An ER physician rants:

. . . I hate it that they act like I owe it to them. What happened to the'good ole days' when the doc would say to the poor farmer'Just pay me when you can'. Or maybe,'I know you're on hard times now, so don't worry about paying me. Consider this visit a gift. Even if they couldn't pay, at least they knew they owed something for ...

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My Q&A with the WSJ

It's primary day in New Hampshire! Jacob Goldstein of the excellent WSJ Health Blog asks me a few questions about what I think of the race.

I briefly alluded to this, but health care costs should take precedence over the uninsured. Maggie Mahar seems to agree:

Rather than focusing on the uninsured "“or the fact that insurance companies sometimes deny care to the insured"” we should focus on those who are insured, and remind them that as the economy slides (while the nation's health care bill continues to rise), their employers are going to ...

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Is stress from blogging a factor in the heart attack of this high-profile blogger? (via Clinical Cases)

#1 Dinosaur makes that proposal, and Robert Centor comments.

I don't know how many studies are needed to disprove the myth. There will always be people who will never be convinced.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck's hospital horror story is getting some attention. Apparently, he had a surgical procedure with marked post-op pain. As physicians tried to control his pain with increasing doses of narcotics, he suffered adverse reactions as a result.

A couple of thoughts:

Fentanyl is not just an "end-of-life drug". It is simply another form of narcotic, and its use in the post-op setting is ...

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#1 Dinosaur talks about radiologists taking breast care too far.

A nice summary. Of the Democrats, Obama's statement following statement still resonates with me: "Anyone who denies there's a crisis with medical malpractice is probably a trial lawyer."

Handy to remember come tomorrow when I go to the polls.

Cap trial lawyer pay

A WSJ letter writes to John Edwards, suggesting that lawyers fees be unlinked to malpractice verdicts:

The most irrational form of inequality of pay is a lawyer sucking up a 25%-33% contingency fee from a claim. It seems that in many cases, lawyers benefit more than the affected people. This is a terrible example of inequality of pay . . . An additional benefit of this proposal is that ...

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Quitting medicine

Paul Levy points to the following quote:

As of 2006, nearly 60 percent of doctors polled by the American College of Physician Executives said they had considered getting out of medicine because of low morale, and nearly 70 percent knew someone who already had.
Sounds about right. In the midst of the Democratic proposals for universal or near-universal healthcare, there is nary a mention of how to ...

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What to do next?

Good tips.

Dealing with surgeons

Are they really that much harder to deal with. The Happy Hospitalist with a story:

The reason why we don't call you, most likely is because you complain, you bitch, and you obstruct my ability to care for patients. You may be the best damn surgeon in the world, but if you can't get a long with people in a respectful, civilized way, you will never get a ...

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I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Widely known as by far the most physician-unfriendly health insurer, UnitedHealth vows to improve its image to physicians.

I'll see it when I believe it. (via The Medical Quack)

Repulsive. I cringed every time I saw him use her name during the debates on Saturday.

My question to Mr. Edwards: would Medicare, his "government-run health plan", a Canadian-style single-payer system, or the NHS have approved the surgery? Answer that question first before you go blaming CIGNA.

For every health insurer horror story that is being sensationalized in the media, ask yourself if a single-payer system ...

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What happens when they get a reading wrong.

The NEJM explores the circumstances surrounding Dr. Pou in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. Kolahun comments:

That being said, she was a physician inexperienced in and untrained for working in a disaster zone. She wasn't some physician volunteering for a Doctors Without Borders mission in some remote part of the world. She was simply a physician, left to wade the metaphorical murky ethical waters in her ...

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A "competitive" salary

And why it's useless in physician job negotiations.

Yes, but barely. Some wonder why he's qualified to pitch Lipitor:

Although he has an MD, he never did an internship or residency and never practiced medicine. And his Jarvik 7 artificial heart was not a big success.

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