Congratulations to the 2004 Medical Blog Award winners

Bank of America gives a medical opinion
"Banc of America (sic) said 'there was a fear that if OTC statins became available it would cause a weakening in the prescription cholesterol market. That was not our belief as relatively few patients would have been able to reach their cholesterol goals with 20mg of Mevacor.'"

Nice to see a bank give a medical opinion. Statins, specifically 20mg of ...

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Waking Up Costs hosts Grand Rounds
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere. Medical errors is the theme this week.

Fourteen hospitals in Taiwan refused to treat a 4-year old girl with a head injury, citing a lack of beds

The digital fecal occult blood test is worthless



(Sorry for the unappetizing picture - the test on the left is a negative fecal occult test, the right is positive.)

I never rely solely on a digital fecal occult blood test for colorectal cancer screening. The take-home fecal occult test is a more helpful test:

The digital fecal occult blood test was positive in only 5 percent ...

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Fast-track cardiology fellowships
To become a cardiologist, one has to complete 3 years of internal medicine followed by 3 years of cardiology. To avert a shortage of cardiologists, the American College of Cardiology is proposing a "fast-track" - skipping the last year of the internal medicine residency. The obvious losers would be the internal medicine training programs which will potentially lose senior residents to the cardiology fellowship.

The BMJ is under fire for its accusations against Prozac

Another cholesterol drug seeks OTC status
Now Pravachol is up to the plate. It too will be unlikely to be approved for OTC status. The pharmaceuticals are desperate to salvage profits in light of their expiring statin patents.

A man shot himself with his own nail gun - and didn't realize what had happened for six days



"On Thursday night, a team of surgeons performed the six-hour operation. They cut open his skull to see exactly where the nail was. Then, they removed it through the path it went in, to minimize damaging other areas. Loss of sight, brain injury and death were possible outcomes."

Rest in peace, Charlie Bell
The former CEO of McDonald's, Mr. Bell passed away from colon cancer at age 44. His case was previously discussed here.

Jim Hu discusses the recent article on residents' work hours and car accidents
He also links to Kevin Drum's view, which have garnered nearly 100 comments.

The founder of Canadameds.com rants: "Put me out of business the right way"

Graduating medical school with mortgage-like debt
The NEJM has an article detailing the spiraling costs of attending medical school:

The cost of obtaining a medical education has been spiraling upward for the past 20 years. Despite a lot of rhetoric in articles and at meetings of the Association of American Medical Colleges, nothing has happened to change the alarming pattern. The average tuition and fees at public medical schools during ...

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A 67-year old woman has given birth
She is apparently the world's oldest mother.

The eyes have it
"Diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke risk, leukemia and a certain kind of brain tumor all can leave clues inside the eye.

The eye is the 'only place in the body where you can see blood vessels, without cutting,' notes Mark Lee, a Las Vegas optometrist."

How true - the eyes can certainly be a window to many diseases. Take diabetes for instance. Here is ...

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Medpundit writes about patients with intentionally selective memories
This would always be the case when I would collect a history as a medical student, only to see the patient say something completely different when questioned by the attending.

The Seattle Times talks about health-care costs reaching a breaking point and proposes some solutions
"Americans with health insurance must forget their 'I want my money's worth' mentality. In the hospital world, as in all health care, insurance has fostered a culture where patients never see the real bill, so they have no stake in ensuring that their medical care is efficient. That must change, perhaps through co-pays high ...

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The scut is the same down under
Some things never change. Interns in Australia are complaining of poor resident ("registrar" in Aussie lingo) supervision: "One intern was told by a registrar to 'go to the cafeteria and tell me what hot foods are available', according to the study."

"If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba's, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year."

Dr. Bob talks about a frightening story from a federal air marshall
Some think it may be an urban legend.

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