Excellent piece in Boston Magazine detailing the primary care crisis:

According to the MMS, in 2007 just 42 percent of patients were able to get an appointment with their primary care doc in the space of a week (down from 53 percent a year earlier). Those patients who didn't already have regular doctors had it much harder. The average wait time for them was 52 days, and that was assuming ...

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The WSJ writes about the sad story of Myriad Genetics, who paid $200,000 for a huge coming out party at a conference for their Alzheimer's drug.

Trouble is, the drug didn't work, so they're left with an empty, fancy booth.

Tragically comical.

Night float

Frequent NY Times contributer Sandeep Jauhar has a piece in Slate talking about night float, where interns take a 12 to 14 hour shift overnight to cross-cover the entire hospital.

Sometimes the problem of caring for another doctor's patients can lead to medical errors:

The nightmare of night float raises a central question about work limits for interns: Is it better to be cared for by a tired resident ...

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Addicted to suing

Serial litigants, or those with a psychological need to sue.

His name contained an expletive and wasn't able to register with Verizon DSL. Verizon relented, but not without this newspaper pulling some strings.

Our car dependent society contributes to the obesity epidemic: "Recently, in a span of 3 weeks, I went from being somewhat out of shape to being reasonably in shape. I lost about 1.5 kilos, my posture improved, my skin got healthier. What exercise regime did I follow to accomplish this? I stayed in a rental house in the Netherlands for 3 weeks. In other words, I carried lots of ...

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In the Clinic - Dr. Howard Hodis, MD, Discusses the Prevention of Heart Disease
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Stanley Feld has been doing a series on why physicians are slow to adopt electronic records.

The common perception is that they are expensive or ludditic doctors are desperate to cling to paper charts.

The main problem is that the current crop of EHRs are simply not ready for prime time. I recently read a story where doctors have their staff print out a patient's electronic ...

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Why patients so eager to hate the physician profession: "I suspect the payment system has something to do with it. When patients don't know what we charge for things (we are not allowed to disclose our fee schedules), they assume we are milking the system for all it's worth. The fact that the majority of transaction happens below the surface devalues the visit."

Nice post from Dr. ...

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Arnold Kling argues that the administrative savings from a single-payer system is minimal and superficial:

After [getting rid of private insurance administrators], costs might be less than the existing system. By a small amount. For a short time. But innovation in health care management and administration would slow to a crawl. Health care providers would need permission from Washington to try anything new. In the long run, administrative costs ...

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A patient posts pictures on Flickr. Clinical Cases analyzes the case.

The sad story of a mother who wanted to exact revenge on her obstetrician.

No-fault malpractice

The patient comes out ahead in many cases: "All patients who suffer a treatment injury caused by medical care are eligible for no-fault, government funded, compensation (with no need to prove negligence). Claims are usually decided within a matter of days, and the package of care includes financial compensation as well as free treatment, rehabilitation, home help, childcare, and so on."

Contrast that to what happens here, where ...

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If I Had - Joint Symptoms Indicative of Arthritis - Dr. Teresa Brady, PhD
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He takes exception to the hysteria about two-tier dermatology. A nice retort to the piece:

Until society sees fit to legislate otherwise (which, DrRich supposes, could happen as early as the next president's administration), doctors will continue to spend some of their time engaging in hobbies and business or family activities outside of the formal healthcare system. Some may even leave the formal healthcare system altogether in favor ...

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Get that ring off

I'm forced to cut 2-3 rings a year off swollen fingers. Patients are none to happy that that prospect. Here's a method I'm going to try before reaching for the ring cutter.

Two major organizations duke it out regarding routine EKGs for kids taking ADHD medication.

There is no doubt that the AHA's guideline will win out. Given the choice between testing and not, the decision to test will always win in court and with the public. Especially with the clout of the AHA behind it.

btw - I like how Dr. Farrago calls the ubiquitous Steven Nissen ...

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Essay template

How to answer the "why do you want to come here" question that is inevitable in all medical school applications.

Bedside manner

It's easier if you actually like your patients.

Sounds about right: "It's a perfect storm of demand for medical care."

The effectiveness of any single payer system depends on how it's funded. Will the government step up to the plate?

What happens at the VA is a useful predictor of how the government will act in any federally-based reform plan.

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