Poverty is known to be an important determinant of a person’s health and longevity. A person’s zip code is more relevant than genetic code. Does a physician’s zip code – that is where they were born and raised – have an effect on where they practice? Specifically, do rural born and raised physicians return to their rural roots? The story of Prashant, a physician raised in rural Bihar, India, is ...

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A single error oft inters the good that doctors do. The case of Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba, a trainee pediatrician in the NHS convicted for homicide for the death of a child from sepsis and hounded by the General Medical Council is every junior doctor’s primal fear. A boy in shock Friday, February 18th, 2011 was not a typically unusual day in a British hospital. Dr. Bawa-Garba had recently returned from a 13-month ...

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Physicians’ reactions to ORBITA — a blinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT) from Britain with a sham arm comparing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to placebo in patients with stable angina — are as fascinating as the cardiac cycle. There were murmurs, kicks and pulsating jugulars. Though many claimed to be surprised and many unsurprised by the null results of the trial, the responses were predictably predictable. Some basked in Read more...

When Aneurin Bevan was asked how he convinced doctors to come on board the National Health Service (NHS) he allegedly replied, “I stuffed their mouths full of gold.” Bevan recognized that to conscript doctors to the largest socialist experiment in health care in the world he had to appeal not so much to their morals, but their pockets. There is much piety about the NHS. It is the envy of the ...

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For American conservatives, Britain’s NHS is an antiquated Orwellian dystopia. For Brits, even those who don’t love the NHS, American conservatives are better suited to spaghetti westerns, such as Fistful of Dollars, than reality. The twain are unlikely to meet after the recent press surrounding Charlie Gard, the infant, now deceased, with a rare, fatal mitochondrial disorder in which mitochondrial DNA is depleted — mitochondrial depletion disorder (MDD). In this condition, ...

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A study published in JAMA looking at the brains of former football players donated to a brain bank, a highly selective sample, found signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a degenerative neurological disease — in nearly all deceased players examined. The mainstream media converged towards numerical consensus.

Any backpacker traveling on a shoestring in Thailand knows not to blow their entire budget on premium whiskey in a premium hotel on the first night in Bangkok. Rather, you need to skip the occasional meal, stay in a cheap dorm with random strangers and drink cheap beer on Khao San Road if you wish to see the country and return home without having to wash dishes in a restaurant ...

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When I first read about neurosyphilis in medical school, I became convinced that Mrs. Thatcher, who I detested intensely because it was fashionable detesting her, had general paralysis of the insane. The condition, marked by episodic bouts of temporary insanity, which indicated that the spirochetes were feasting on expensive real estate in the brain, seemed a plausible explanation why she had introduced the poll tax. A little bit of medical knowledge ...

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In college, I once marched for the plight of Tibetans. Forty of us marched in Hyde Park, London; after an hour, half retreated to the nearest pub to discuss global injustices. Recently, over a million, including five penguins, marched for science. There were no penguins at our march for Tibetans but our goal, though naïve and unrealistic, was clear -- we wanted Tibetan independence from Chinese rule. The goals of ...

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Recently, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health reported on the effect of surgical checklists in South Carolina. The press release was titled, “South Carolina hospitals see major drop in post-surgical deaths with nation’s first proven statewide Surgical Safety Checklist Program.” The Health News Review, for which I review, grades coverage of research in the media. Based on their objective criteria, the Harvard press release would ...

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