The NY Times on DTC marketing
"Doctors afraid to disappoint patients can also be negatively influenced by drug advertisements. The doctor may recommend that other approaches - like changing habits to lower blood pressure or controlling high cholesterol - are preferable to taking drugs. But patients hoping for prescriptions may pressure their doctors to write them."

Arizona signs some common-sense malpractice reforms
"The new law says expert witnesses in these cases must practice in the same area as the physician being sued. And if the defendant is 'board certified' in a specialty, the witnesses also must be certified by the same board . . .

. . . Napolitano had no problem with another part of the legislation, which will permit a doctor to apologize ...

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Math + Medicine = Confusion
"Why do so many people have trouble with the notion of probability and chance? Mathematicians chalk it up to innumeracy, the arithmetic equivalent of illiteracy. Simply put, people are uncomfortable with mathematical concepts like probability because they never learned them in the first place.

Innumeracy explains much of the public's confusion about the risks of various drugs and medical treatments. But not all ...

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Some docs don't get it
"Ontario's doctor shortage 'can't be a mitigating factor' for a Sault Ste. Marie physician who breached an order not to examine female patients except in the presence of a female nurse . . .

. . . Dr. DeLuco was first suspended from practice last January 11 after the college learned he had seen two women patients, and performed a breast examination on one, ...

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Orac talks about a case where a brain-dead 13-year old boy is being kept alive on a respirator
"Even worse is that a lawyer would file such an outrageous motion. Although I rarely agree with hospital flacks, in this case, I have to agree with Montefiore's spokesman, who said: 'The case and what this lawyer is doing is atrocious and a disservice to this family.' Indeed. The family has ...

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Oregon is considering a bill forcing pharmaceutical companies to disclose gifts to physicians
"In Oregon, Rep. Carolyn Tomei, D-Milwaukie, has introduced a bill requiring public disclosure of the value and purpose of any gifts given to health-care providers.

Tomei learned of the practice several years ago while looking into causes of high health-care costs. She says she was surprised to find that pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising than ...

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A patient in the UK died after a DIY home detox program from heroin

A local man dies of neuroleptic malignant syndrome at a psychiatric hospital
"According to medical records, Shiv began showing symptoms of NMS on March 17, including “fever, muscle stiffness, altered consciousness, increased heart rate, profuse sweating and drooling.” He refused food and water and became agitated and verbally abusive.

Two days later, according to a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health report, Shiv was growing weaker, stiffer and couldn'Â’t walk ...

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A disgruntled former Kaiser employee directed visitors to protected health information on her blog
"Cooper had posted links on her blog to three other Web sites that had the names, addresses, telephone numbers, medical record numbers, and in some cases, laboratory test results belonging to approximately 140 Kaiser health plan members, according to the lawsuit Kaiser filed last month against her. Kaiser had the sites taken down last month before ...

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A doc uses our highly litigious society to his advantage
"Gary Ordog was trained in emergency medicine. He spent the first 17 years of his career patching up knife and gunshot wounds at Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center in the tough Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles. Then he found a more lucrative specialty. For $9,800 up front (plus $975 an hour) Dr. Ordog appears as an expert witness in lawsuits ...

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Surgery on the cheap: 60 Minutes reports on the growing medical tourism trend

Sticker shock: A couple from Australia learns the hard way about life without health insurance
"A week later we saw an orthopedic specialist for a follow-up examination. That appointment, which included X-rays, cost $US480 ($615).

Then came the bad news. The wrist would need to be operated on. They could do it next week, but first, a check-up by a 'primary care physician' was needed.

This 'internist', ...

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As radiology is being outsourced, I wonder how hard it is to sue them
"When patients needed urgent CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds late at night at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, Conn., emergency room workers used to rouse a bleary-eyed staff radiologist from his bed to read the images. Not anymore.

The work now goes to Arjun Kalyanpur -- 8,000 miles away in Bangalore, India. When it ...

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Teaching hospitals in Florida are looking for $150,000 liability caps
"The effect would essentially be to immunize teaching hospitals in Florida from medical malpractice lawsuits. The Miami Herald reports that the bill is likely to pass; if so, it will create an interesting experiment in the effect of malpractice liability on healthcare costs and results, since there will be two regimes side-by-side in the state, one for teaching hospitals ...

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The 100K Lives Campaign is designed to reduce preventable medical errors
"The 100,000 Lives Campaign is a nationwide initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to radically reduce morbidity and mortality in American health care. Building on the successful work of health care providers all over the world, we will introduce proven best practices across the country to extend or save as many as 100,000 lives. IHI and ...

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This physician truly runs a solo practice
Relying heavily on technology, he has zero support staff.

A patient wins a malpractice suit, but won't collect since the doctor filed for bankruptcy
"A sweeping federal bankruptcy act the president signed into law last week will still allow doctors to file bankruptcy to avoid paying medical malpractice suits, according to Jeffrey Morris, scholar for the American Bankruptcy Institute in Alexandria, Va., and chair-in-law at the University of Dayton School of Law in Ohio.

Medical malpractice debts ...

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Doctors gone wild: A physician was fired for assaulting his boss
"'He don't talk to them [patients] like a doctor, he talks to them like
a brother and a friend,' said Marvin Johnson, one of the protesters.
'He say, You my dog, I'll hook you up,' ' to a patient who asks for a
new prescription, said Johnson. 'He's earthy and gutty and they [the
clinic] don't like that.'"

The story of a famed Tampa surgeon being sued for a surgical complication
This isn't a case of weeding out bad doctors. From all accounts, this was one of the top surgeons in the area. Nor is this frivolous - the patient has suffered a terrible complication. Unfortunately, complications occur despite the best intentions.

I harken back to a previous quote: "Most of the problem is that medicine ...

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