A man sues his surgeon because his operation was delayed
"WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Lowell Melser said Fultz did hear that his doctor, Dr. Udayan Shah, wouldn't operate until he took a break for dinner and a rest.

'The doctor told me that he was going to leave the hospital because he had been doing excessive work and he needed to go home and rest,' Fultz said. 'He needed ...

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Health care costs are one reason why GM cut 25,000 jobs
"General Motors' chief exec spelled out Tuesday why U.S. manufacturers are getting their economic butts kicked. And a big reason has nothing to do with the productivity of our workers or the quality of our products.

It's because our health care system is killing us.

Addressing GM shareholders, Rick Wagoner said runaway health care costs are ...

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Should Medicaid be in the business of handing out lifestyle-enhancing medications to anybody?
This columnist says no: "No, of course not. It should focus on necessities. Medicaid is about people who need a temporary hand up, about chronically sick children or ill seniors in long-term care. As Florida's health secretary, Alan Levine, put it: 'It's a safety net. They didn't think of Medicaid as a program for lifestyle-enhancing drugs.'"

Chloramphenicol for bacterial conjunctivitis will be the first antibiotic sold OTC
"It said the antibiotic, used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, could be safely sold to the public.

However doctors fear widespread use of antibiotics could increase resistance."

Can this be the first step down a slippery slope?

A recent study (via Clinical Cases and Images), suggested that many turn to the search engine first for information on their health:

Google, the internet search engine, has now become one of the patientÂ’'s best friends, second only to the family doctor.

A survey of 1,000 people found that 12 per cent turn first to Google. Fewer consult family and friends, the media or medical encyclopaedias when faced ...

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MedGadget hosts Grand Rounds this week
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Patients in Massachusetts must wait more than six weeks on average to visit primary care physicians
Lack of primary care access is a major factor in emergency room overcrowding.

Remarkable medical survival stories
"An 18-year-old Arizona man survived having his head literally ripped off in an accident with a drunken driver. Marcos Parra's car was hit by the other vehicle in January 2003 so hard his head was detached from his body. Only skin and some vital internal circuits held it on.

Marcos was rushed from the scene to the emergency room of a hospital ...

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In the UK, the "perfect" general practitioner is young, female and Asian
"Dr Ramesh Mehta, the president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, said that the news did not surprise him.

'Naturally, everybody prefers good-looking young women. Asian GPs are preferred because of their politeness.'"

Barack Obama answers questions on health care
"Q. Doctors are leaving southern Illinois to practice elsewhere because of high medical malpractice insurance costs. When do you think this will be resolved and what do you think will do it?

A. There is a crisis in Illinois. Malpractice insurance premiums are going up and making it too expensive for doctors to provide the care our citizens need in crucial areas. ...

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A Democrat has come up with a compromise malpractice bill
"With medical malpractice legislation currently going nowhere fast in Congress, Rep. Brian Baird has proposed legislation to cap damage awards at almost $900,000, tighten oversight of the insurance industry and force state medical boards to get tough with problem doctors."

An Australian fertility doctor is under fire after one of his patients became pregnant with quadruplets for the second time in less than two years
"This is an imprecise science. I defend it in that what I did was to try and get this couple pregnant in the best way possible. There was always a slight risk of two or even three babies but I didn't expect to ...

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A neurosurgeon is challenging new state rules to make hospitals report how surgeons use antibiotics to prevent infections
"The rules are meant to make patients safer, but McKalip argues they do just the opposite.

'I don't want the state telling patients what kind of medical care they can get,' he said. 'They're not practicing medicine. They don't have to face that patient.'"

Boiling point: Two interns in India beat up their attending

A reader emails me the following commentary on medical experts in malpractice cases:

Although I'm only a med student, I know several med mal lawyers and have inside sources that work at a couple of these law firms. Anyways, one issue I think you should pursue is how medical experts work. I have a wife that works as an admin assistant for a med mal lawyer, and its very frustrating ...

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The LA Times writes about medical bloggers
"The family pictures on the desk. The diplomas on the wall. A few magazine subscriptions, perhaps, or some sailing, tennis or golf memorabilia scattered around the office. In the past, a curious patient could only turn to these bits of evidence to try to know more about the individual behind the medical degrees, the white coat and the carefully scripted bedside manner.


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Screwed both ways: Two doctors have to pay for the side effects of chronic systemic steroid treatment for an asthmatic
"Two area doctors must pay $1.9 million to an asthmatic patient whose bones were so badly damaged by being overmedicated with steroids that he needed both hips replaced by age 41, a Lackawanna County jury ruled Wednesday."

Chronic systemic steroids are not routinely used for most cases of asthma ...

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Hey Nick, nice soundbite on NBC Nightly News tonight
Nick Genes (Blogborygmi) was talking about his experience on the Alitalia flight that was diverted in May.

Why the Democrats caved on malpractice caps in Illinois
"It finally dawned on Democrat leaders that when people, even fellow Democrats back in the precincts, weigh the relative merits of doctors and lawyers, they come to rational conclusions. A lawyer can defend them in court, maybe win them some money in a lawsuit, but only if they're alive. And it takes a doctor to fix a failing heart or do ...

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An elderly lady with abdominal pain was seen twice and sent home, died of a missed small bowel obstruction
Sounds like a missed X-ray "wet read" by the ER physician: "Regardless of whether the X-rays were going to be subsequently reviewed by the radiology department, we think the miss on the part of Dr. -- was an obvious one and ought not to have happened. Ultimately, his incorrect reading ...

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