The 8-hour physical exam
Newsweek writes about concierge practices. Here are some of the "perks":

For a $5,000 annual fee, Blanchard provides Perenic with a yearly three-hour physical, same-day appointments and his personal cell number. Blanchard also calls on Perenic at work to monitor his blood pressure . . .

. . . The Cooper Clinic in Dallas, whose tab is $3,000 for an eight-hour physical exam, has ...


Prilosec OTC is now touting its price in their DTC ads.

So, is 68 cents a day a good deal? Let's compare with the prescription PPIs.

For a 30-day supply (from
Prilosec OTC $20 (68 cents x 30 tabs)
Nexium 20mg $120.99
Protonix 40mg $103.99
Prevacid 15mg $124.44

In most health plans, the co-pay for the prescription PPIs are third tier ($25 ...


Medical bills and illnesses are a major cause of roughly half of this country's personal bankruptcies
Another symptom of our sick health care system.

The Pope was recently hospitalized for laryngeal spasms secondary to influenza. Influenza is a virus that many take for granted as a "simple flu", but actually is quite deadly - especially in the elderly and the very young.

Pneumonia is the most common complication from influenza. Those over the age of 65, in nursing homes, and have concurrent heart disease, lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk ...


Ivan Noble, the BBC News journalist who has been writing about his treatment for a brain tumour for the past two years, has died aged 37

"The R.O.A.D. to happiness lies in radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, and dermatology."
A quote taken from a wonderful article from US News and World Report detailing the realities of medicine in the 21st century (via SoloDoc).

The USPSTF released a new recommendation regarding screening for AAA

The USPSTF recommends one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasonography in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked.

Rating: B Recommendation.

Rationale: The USPSTF found good evidence that screening for AAA and surgical repair of large AAAs (5.5 cm or more) in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever ...


Is Celebrex safe or not?
Many mixed messages. The "smoking gun" was thought to be found with the study unearthed by the Public Citizen Health Research Group:

Wolfe thinks he found that second study--and it was conducted six years ago. In a letter sent to the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Wolfe outlined a statistical analysis he had done of a ...


Grand Rounds XIX is up
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

The stress of returning to work on a Monday morning can trigger a dangerous increase in blood pressure
"It may explain why deaths from heart attacks and strokes tend to peak on a Monday morning.

There are 20% more heart attacks on Mondays than on any other day."

NEJM with a medical mystery
"A male infant was born at 38 weeks and 1 day of gestation with a weight of 3430 g. When the child was five months old, his mother noticed an unusual weight gain and a rash. He was referred for medical treatment at seven months of age. His weight was 8450 g, and his blood pressure was elevated, at 114/52 mm Hg. What is ...


Russian medical school is no walk in the park

There really shouldn't be any circumstance where chaperones aren't used during intimate examinations

Nonphysicians eager to prescribe medication
"'A person who is not a physician ought to be able to practice within their training,' Dr. Nelson said. 'If they want to increase their scope, they should do it through education, not legislation.'"

Agreed. If you want to prescribe medication, go to medical school. Or get a DO, NP, or PA degree. People should adapt to the system instead of ...


North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr favors reforms in the legal system to rein in medical malpractice lawsuits, which he blames for the inflation in medical costs
I much prefer his stance than that of the man he replaced, John Edwards.

Some hospitals are picking up the tab for malpractice premiums

Proof that tort reform works
"Because of tort reform, malpractice lawsuits no longer can be counted on to police the profession.

In Harris County, the numbers of medical malpractice lawsuits have dropped precipitously since October 2003, when limits on non-economic damages (awards for "pain and suffering") went into effect.

For the previous eight years, the number of malpractice suits averaged in the high 400s. In 2003, they spiked ...


Kaiser bans painkiller Bextra
"It is the first time the nation's largest HMO has refused to dispense a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

I wonder when Celebrex will be next.

Chris Rangel opines on how marketing worsened the Vioxx debacle
However, because of the heavy direct to consumer advertising by Pfizer and Merck a huge number of patients came to their doctors asking for these drugs even if they needed only short term treatment for aches and pains and had no history of and no increased risks for gastrointestinal side effects. If anything, direct to consumer advertising proved that it ...


Blogborygmi talks about the computer glitch that caused the urology match to be re-run
Urology happens to be one of the harder specialties to match in. I wonder how many dreams were shattered by this.

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