A drug rep took a physician to a strip club
"About four evenings a week, L.J. Twyner, a Newton physician, enjoys dinner paid for by drug companies. Other perks have included trips to bars and in at least one instance a visit to a club featuring nude dancers."

Wyeth is cutting back on drug rep visits to physician offices
"Wyeth spokesman Doug Petkus said his company is cutting back on repeat visits to the same general practitioners and internists because of the costs and also the growing unwillingness of busy doctors to endure so many sales calls."

Grand rounds 1:39 is up
Everybody's favorite blogging surgeon is hosting this week. Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Some are facing difficult decisions about removing their recalled heart defibrillators
"Each assessment on surgery, doctors say, will be a personal one, based on a patient's age and health, how dependent the patient is on the device and the patient's attitudes toward risk."

"Dr. Patel screamed at patient's wife not to cry."
The NY Times writes about Australia's Dr. Death.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is the first major drug firm to forgo advertising new drugs to consumers in a product's first year on the market
I applaud the move. Not quite a ban on DTC advertising, but it's a start.

Medical residents are on strike in a hospital in India, leading to a standstill
"Two more patients died and more than two dozen patients sought discharge from the King George's Medical University, as junior doctor's strike entered the second day on Tuesday.

The hospital wore a deserted look as patients started leaving the hospital for private nursing homes and other government hospitals. In the general body meeting held during ...

Read more...

A neurosurgeon quits brain surgery to do hair transplants
"'Basically I was working over 100 hours a week just to pay a malpractice premium (of) about $135,000 a year,' he says.

He was reimbursed between 25 and 40 percent of his surgical fees, and his income had already plummeted 60 percent.

Now, Dr. Ballon says he's operating on the same place, but he just doesn't go as deep. ...

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"I'm writing on behalf of the more than 60 people who took my advice and posted pictures of their illnesses and injuries . . . in the hopes that Dr. Frist might be able to diagnose us over the Internet."
Dr. Frist is coming under fire for his internet diagnosis from the LA Times and Chris Rangel.

Despite all the complaining that doctors do, this physician puts it in perspective
"Personally, I think we complain too much. All businesses have become more difficult in today's economy. My brother-in-law - in management for an automobile company - has had to work out-of-state 10 days out of 12 for the past six months. A computer company downsizes its workforce and everyone left picks up the slack. A well-respected ...

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Low blood sugar can now be used as a defense in court
"The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that low blood sugar meets the legal definition of ?involuntary intoxication.?

The court ruling gives legal standing to something diabetics and medical authorities have known for a long time, low blood sugar can have serious affects on the way people act." (via bookofjoe)

A UK hospital told a patient she would have to wait 18 months for an MRI brain scan, but she could get the scan privately in two weeks

A cancer-stricken man has a new penis constructed
"In October 2004, the patient had skin removed from the inside of his mouth, which Bird then rolled into a tube to create a new, longer urethra. The patient was given six months to heal.

Ten days ago, doctors selected a relatively hairless part of the man's outer thigh to make the shaft of the penis . . .


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John Stossel wonders why the best sunscreen is being blocked by the FDA
"But even though dermatologists say Mexoryl is the best, you cannot legally buy it in the United States. It's illegal, because the Food and Drug Administration won't approve it. They won't even say why. The FDA is charged with making sure no drug is sold unless the government is convinced it's safe and effective. Dermatologists think ...

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Equating the competence of older physicians with older firefighters
"The sad truth was that some of the more experienced firefighters had let their skills and training lapse, feeling certain that they would continue to coast along to retirement on grass fires. Some failed to follow important safety protocols. Some positioned themselves and their equipment poorly. A few were temporarily paralyzed by fear.

The "old guys" weren't so ...

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A surgical resident rotated through four Massachusetts hospitals with active TB
"The memo states that once the woman's potential TB infection was identified by a skin test in 2004, Boston Medical Center referred her for a chest X-ray to a TB clinic run by the Boston Public Health Commission. The X-ray, which is one of the tests typically performed to ascertain whether a patient has an infectious case of TB, ...

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A woman survives a rare internal decapitation
"A near-fatal car accident this past January ended a lifelong career as a musician when the ligaments connecting the base of Greitzer's skull to her backbone were severed, internally decapitating her.

Miraculously, even though Greitzer's injuries were so severe, tests revealed that her organs and spinal cord were still intact."

The paper trail from a simple doctor's visit can be so labyrinthine that some people simply wait for an envelope from a collection agency before cutting a check
"The sequence of events goes something like this: You go to the doctor, pay the $10 or $20 co-pay on your way out, and shove the carbon copy receipt into the bottom of your purse or pocket. Later, you get an envelope ...

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A psychiatry resident talks about Tom Cruise, Scientology and its anti-psychiatric stance
Maria over at intueri: to contemplate has a wonderful blog. She writes:

If Tom Cruise has not ever personally suffered from mental illness, it is my sincere hope that he is grateful for that blessing. His faith in Scientology is steadfast, but his proselytization of the merits of his faith, particularly in the realm of (anti) psychiatry, only ...

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The most recent story in the defensive medicine series led to the following comment:

Why would a physician even consider prescribing anything other than say, birth control, over the phone? That doesn't sound like defensive medicine, it sounds like common sense.
This begs the question: Are there any diseases that can be treated over the phone?

The answer is yes. Go to your local drug store, and you will ...

Read more...

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