DEA Withdraws Its Support Of Guidelines on Painkillers
"The Drug Enforcement Administration has reversed its support for a set of negotiated guidelines designed to end a controversy over the arrests of hundreds of pain specialists who prescribed powerful narcotics for their patients. The agency took the document off its Web site earlier this month, less than two months after announcing it with great fanfare."

This seems to be ...

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What's Ashlee Simpson to do without talent?
Chris Rangel talks about the "reflux" explanation for Ashlee Simpson's lip-synch incident this past weekend.

Grand Rounds Five
Hosted by code blog: tales of a nurse. The weekly best of the medical blogs.

And tomorrow is Friday
A story of the doctor as a patient.

Lawyers: To treat or not to treat?
"While it might not be a bad idea from one perspective to give trial attorneys a taste of life without physicians, surely we have a higher calling"”to practice in "purity and holiness," as the original Hippocratic oath says, or with "uprightness and honor" as in "A Physician's Oath," used by some med schools today. It's risky, but the sick need the benefit of ...

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PointofLaw.com: State initiatives head to the wire
"Doctors and lawyers are battling over ballot initiatives in four states this year, with very mixed signals from the voters at the moment."

Prognosis for Rehnquist Depends on Which Type of Thyroid Cancer He Has
"Of the four main kinds of thyroid cancer, the papillary type is by far the most common. The cure rate is about 95 percent among younger people. But among older people, the cure rates for papillary thyroid cancer are often lower."

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's best
"Scenario: How do you decide whether to prescribe a new drug?

The simple answer to this question is, 'Of course I would not use a more expensive medicine to replace an effective one with no side effects.' But in fact such substitutions do occur, and frequently. The drug companies count on it."

Nabbing no-shows: What can you do when patients are absent?
Always try and show up for your doctor's appointment.

Costly medicine: A look inside Ben Taub's ER
Inadequate mental health care is another reason overburdening the ER: "When their illnesses turn into crises, the only option is an astronomically expensive visit to a public emergency room. Dr. Daniel Garza, medical director for Ben Taub's outpatient psychiatric clinic, says it's not unusual for mental patients to call 911 and be transported by ambulance — all in desperate bids to ...

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Unhappy time for medicine
"This is not a happy time for medicine. There is an increasing discordance between rising costs and the satisfaction that most patients have with the care they receive. We pay more and get less.

It's not quite true to say that all are dissatisfied. Some are quite happy with the system: CEOs of health maintenance organizations, executives of pharmaceutical companies, personal injury trial attorneys, investors ...

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Traveling physician provides old-school service, modern medicine
Shame that physicians have to rely on a "boutique" practice in order to do house calls.

The business of medicine
"The dispute will give outsiders a glimpse into the business of health care, where maximizing revenue and minimizing cost take precedence, even at nonprofit institutions such as Mease."

Conflicted medicine: Doctors defend ties to drugs they endorse
Detailing the conflict-of-interest issues in the new lipid guidelines.

Canadian Vaccine Policy May Become U.S. Model
"When it comes to getting flu shots for its citizens, the United States
may someday soon look like a giant version of Canada, its national-health-plan neighbor to the north."

Smoking and other poor health choices
In response to what was written last week on hospitals collecting debt, a physician writes about the lack of patients' personal responsibility.

Health care at crossroads, not a crisis
"The key is remembering that we're at a crossroads, not a crisis. Our challenge is to pick the right road -- ideally the one that keeps up the pace of progress without sacrificing anyone along the way."

Op-Ed Contributor: The Health of Nations
"Preventing a flu epidemic that could kill thousands is not nearly as profitable as making pills for something like erectile dysfunction, a decidedly non-fatal condition. Viagra, for example, brings in more than $1 billion a year for its maker, Pfizer. The profits to be made from selling flu vaccine are measly in comparison."

A nice point in a missive detailing our health ...

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Five hospitals ignore C. Difficile guidelines
"At least five Montreal hospitals are flouting infection-control
guidelines by sticking patients sick with deadly C. difficile diarrhea
in rooms with uninfected patients."

C. Difficile diarrhea should be able to be controlled with appropriate isolation techniques. The reason that this is not happening is due to staffing cuts, which is simply unacceptable in this day and age.

Does surfing for health information do you more harm than good?
". . . people who use their computer to find out more about their condition end up in worse health than those who do not."

I certainly support increased information flow and patient empowerment. However, there is a reason why physicians endure 7 or more years of medical school and residency. It is how the information ...

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