Do free drug samples influence residents' prescribing decisions?
Would they have published the study if the answer was no? (via Blogborygmi)

A pretty thorough debate on the role of the media in reporting health news

Quantifying defensive medicine: Now we have the "malpractice fear scale"
"In evaluating patients who have chest pain, some emergency room physicians too often order unnecessary tests and hospitalizations out of fear of malpractice lawsuits, according to a new study. 'Concern about malpractice has a formidable effect on physician decision making,' particularly in the scenario of a possible heart attack or unstable angina, collectively referred to as acute coronary syndrome, Dr. ...

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Is there anything statins can't do?
Seems like a potential new indication is cropping up every day: "In the latest research to suggest that the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are good for more than the heart, a new study hints that the medications may help curb the spread of HIV throughout the body.

In the study of nearly 4,000 HIV-infected people, those taking statins tended to ...

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UCSF settles a case where a post-op patient was left in a vegetative state after being overmedicated
"The patient, Spencer Sullivan, entered UCSF Medical Center on Dec. 26, 2001, for routine elective neck surgery, which was successful, according to a June 20 legal brief summarizing the plaintiff's case. Following the surgery, however, Sullivan "was grossly overmedicated and then grossly underobserved," leading to irreversible brain damage, according to the brief, ...

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File under "Yathink?": An editorial suggests that cost is why people self-diagnose over the internet
"However, there is a reason why the cyber doctor may be getting such a foothold in our society - cost.

While an accident which puts a victim into the emergency department followed by six months recovering in a ward is all courtesy of the taxpayer, a one-minute visit to a GP to have him ...

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A doctor in India broke the Guinness record for the removing the biggest bone tumor
"The rare surgical feat of removing a 16.5kg malignant bone tumour -- so far the largest of its kind -- from the right femur (thighbone) of a patient has earned for an Indian doctor a place in the latest edition of Guinness Book of world records.

Dr. B K S Sanjay, Director of ...

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Some physicians are increasing the amount of house-calls in their practice
"Financial pressures have made house calls difficult to impossible for most physicians in recent years. Today'Â’s typical doctor feels compelled to see as many patients as possible in the doctor'Â’s office. Patients who can't get there on their own may find themselves scrambling for a ride - or just getting sicker.

But house calls are making a small ...

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A terminal patient loses a right-to-food case in the UK
"The General Medical Council has won its appeal against a ruling which gave a seriously-ill patient the right to stop doctors withdrawing food and drink.

Leslie Burke, 45, who has a degenerative brain condition, fears artificial nutrition could be stopped against his wishes when he cannot talk.

Mr Burke, from Lancaster, had won a landmark ruling, supporting ...

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A study about perioperative beta-blockers came out in the NEJM. Here are some articles showing divergent headlines:

Study: Beta Blockers Don't Help All

Beta blockers don't help people with low heart risk after surgery

Beta blockers and surgery not a good mix?

Cardio Drugs May Prevent Surgery-Linked Heart Attack

Here is the real conclusion:

Perioperative beta-blocker therapy is associated with a reduced ...

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Women may be undergoing unnecessary diagnostic imaging and breast biopsies because radiologists are worried about medical malpractice suits
"The recommendation rates for additional testing after a screening mammogram are much higher in the United States than in other countries. However, Dr. Elmore said previous studies have shown that a higher recall rate does not necessarily result in higher cancer detection rates."

No surprise given the risk of reading ...

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A hospital has apologised after it sent out an appointment to a man who died 12 years ago

A product designed to screen for acute coronary syndrome and PE
"BreathQuant Medical Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce the worldwide launch of its revolutionary PREtest Consult product. The product utilizes a large database of patients with known outcomes to determine the likelihood that a patient presenting to an emergency department or clinic has a life threatening disease.

The risk score generated by this test aids physicians in ...

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Medgadget reports the news before the company is ready to release its press release
That's impressively current.

Forbes gives their yearly take on the best medical blogs
Congrats to all that were included. My new blog, Straightfromthedoc, was also mentioned. (via A Chance to Cut . . .)

Presidential ambitions: The Governor of Massachusetts vetos the morning-after pill
"Mr. Romney's decision will probably have little effect on the measure itself, which passed by veto-proof margins in both houses of the legislature. But it could affect how he is viewed by voters outside Massachusetts should he run for president in 2008, a course he is considering.

Indeed, national conservative groups, which play a critical role in races ...

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The Health Care Blog summarizes the recent controversies with chronic pain management
"And finally, why has the AMA not gotten involved? This is a national medical disgrace (so much so that my venerable surgeon father has sent money to William Hurwitz MD's appeal fund)." (via DB's Medical Rants)

Pharyngula hosts this week's Grand Rounds
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Complex patient, simple solution
The latest interesting case from the NY Times.

Immigrants in the United States receive less than half the health-care services than do native-born Americans
"Our study lays to rest the myth that expensive care for immigrants is responsible for our nation's high health costs . . . The truth is that immigrants get far less care than other Americans. Further restricting their eligibility for care would save little money and place many immigrants-particularly children-at grave risk. Already, many ...

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