New Hampshire votes for real over half-assed malpractice screening panels
"Local physicians working as unofficial lobbyists played a major role in the stunning decision Wednesday of the House of Representatives to embrace screening panels that examine medical malpractice lawsuits.

The House vote of 218-115 to embrace a Senate-passed bill (SB 214) came less than three months after it chose mandatory mediation to try to reduce the number of ...

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Canada's Supreme Court strikes down a ban against private insurance
"Opponents of changes to Medicare claimed it could force Canada into a two-tiered health care system in which those who have deeper pockets get faster, better service from doctors who opt out of the public health-care program."

Tom Cruise gives medical advice
"I can recall an incident on the set of 'Days of Thunder' where a stunt driver had a horrible, high-speed accident, just barreled into a wall, and unfortunately he had been harnessed incorrectly. He was screaming in agony, his legs and several ribs were obviously very badly broken, and the first instinct of everyone on the set was to get him airlifted to a ...

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Did Jesus have a pulmonary embolus?
"An Israeli researcher has challenged the popular belief that Jesus died of blood loss on the cross, saying he probably succumbed to a sometimes fatal disorder now associated with long-haul air travel.

Professor Benjamin Brenner wrote in The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis that Jesus'Â’ death, traditionally believed to have occurred 3 to 6 hours after crucifixion began, was probably caused by ...

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The whistle-blower at Pfizer is being isolated
"First, his employees stopped reporting to him. Then his supervisors stopped returning his calls and now he does not know whom to report to. His secretary left, he said, and he was moved to an office near Pfizer's security department at a company building in Peapack, N.J. The latest blow came Monday, the morning after Dr. Rost, 46, appeared on a segment ...

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The push for open-access scheduling continues
"Open access can reduce the number of no-shows, a source of lost revenues for physician practices, and can make it more likely that patients get needed preventive care, such as vaccines. And with most practices still not prepared to offer same-day appointments for even routine care, it can offer those that adopt it a competitive advantage."

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

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