How to ensure your malpractice defense lawyer is competent
"Physicians should expect five basic things from a competent lawyer: a plan of action; clear communication; ongoing communications; management of your expectations; and clear explanations of billing policies."

How's tort reform going in Texas? "So far, so good."

A single question has been validated to screen for alcohol abuse
One question screens are tremendously helpful in busy primary care practice. That question is: "When was the last time you had more than five drinks in 1 day [or four for a woman]?"

A yes to four or five drinks in the past 3 months was considered a positive screen.

CSI indeed: The grim task of identifying London's bomb victims
". . . in some cases, experts only have body-parts to work with."

Why "imaginary voices" are male
"Dr Michael Hunter's research at the University of Sheffield says that male voices are less complex to produce than female.

As such, when the brain spontaneously produces its own "voices", a male voice is more likely to have been generated.

Among both men and women, 71% of such "false" voices are male."

More defensive medicine: A study suggests that the fear of lawsuits is leading to more hospital admissions
This is stating the obvious and merely an extension of over-ordering tests:

Emergency room doctors who are the most fearful of malpractice suits are more likely than their colleagues to order tests and admit patients for chest pain or other heart symptoms, according to a study led by a University of Iowa researcher.


Bad news: Wisconsin's State Supreme Court strikes down cap on malpractice awards
"The court ruled 4-3 Thursday that the cap is 'unreasonable and arbitrary' because there is no 'rational' relationship between it and lower medical malpractice premiums. The cap also violates equal protection provisions in the Wisconsin Constitution, the court ruled."

Update: comments.

A Canadian-trained ophthalmologist is frustrated at the bureaucracy preventing him to operate
"I am licensed to practise in Ontario and provide service in multiple offices in the Toronto area. During an average week, I see up to 200 patients and refer four to 10 surgical cases to my colleagues with operating privileges. Those patients then have to travel a significant distance, be re-examined by another doctor and then wait weeks, ...


A doctor is sued for throwing away his computer with private patient records in the trash
"Bortnick found himself at the middle of a legal maelstrom last month when KCTV, Channel 5, obtained his patient records and began contacting the patients.

The station got the records from a scavenger who picked up the computer from the curb of Bortnick's Mission Hills home, retrieved the records from the computer and ...


A doctor talks about the scene at one of the London subway bombing sites

A woman in Australia is suing her doctor for missing her breast cancer
"It says that in January 2002 she went to him for a 'well woman' check-up before trying to conceive her second child.

As part of the check-up her breasts were examined and while a 'gritty' area on her right breast was detected, she was given the all-clear to have a second child, the claim says."


"We travelled 7,000 miles to see our baby."
Well, not quite. It was a 50 mile trip back and forth for 104 days, but the lack of NICU access in the UK is taking its toll.

A mother undergoes chemotherapy while pregnant
"According to doctors, a baby in utero experiences the same side effects of chemotherapy, such as extreme fatigue, because it crosses the placenta."

ABC News speculates on the possible causes of Chief Justice Rehnquist's fever
I pretty much agree with the differential, with some kind of pneumonia being the most likely.

A medical librarian comments on how doctors use Google
I previously wrote about it here.

I have partnered with Creative Weblogging to produce a new medical blog: Straightfromthedoc. With a slant towards patient information and education, Straightfromthedoc will continue to have my take on current medical information, news and studies. There will be an occasional cross-post, but for the most part, each of my blogs will have original content. Enjoy the blogging - Straight from the Doc.

A study suggests malpractice litigation and defensive medicine play "small roles" in the cost of health care
"While medical malpractice is a problem, its costs account for less than
1% of spending. And defensive medicine, where doctors run tests or do
procedures to lower their chances of being sued, makes up no more than 9% of total spending, the study of spending in 30 nations found."

It is not ...


The doctor suing Imus for slander is generating wide support
"He is the former chairman of the Pediatric Department at Yale-New Haven Hospital and is professor emeritus at the Yale Medical School, where he was awarded the Gillman Award for teaching excellence . . .

Pearson has an incredible amount of compassion, and he has really dedicated his life to helping people . . .

Pearson is an ...


Over half of respondents in an Irish survey waited more than two hours to see a physician in an outpatient clinic

Outpatient CHF clinics using Natrecor is causing controversy
UptoDate has this to say about the use of Natrecor:

We believe that nesiritide can be used safely and effectively in selected patients, particularly those who also require inotropic support. However, a randomized controlled trial specifically designed to compare the effects of noninotropic vasodilators and nesiritide will be required to clarify the precise indications for nesiritide therapy.

The use ...


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