This sounds pretty cool.

Apparently, the patient didn't want to sue for that much:

But in the end, suing for such an astronomical amount is not in his interest, he says. The lawyers jacked up the amount, because they always expect to settle for less.

"Something like this shouldn't have a $5 million dollar price tag on it. I should have had a better look at the amount. It's my fault."

Taking the hard line.

Not so well, in some cases: "Neither physician nor patient trust each other anymore. Owing to the intrusive effects of third-party payers, physicians are, at best, advisors; more realistically, we're waiters who take orders from patients, insurers, and administrators."

Spending patterns

How this rural doctor manages her money. Once you have a life, you have to find ways to pay for it.

Medicine is still an inexact science: "A doctor's care is not a protective bubble, and cardiology is not the exact science that many people wish it to be. A person's risk of a heart attack can only be estimated, and although drugs, diet and exercise may lower that risk, they cannot eliminate it entirely. True, the death rate from heart disease has declined, but it is still the leading ...

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The following op-ed was published on May 4th, 2008 in the Nashua Telegraph. Communication in medicine grows worse by the day. What should be a pillar of quality health care is instead a resounding failure. Patients are rushed through office visits and often leave without having their questions answered. Labyrinthine barriers have to be overcome before speaking with a physician. Reaching a medical provider via the ...

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The following is a reader take by Stuart Sutton.

The U.S. Dept of Labor says that the number of people working 2nd jobs is the highest in 15 years. The motivation is, as would be expected, not just more income for enhancement of lifestyle, but a need for such to stay financially afloat.

There is often debate about whether doctors are paid a reasonable ...

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In the Clinic - Dr. Roberto Pineda, MD - Indications for the Excimer Laser
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The following op-ed was published on March 13th, 2008 in the USA Today. Crippling health care bills, long emergency room waits and the inability to find a primary care physician just scratch the surface of the problems that patients face daily. Surveys suggest that health care is a top domestic priority in the presidential election, and there is no lack of ideas on how to fix our system. ...

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Blog break

I'll be away until Tuesday the 24th. I'll put up a few classic posts as well as a Reader Take on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend.

Some hope

Rather dour day of blogging stories today. Here's a more optimistic link.

Remorse

Know what you're getting into: "So many of my classmates have gotten this far only to realize that they have made a very expensive mistake. I know of at least two people who now openly admit that they dislike medicine. Unfortunately, they are now more than $150,000 in debt and cannot leave the profession. They are now stuck in this job field for no other reason than economics."

CRNAs are quietly becoming a very lucrative field, without the physician hassles.

The generalist-specialist salary disparity is so great that specialist mid-levels pay (i.e. dermatology PAs) will soon overtake those of generalist physicians.

Further reason why students will shun primary care medicine.

An early-release NEJM study is getting some much-needed airplay in mainstream media. About time they caught up to what's been discussed on the medical blogs for some time now.

Here's one reason why physicians aren't implementing electronic records:

Unless electronic medical records are fully funded, the majority of independent practicing physicians do not have any incentive to make the switch.

In fact, the individual ...

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As if being a PCP isn't difficult enough: "The typical primary care physician with a patient load of 3,000 souls can assume that at least 60 of these individuals (up to 150, if he/she treats a lot of patients with pain or disability) would not only like to see them dead, but would be pleased to be the instrument of their demise."

Dunking dangers

A plastic surgeon talks ring finger avulsion.

Empathy

The problem of caring too much: "If you empathize with all your patients, do you risk bearing too much of a burden? Does it lead to burnout? Is that "professional distance" necessary for one's own survival -- forget about the patients.' As I see it, that is in fact the higher concern. Paradoxically, empathy needs pairing with the ability to compartmentalize, to relate one-on-one and leave it behind when ...

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(via over my med body!)

Dr. Rob reveals basic plays from the pharma playbook.

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