The Pope is in grave condition
It appears that the Pope is suffering from an episode of urosepsis. The articles states that he has elected to stay at home, rather be transported to a hospital.

Treatment at this time involves intravenous antibiotics. With a description of septic shock (i.e. the inability to maintain a blood pressure due to the infection spreading to the blood), the ...


The UK has a 56-hour work week limit for residents
Kind of puts the 80-hour limit we have here to shame.

Medicare doesn't get it
"Spending grew as doctors saw patients more frequently, did more tests and provided more in-office drugs than expected.

In addition to increasing premiums, the higher-than-expected spending on doctor services last year might hamper physician efforts to win a pay increase instead of a cut from Medicare next year."

This is a no-win situation for everyone involved. The government is blaming the physicians ...


People are dying because of emergency room waits
11 percent of patients leave the ER because the waits were too long (8 to 9 hours in Ontario). A case in point was a 24-year old with meningitis. After waiting 8 hours without being seen, she went home and later died.

These problems are not confined to Canada, but reflective of a larger problem.

A hospital is urging patients who had recent colonoscopies to get tested for hepatitis and HIV because the instruments may not have been disinfected adequately
One instrument you want to be sure is disinfected properly would be a colonoscope.

A doctor was sued after penis lengthening surgery ruined the patient's libido
"Eric Neuberger, 31, contends his pre-operation libido let him 'engage in intercourse approximately 30 to 50 times a month.'

But his sexual appetite was destroyed by Dr. Rodney Barron's work, Neuberger said."

Not sure that phalloplasty commonly causes a decreased libido. Any urologists care to comment?

Another case of PML hits the MS drug Tysabri
PML is a rare demylinating disease that occurs in 6 per 10 million patients. This is the third case that is associated with Tysabri. Investors are not happy.

An alternative medicine physician is in trouble for prescribing steroids to football players on the Carolina Panthers
"A South Carolina doctor accused of writing steroid prescriptions for three players on the Carolina Panthers says he prescribes the drugs only when medically necessary.

Dr. James Shortt, an alternative practitioner under investigation by federal and state officials, said in Wednesday's editions of The Charlotte Observer that he prescribes steroids only ...


A student is saying many of his colleagues graduating from Pennsylvania medical schools may move to neighboring states because of the rising cost of malpractice insurance
The malpractice situation is affecting new graduates as they become more attuned to the current crisis.

Today is National Doctors Day!
"* The first Doctors Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Ga. The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Cha Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery. (On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford Long of Barrow County, Ga., used ether to remove a tumor from a patient's neck.)

* The Barrow ...


"I will not treat you and I don't need this shit."
The response of a physician in South Africa who refused to treat a patient with HIV.

No surprise, the neurologist who testified that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state is under constant fire
"He's called some doctors who disagree with him 'pro-life fanatics,' and others quacks and charlatans.

No legitimate neurologist in the world, he says, would look at the evidence in this case and dispute that Terri Schiavo is in a permanent vegetative state."

People who rely on their primary-care doctor to coordinate their health-care needs fare better than those who don't
"In addition, having a long-term relationship with a doctor resulted in fewer hospitalizations and other reductions in health-care costs, the researchers found."

"Doctors need to understand that we are businessmen"”nothing less, nothing more"”and the sooner we accept this the better."
The New Yorker writes about the intersection between money and medicine. (via

Hospital advertising to consumers is now coming under scrutiny
"Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs had come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the recent Vioxx debacle. Experts across many fields felt that the huge advertising effort behind Vioxx and other cox-2 inhibitors contributed to an over-prescribing of the drugs, and the subsequent heart-related problems experienced by some users.

Ads by medical centers are a more recent phenomenon, another ...


over my med body! hosts this week's Grand Rounds
Get all the scoop from the best of the medical blogs.

A police officer faces charges for delaying an OB speeding on the way to a delivery
"Rather than release Chidiac [the OB] at that point, Lilliston [the officer] drove him to the hospital and marched the doctor to the maternity ward with his motorcycle helmet still on and his hands cuffed behind his back.

A nurse urged the doctor to hurry, because the baby's head was showing."

Missouri signs malpractice litigation reforms
"The law limits an award for noneconomic damages in medical liability cases to $350,000, down from $500,000; regardless of the number of defendants in a case, and there is no inflation adjustment on the cap."

9 out of 10 medical doctors worldwide have penmanship that is quite easy to read
"Among other findings about physicians from the Pilot Pen/Graphology Consulting Group handwriting report are the characteristics of medical specialists:
* Cardiologists -- fast thinkers, open-minded, positive high energy.
* Neurologists -- forward thinkers, quick, interested, intuitive and "elegant."
* Orthopedic surgeons -- Surprisingly, only 15% display handwriting signs that indicate manual dexterity.
* Male OB/GYNs ...


In the UK, some physicians solely practice to give second opinions
"But it is aiming to reverse the trend with the introduction of a new GP post, called a referrals GP, which will give patients access to a second family doctor if they are not convinced by their own."

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