no-fault malpractice system

Take home screening tests are becoming more popular
One concern is having the consumer interpret their own test, unaware of the false positives and negatives that may be present.

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