A future where medical schools are answerable to shareholders?
It could happen: "In the first scenario, academic medicine flourished in the private sector and medical research, training and service became commercial business activities. But, although overall efficiency and effectiveness improved, equity and innovation suffered."

A recent study says vitamin E does not prevent heart disease and stroke
It has been written here before that vitamin E is useless.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the abstinence-only approach to sex education
"Even though there is great enthusiasm in some circles for abstinence-only interventions, the evidence does not support abstinence-only interventions as the best way to keep young people from unintended pregnancy."

Forget malpractice, docs in the UK are being charged with involuntary manslaughter for medical mistakes
"Medics can be charged with involuntary manslaughter if they make a mistake because of reckless behaviour.

Doctors argue the law is too open to interpretation and needs reforming. Prosecutions used to be rare, but have risen sharply since 1990."

A study suggests that women feel more pain than men
"More research needs to be done. It's hugely important because most of the drugs we use in pain have been tested on men. There is some evidence that women respond better to different pain killers than men."

Can gender-based pain medications be far off?

New cancer maps reveal people in the north of England and Scotland are far more likely to get certain cancers than those living in the South
"Scots and Northerners are more prone to lung and stomach cancer, which appear to be linked to smoking and alcohol use as well as socio-economic deprivation.

Cancer prevention experts said the data showed deprived areas needed targeting."

The Independence Day edition of Grand Rounds are up
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

More are using ERs for medication refills
"Though most patients go for real emergencies, Dr. Alasdair Conn, chief of the emergency department at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that 'there are those people who are addicted to [medication] and ran out. We call them frequent fliers.'"

Happy Fourth!

Blogging will resume after the holiday.

Texas has seen an influx of specialty and family physicians since caps were put into place
"Texas has gained 3,000 doctors since the reforms passed two years ago, he said, citing Texas State Board of Medical Examiner data . . .

. . . Hidalgo County has gained 69 physicians, including 10 pediatricians, eight gastroenterologists and four oncologists. Cameron County has accrued 59 physicians, including seven internists, seven anesthesiologists ...


Smaller is better: Eli Lilly is going for more niche drugs
"In other words, Lilly sees its future not in blockbuster medicines like Prozac that are meant for tens of millions of patients, but rather in drugs that are aimed at smaller groups and can be developed more quickly and cheaply, possibly with fewer side effects."

The Internet can provide help and fear when it comes to researching cancer
A woman diagnosed with endometrial cancer chronicles her journey through various cancer web sites:

After I calmed down, I tried to take a reporterly approach to online cancer research.

Here's what I found:

* Even rock-hard facts may not bring calm. There is no evidence, on the Web or elsewhere, that my cancer has environmental causes. ...


The story of how a wife deals with her husband's early-onset dementia in his 50's
"'I find it appalling to lose Dave this way. To grieve for him while he is so young is an awful experience.

Even now at night in my dreams I see us travelling and having fun together and he is well.

And then when I wake up I realise what has happened ...


Pfizer's decision to make their HDL-raising drug only in combination with Lipitor is coming under fire
Previously written about in the NY Times, this reeks of protecting Lipitor profits after its patent runs out. There are many who would benefit from torcetrapib that cannot take Lipitor for one reason or another. Give patients a choice.

More are turning to alternative medicine, such as chiropractic care and supplements
Whenever someone asks for my opinion, I say that the choice is certainly theirs, but I always let them know about the evidence (or lack thereof) behind many alternative approaches.

Frist gets it right on DTC advertising
With his stand, he has partially redeemed himself for his Schiavo debacle:

The Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, called yesterday on the pharmaceutical industry to limit drug advertising directed at consumers, increasing the pressure on companies to curb such marketing.

Senator Frist, a Tennessee Republican, embraced an increasingly popular idea, a delay in advertising after a drug is introduced. He ...


That's pressure: DrTony plays it cool under the gun, so to speak

Congratulations to our favorite surgeon blogger on his second year anniversary of blogging
Here's to another great year Bard-Parker.

Virginia passes an "I'm sorry" law
Simply common sense.

Paging Dr. House: Physicians' technical skills matter more than bedside manner
"Forced to choose between a doctor with excellent medical skills and one with an appealing bedside manner, patients go with the doctor who has the greater technical expertise, according to a new report."

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