Hospital-Based Medicine

Support for the VA healthcare system

The VA hospital has always been special to me. My very first clinical rotation as a medical student was inpatient wards at the Jamaica Plain VA Hospital in Boston. Today, I still do occasional shifts in the VA emergency room, and see first hand the work and effort that is put in every day caring for our veterans, despite serious shortages in money and personnel. Today’s Boston …

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Does diet soda increase the risk of cancer?

Just noticed this headline as I was drinking my diet soda. I’ll have to see the actual study myself to come to any conclusion, but here are the salient points from Reuters:

A team at Tata Memorial Hospital in India found a strong correlation between the rise in per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the past 50 years and a documented increase in rates of esophageal …

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Physicians provide more than $5 billion in uncompensated care

The ACP released a paper today focusing on uncompensated care for the uninsured. This paper coincides with Cover the Uninsured Week taking place from May 10-16:

In 2001, for instance, the American health care system provided close to $99 billion in care to uninsured patients, $35 billion of which was uncompensated.

Hospitals provided $24 billion of that care while physicians volunteered about $5.1 billion in uncompensated care, including …

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D-Dimer in pulmonary embolus diagnosis

I recently saw a case of a young lady for shortness of breath. No other medical issues, only medication was oral contraceptives. No family history of blood clots. Chest X-ray clear, no desaturations on room air. My pre-test probability for pulmonary embolus was quite low, however she was concerned and asked to be “checked for a blood clot”. With such a low index of suspicion, …

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Herbal viagra frauds

Reuters:

“Herbal” Viagra and other so-called natural alternatives for treating impotence advertised on the Internet and in men’s magazines are often contaminated with real drugs and could kill those who take them, researchers said on Monday.

“These are being marketed as being safe and natural products,” said Dr. Neil Fleshner of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada. “It is plausible that deaths have occurred or could occur.”

Like …

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A case for defensive medicine

AMNews:

A family sued their infant’s pediatrician, an emergency department physician and an on-call pediatrician at the hospital for not ordering a CT scan. To the doctors, the 11-month-old boy appeared normal and in no need of the test.

But after the infant had more serious injuries resulting from an incident at his babysitter’s home a couple of weeks later, the parents faulted the physicians for not ordering …

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Be prepared for your physician visit

Last year, there was a study done by the Royal Society of Medicine that suggested that patients forget up to 80 percent of what a physician tells them during an office visit:

“While you might not recall everything your doctor tells you, you’re pretty confident you remember most of the information. Right?

Probably not, new research contends. Most patients forget as much as 80 percent of what their …

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