The New York Times reported that drug companies, insurers and pharmacies may “team up” to create effective monopolies. Company executives argue that this would be better for patients and would improve care and outcomes — however, nothing could be further than the truth. These conglomerates would further limit access and drive up costs. Many patients and physicians have found frustration when attempting to prescribe a particular medication ...

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For the last several weeks, I have been working as a medical volunteer on a remote island off the coast of Fiji called Batiki. Home to 234 natives, Batiki has no running water, and no electricity (other than solar generated power). The inhabitants are subsistence fishermen and farmers. They are filled with joy and a real sense of community. While on the island, I found extremely high rates of high ...

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Recently, Twitter exploded with angry commentary directed at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) after the organization actively attempted to censor what was posted on Twitter during their annual sessions in San Diego. The fiasco began when an attendee posted a picture of slides on Twitter — in an attempt to “live Tweet” during a session on the recommended #ADA2017 hashtag. The @AmDiabetesAssn Twitter feed then ...

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While Thomas Jefferson may have written that “All men are created equal” in our Declaration of Independence, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to health care in the United States. As a physician, I have pledged to ease suffering and heal those who are sick. However, I find that my job has become increasingly difficult over the last several years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ...

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When you go to the internet or phone book today, there are hundreds of physicians listed in most urban areas. In the next two decades, you can expect more difficulty finding a physician in your hometown — a major physician shortage is looming. In the last year, I have noted many mid-career physicians are leaving the practice of medicine. While the growth of mid-level hospital administrators has ballooned at nearly 3,000 ...

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Recently, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz made comments concerning health care reform that illustrates  just how out of touch Congress is with modern medicine. In a press conference addressing the ongoing debate over Obamacare repeal, he stated that Americans should make a choice between purchasing health insurance and an iPhone — in the Congressman’s own words “rather than getting that new iPhone that they ...

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Too often, the practice of medicine in the United States is focused on treatment. Doctors are taught to battle disease and treat chronic illness to the bitter end. And we have amazing technologies and treatments that have been proven to save lives, but our costs and health outcomes don’t seem to match what we pour into the system. But what if we doctors changed how we think about battling disease? What ...

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Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures, known simply as the Cures Act. This is thought to be the largest and most powerful health care-related law since the passage of the Affordable Care Act during Obama’s first term. The Cures Act provides for a large increase in funds for boosting biomedical research and also takes aim at speeding up drug and medical device approvals through the ...

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Medicine has become increasingly stressful for all levels of health care providers. Every year, nearly 400 physicians commit suicide, and in a study published in the Journal of Academic Medicine, researchers found that almost 10 percent of final year medical students and first-year residents (called interns) reported having suicidal thoughts. Previous studies from the National Institutes of Health found that physicians were twice as likely to ...

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As I sit behind a computer in my office today at the physician’s workstation, I am baffled at the steady flow of pharmaceutical representatives that flow into our office on a daily basis. Each rep comes in with a fancy glossy print detailing the data concerning their particular drug. My office is busy; patients are coming in and out, and medical assistants are busy checking vitals and verifying medications (and of ...

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Recently, a federal audit found that the Obama administration has illegally redirected funds related to collections from the Affordable Care Act that, by law, should have been deposited in the U.S. Treasury. President Obama, under the guise of executive order, used these tax dollars to bail out insurance companies that have experienced hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to their participation the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. In their ...

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Opioids are common pain medications that are used for the treatment for mild to moderate pain. These medications are highly addictive and bind to particular receptors in the brain and spinal column that produce a feeling of euphoria along with the relief of chronic pain. However, in the U.S. they are becoming a leading cause of death due to overdoses. Opioids -- such as oxycodone, Percocet, and others -- are now ...

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In 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was signed into law by President Obama and this law quickly changed the way medicine in the United Sates is practiced. The law was a first step in requiring all physicians to utilize electronic records. The president promised that creating and electronic record mandate for physicians would result in a national, universal electronic medical record system and ...

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Let me preface this blog by stating that I write this to stimulate discussion and debate, not to sway opinions. Today, doctors are required to spend more and more time doing administrative work -- including checking off electronic boxes in the electronic medical record (EMR) -- the result is less quality time with patients. Now, those that are in Washington, DC think that requiring physicians to ask about guns in the home ...

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February is American Heart Month, and the Go Red For Women campaign reminds us to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease in women all month long.  Today in the U.S., nearly 44 million women are living with heart disease.  Even though heart disease is quite prevalent in women, only 1 in 5 women are aware that they are at risk for developing a cardiovascular problem in their lifetime. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 ...

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For decades, many physicians have been pushing for comprehensive tort reform on the national level. Malpractice claims in the U.S. are twice those of other developed countries such as England, Canada, and Germany. Payouts in a U.S. claim can easily reach 3 million dollars or more; in Germany most claims are around $30,000 or less. A survey conducted by RAND in 2011 estimates that 99 percent of American physicians in high-risk ...

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Recently, two significant pharmaceutical breakthroughs have resulted in a renewed debate about the costs of drug therapy. In the last year, a new drug class for the treatment of hepatitis C has been released by two different manufacturers and has been found to cure a once incurable chronic liver disease for nearly 90 percent of patients who are treated with a full course of therapy. The drug appears to be ...

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shutterstock_260155397 As a physician journalist I find myself in a very fortunate and quite unique position: I am able to reach vast numbers of Americans on a daily basis and provide them with credible (and hopefully impactful) news on health and wellness. Medical journalism is similar to the practice of medicine in that we must put the patient first. Just as physicians provide patients ...

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Terminator-Salvation_0 In the past, physicians were responsible for both the business and practice of medicine.  While administrative personnel played an important and complementary role in practice and hospital management, physicians were the cornerstone.  In comparison, today the leadership structure in medicine is now an entirely foreign landscape.  Administrators dominate medical practices today and, according to the New York Times, their ...

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Hepatitis C is one of the most common chronic infectious illnesses in the U.S. today and affects nearly 3.2 million Americans. Complications of hepatitis C infection include liver cancer as well as cirrhosis.  Many patients with chronic hepatitis ultimately develop liver failure and will die without liver transplantation.  In the last year,  a new drug class has entered the market and can produce cure rates in excess of 90 percent. These ...

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