If I Had - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Dr. Sanjay Sethi, MD, University at Buffalo, SUNY
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If I Had - A Red Eye With Blurred Vision and Headache - Dr. Jonathan Myers, MD, Wills Eye Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine
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Moderate Myopia

If I Had - Moderate Myopia - Dr. Roberto Pineda, MD, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School
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If I Had - A Child with Red, Itchy Skin - Dr. Eileen Murray, MD, FRCPC, Vancouver General Hospital
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Nursing and Patient Care

If I Knew Then - Deborah Washington, RN, MSN, Massachusetts General Hospital, on Nursing and Patient Care
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Free medical school

The inaugural class at the University of Central Florida's medical school all receive scholarships covering tuition and living expenses. I believe the Cleveland Clinic is also trying something similar.

Mortgage-sized school debt is the primary factor driving medical students to specialties. Completely subsidizing medical school is an important step in possibly diverting the tide towards primary care.

Note to today's senior residents: The real world doesn't have work hour restrictions.

Breast MRIs

Merrill Goozner points to a study suggesting that newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who had breast MRIs were more likely to have mastectomies.

Cutting edge imaging tests tend to be very sensitive (i.e. better at picking up disease), but there tends to be too many false positives (i.e. the specificity isn't there yet).

Doctors generally act on positive tests, as watchful waiting is generally not supported by ...

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It seems that dermatologists and plastic surgeons spend a lot of time analyzing the cosmetic surgery and dermatology potential of our political candidates.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain were first. Now Sarah Palin gets her turn. (via Tony Youn)

CT scans

The LA Times (via the WSJ Health Blog) on the downsides of the exploding use of CT scans.

The risk of cancer is discussed, which should give patients pause before undergoing the scan. It's a good sign that the media is taking a more critical look at overtesting.

Medicare has attempted to limit the number of scans but decreasing payment. However, the results of such ...

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Shocks

Some days, nothing goes right.

Boston's BI-Deaconess' surgery program was cited for violations of the strict resident work hour restrictions. No doubt, this is happening in hospitals across the country:

"When your 80 hours are up on Friday and someone comes in with a ruptured aneurysm, we don't have the luxury of saying 'Sorry, I have to go home,'" said Dr. Scott Johnson, a transplant surgeon who has headed the hospital's surgery training ...

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Combat medicine

Jason Cohen: "Every time a patient dies prematurely, whether in a hospital in the United States or in a combat zone, we all feel we have lost a piece of something. Here, when a soldier dies, that piece is a lot bigger. That person is no longer a number or an injury, but a soldier, then a kid down the street, and then a father who will no longer be ...

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Incredible, and a sad commentary on the state of physician practice today:

I'm a resident physician but would like to be a PA. Does anyone know if my med school would count for PA training? Can I sit for the PA licensing exam?
Physician assistants don't have to take call, have better hours, and generally encounter less reimbursement headaches than doctors.

Still, I find it hard to believe ...

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Placebo Television #14

Costs, not the uninsured

Robert Samuelson gets it brilliantly right in this Newsweek piece:

The trouble with casting medical-care as a "right" is that this ignores how open-ended the "right" should be and how fulfilling it might compromise other "rights" and needs. What makes people healthy or unhealthy are personal habits, good or bad (diet, exercise, alcohol and drug use); genetic makeup, lucky or unlucky, and age. Health care, no matter how lavishly ...

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Work Hours Reform

If I Knew Then - Dr. Meeta Prasad, MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, on Work Hours Reform
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If I Had - A Child with Cystic Fibrosis - Dr. Carol Conrad, MD
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Finals Countdown

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Orgasms

Ha, got your attention. Now go and read this nice LA Times piece on that "darn good feeling."

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