A difficult medical situation in the aftermath of Pakistan's earthquake. "'Officially I'm a resident in ophthalmology,' said Dr. Farah Shah, working under a green and white tent set up in a parking lot as a makeshift triage center for the flow of taxis, cars, trucks and ambulances disgorging patient after patient. But now, 'I'm a general practitioner, I'm a pediatrician. I'm everything.'"

Bizarre non-medical news of the week: A UNICEF ad bombs the Smurfs.

"The bombs kill Smurfette leaving Baby Smurf orphaned and crying at the edge of a crater in the last scene of the video and finishing of with the text 'don't let war destroy the children's world.'

It calls on viewers to donate."

Doctors aren't sure if St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz has endocarditis. "Even though doctors had told Mike Martz they believed he was suffering from endocarditis, an inflammation of a heart valve caused by a bacterial infection, an exact diagnosis had been elusive. That's why a specialist finally told Martz on Monday that he needed to check into the hospital for at least four days and to take a ...


An unlikely beneficiary of Viagra: walruses and other endangered species. "The authors of a new study on impotence drugs say walruses are among the species to most likely benefit because they are often poached for their genitalia."

The C-reactive protein is less than helpful in heart disease. "Screening for heart disease by measuring levels of C-reactive protein does not provide enough useful information to make the highly touted screening test worthwhile, a new study concludes."

Here are my previous comments on this test:

Still not enough data to support general screening. There are some organizations that do recommend CRP screening. However, there are a couple ...


Insurance companies are considering "re-educating" doctors who order too many MRIs. (via The Procare Blog)

The Wall Street Journal on medical blogs. (via Red State Moron)

An uncommon diagnosis, by way of Google. "When you Google a set of symptoms, you don't get the most common or the most likely diseases; you get the diseases with the greatest number of links from other Web sites. Her Google search brought up dozens of fairly unusual, but well-linked, illnesses . . ."

True words about primary care: "We pay doctors fairly well to do procedures on people. We don't pay particularly well for consultation and managing . . . Then we're surprised that doctors don't spend a lot of time with patients."

A Boston hospital is trying ban people from smoking in front of its building.

Coming soon? A pill to treat compulsive gambling.

Mudslinging in Washington state. "The key to the doctors' strategy is obvious: prey on the unpopularity of trial lawyers.

They put up a campaign Web site called 'theirlipsaremoving.com' "” the punch line to the joke 'How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?'

Their TV ads are filled with demeaning images of lawyers: giving each other high fives while throwing darts at a picture of a doctor ...


Required reading on Health Care Renewal, regarding the farce of homeopathy, "me-too" drugs, and minute clinics.

39% of doctors said they would stop caring for families that refused vaccinations.

You think? "Dr. Helmut Ahlert told police he hoped to start work soon as an anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital, but that job was likely jeopardized Sunday after he was charged with drug possession."

More telephone medicine woes: A doctor missed a fatal sepsis while trying to treat over the phone. "She said events would have been different if she knew he was in pain and that his shoulder was discoloured."

How much do smokers spend on cigarettes during their lifetime? Over $162,000.

How are hospitals bringing in more revenue? By building bigger ER's.

The plight of depression in the elderly. "As far as I'm concerned, you're just lumped in as a little old lady on your way out."

Lawyers are keeping close tabs at the Vioxx trial. "Sam Davis is here sizing up the witnesses, jurors, judge and dynamics at play in the trial looking for anything that might give him an edge when he gets his day in court.

With 100 Vioxx lawsuits already filed and hundreds of other would-be plaintiffs on retainer, Davis, a trial lawyer from Teaneck, 133 miles away, is keenly interested in ...


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