An excellent debate . . .

. . . on malpractice reform at PointofLaw. Ironically, we find a physician supporting Kerry, and a lawyer arguing for Bush.

Emergence of medbloggers

Jon Udell writes about the emergence of medbloggers, talking about this blog, the invaluable Medlogs, as well as two of the most respected and established medical blogs - Medpundit and DB's Medical Rants:

From the get-go, I knew that blogging was bound to disrupt information monopolies not only in IT and politics, but in other realms too. Now it appears that the medical blogosphere, something I've long ...

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I just completed another shift in the emergency room (which I do about once per month), and it continually amazes me the amount of non-emergent cases that comes through - but that's for another rant.

So I'm reading that the family of John Ritter is suing the hospital for misdiagnosing his ascending aortic aneurysm. Galen certainly has some tough words for this. I'll reserve opinion since I'm ...

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Policing our own

A commenter writes:

As far as physicians not wanting to criticize another physicians' care, that might just be one of your biggest problems in this whole malpractice and increasing malpractice ins. rates. Doctors can't have it all ways . . . there will be no resolve in this problem until physicians are willing to police their own. Until they are willing to get BAD doctors out of their ...

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Couple of updates. First on Overlawyered, an update on malpractice with stories from around the country.

Second, some improvements to the site. There is a Google search bar at the bottom of the page. The links on the right are now updated to include my favorite medical journals ("Journal Club") and articles about physician blogs ("About Doc Blogs") - let me know if ...

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Fascinating interview with Bruce Fagel, a former ER physician who is now a malpractice attorney. He touches on which doctors he sues, the costs of litigation, and opinions on tort reform.

Med-mal in Canada

PointofLaw.com writes several interesting articles on medical malpractice, pain and suffering caps, and liability in Canada. A stark contrast to what's happening here, eh?

I regularly receive the Cortlandt Forum and only recently realized they're on the web. It's an eclectic magazine, but has interesting malpractice cases. Here's another one.

Basically, it's a patient who came in with dyspepsia. The PCP ordered an upper GI series and it was read as normal. However months later, the symptoms continued, and an EGD found terminal stomach cancer. The ...

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A nice summary . . .

. . . on the how Bush and Kerry will approach the various health-care issues. An excerpt:

. . . Kenneth E. Thorpe, an Emory University professor of health policy who has evaluated both plans, estimates that Kerry's would reduce the number of uninsured by nearly 27 million; Bush's would cut it by 2.4 million.

Besides the effect on insurance coverage, the proposals differ in two other ways. ...

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This case illustrates why a physician needs a true jury of peers in malpractice cases - people who at least have some medical background.  In this case, a cardiologist was sued for giving Retavase (presumably for an ST-elevation myocardial infarction).  Unfortunately, the patient died from cerebral hemorrhage - a well-known complication.  The jury found him liable.  Here's what the independent counsel found:

A four-person state medical malpractice screening panel that met ...

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The battle lines . . .

. . . have been drawn in Florida.  Lawyers vs physicians.  The people will decide in November.

Two views . . .

. . . on medical malpractice. One from the insurers' perspective, the other from the lawyers. These articles are from the state of Wyoming, where 1 of the 3 medical malpractice insurers withdraws from the state later this year.

. . . as a solution to alleviate the malpractice crisis. Some practices claim up to 80% of patients agree to the terms - namely waiving their right to a jury trial. Read more about it in Medical Economics.

An ethics professor takes an interesting look at how elitist the US health care system is becoming. On one hand, we have concierge practices:

Now, one might wonder why it is necessary to pay a bounty to get a doctor to call you back, especially if you are already paying through the nose to belong to a managed care plan. The answer is that under the watchful eye ...

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More malpractice ranting

Nothing like coming back from vacation and seeing more inflammatory articles on the malpractice controversy. Medrants summarizes some of the more recent articles.

Update:
After catching up on some weekend reading, our friend Medpundit has also chimed in on the recent ignorance by the NY Times and the esteemed Mr. Herbert.

There has been much discussion on the recent NY Times piece on "Malpractice Myths", seen here at Medrants. Now comes some more criticism from the law world, highlighting the obvious ignorance of the article (via Medpundit).

Today's Boston Globe contains an interesting piece on malpractice reform from a professor of law at Columbia University. One nice analogy:

Current practices make no more sense than asking airline pilots to guarantee safety for the entire aviation industry, and forcing those who fly the most dangerous routes to compensate injured passengers from their personal paychecks.

What a quote from the president of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers in response to the increasing number of physicians going without malpractice insurance (i.e. "going bare"):

'You can't hide all of your assets and you can't hide all of your wages forever. One way or another, we'll find a way to represent these medical malpractice victims because they deserve it,'' said Alexander Clem, president of the ...

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Medical Economics discusses the use of clinical guidelines in malpractice litigation. One interesting point is raised regarding whether new guidelines are being affected by the current malpractice atmosphere:

. . . as trial lawyers are using guidelines more in court, the organizations writing them are changing their motives. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, has recently come under fire from plaintiffs' lawyers . . . ...

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Our first winning entry is a story from a grizzled resident:

A lot is on my mind these days. I am thirty years old, I have a one year girl who is turning into an Olsen Twin with melodrama substituted for'acting'. I just had a new baby boy 7 days ago who has decided to make me relive my intern year all over again; sleepless nights and ...

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