Taking aim: This commentator fires away at doctors, lawyers, and the insurance companies
"It is my view that doctors should never have been made the richest kids on the block. Money has corrupted these public servants. They used to be the most respected because they could be counted on to be there, in our time of need, but not anymore. Try going to the hospital in the middle of the ...

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An orthopedic surgeon abruptly retires, presumably because of rising malpractice costs
"A renowned Belleville orthopedic surgeon told his patients he is retiring from practice in an abrupt announcement July 29.

Don Serot, M.D., a board certified physician, could not be reached for comment. But sources indicate his decision to retire early was related to the high cost of obtaining medical malpractice insurance coverage."

Two legal rule changes have reduced the number of malpractice cases filed in Pennsylvania
"The state Supreme Court initiated a certificate of merit and a new venue rule in 2003. The certificate of merit requires attorneys to find an expert to certify that a malpractice case is justified. The goal of the certificate is to prevent frivolous lawsuits. The venue rule requires attorneys to file a case in the county ...

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More Dr. Death news: A colleague tells of how he hid a patient from Dr. Patel
"A former colleague of Dr Jayant Patel has told Queensland's Morris Inquiry how he helped hide a patient from the overseas trained surgeon.

Dr Patel's been linked to hospital deaths and medical negligence.

Former Director of Medicine at Bundaberg, Dr Martin Strahan, testified he and other senior staff devised a complicated ruse ...

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My analysis of George W. Bush's physical is up at Straightfromthedoc

Researchers found, on average, female doctors would spend an extra one minute and 33 seconds with their patients than male doctors

The NY Times gives an update on how concierge medicine is going
"Even patients who decide on a concierge practice may find themselves back in managed care, as those of Dr. Enrico J. Versace, in West Yarmouth, Mass., discovered recently. Dr. Versace said he spent $100,000 on consultant fees and marketing to establish a practice charging $3,000 a patient two years ago. There were complications from the beginning. Although ...

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Ads and billboards are being more commonplace for those looking for organ donations
"As the number of organ donors doubled to 14,154 between 1992 and 2004, the number of patients on the waiting list tripled to more than 89,110, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Last year, about one in 12 of them died before receiving an organ.

Desperate to avoid the same fate, more and ...

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Lies, damn lies, and statistics: PointofLaw.com looks at the Vioxx case

Many people discount the recent NEJM study about Echinacea
I think this just shows the amount of distrust that people have for scientific studies. Even when a respected journal like NEJM reports this, it doesn't really matter. And who can blame them? Patients have been back and forth about Vioxx and hormone replacement therapy with conflicting studies. All one can do is present the (lack of) evidence, make ...

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Are robots, e-mail, and telemedicine further depersonalizing medicine?
"'This is a triumph of the model of medicine that has abandoned the idea of personal interaction and providing comfort in favor of a model of the patient-physician interaction as essentially an exchange of information,' said David Magnus, a Stanford University bioethicist. 'You can see a face, but there's no touch, no laying on of hands, no personal contact. We're increasingly isolating ...

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Liability Update: A new blog dedicated to malpractice reform
"Featuring news, commentary and legislative action about the medical liability crisis, which impacts both physicians and patients by limiting access to quality medical care." (via PointofLaw.com)

What do you know, Dr. Frist shows he can think for himself
After his embarrassing, lemming-like Schiavo debacle, he breaks from Bush in stem-cell research.

An Illinois neurosurgeon who advocates for caps gets hit with a $2M malpractice verdict
"Dr. Thomas Hurley, president-elect of the Illinois State Neurosurgical Society, told the Chicago Sun-Times his case illustrates the problem of allowing big awards that raise doctors' insurance rates.

He said his annual malpractice insurance premium would probably increase from the current $245,000 to $300,000 or more.

The legal action was by Richard McCorry, ...

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The House passes malpractice caps for the third straight year
"The bill, approved by a vote of 230-194, would cap awards for pain and suffering at $250,000. There would be no limit on economic damages, which provide reimbursement for such expenses as medical bills and lost wages. Finally, the bill would in many cases cap punitive damages at $250,000."

The life of a "standardized" patient
"Colvin is a professional patient, trained to role-play specific medical conditions to train nursing students, emergency medical personnel, police, medical students and residents at the Center for Studies of Clinical Performance at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.

Officially, Colvin is known as a 'standardized patient.'"

The toughest standardized patients to be would be the ones where medical students would practice ...

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A 100-year-old driver with an 82-year unblemished record is angry that his doctor has advised him to give up driving
"Despite suffering a heart attack days before his 100th birthday, Tom
Soulby, a former engineer, says he is still fit to drive his
24-year-old Austin Metro, which has only 24,387 miles on the clock."

They found boxes of fake Lipitor in the UK
"After discovering 73 fake packets, the MHRA decided to recall all that remains of a 120,000-packet batch, each containing 28 x 20mg Lipitor pills, marked 004405K1 and imported into the country in February. The alarm was raised last week after customs officers confirmed that they had intercepted fakes in the Dutch port of Rotterdam in late May."

Most undergraduate doctors in the UK receive only 5 minutes education on sleep medicine
I suspect the same is true in the US. No wonder so many physicians take the easy way out and just prescribe a sedative medication for insomnia.

Over-the-top hospital marketing

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