Medical school

Some medical schools are using acting classes to teach doctors to become more empathic

“I would argue that these physicians should be very well trained or most patients will see right through the act.”

Doctor David Hartman, a blind student who earned his MD

A blind student earns his M.D.

Amazing. Medical school is hard enough for those with their vision intact.

A student is saying many of his colleagues graduating from Pennsylvania medical schools may move to neighboring states because of the rising cost of malpractice insurance

The malpractice situation is affecting new graduates as they become more attuned to the current crisis.

Avoiding the “Doorknob Phenomenon”

“The four familiar words physicians always dread come when the office visit is ending, doctor’s pen clipped back onto the white coat pocket and hand reaching for the door. “Oh, by the way,” the patient says. What comes next could be as innocuous as a harmless freckle or a bombshell. Doctors call it ‘the doorknob phenomenon.’ . . .

. . . Charon teaches a …

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Leaders in medicine are trying to figure out how to make primary care attractive to students and residents once again
“AAMC has formed a group to consider broad issues around improving chronic care, including how a change in emphasis could be one way to attract more students into primary care. This group started its work last fall and is expected to produce a proposal sometime this year, Dr. Whitcomb said.
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Treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after it becomes resistant to chemotherapy

Treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after it becomes resistant to chemotherapy has been the subject of intense scientific and clinical research. The study of targeted therapy, in which a drug or biological agent attaches only to a specific receptor on a malignant cell, led to the approval and release of the anilinoquinazolines gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva), for the treatment of patients with NSCLC who have failed or can …

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A study suggests that older doctors know less, provide lower-quality care, and may expose patients to greater risks than physicians recently out of medical school
“. . . older doctors generally agreed that the rapid increase in new medical knowledge can be a challenge to keep pace with, especially as doctors already are pressed for time to see all their patients.”

The study was from the Annals of …

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Why you should care about the growing debt of medical school graduates

“In conclusion, the current medical school debt burden influence not only the student’s future career goals but will also influence the level of care the average patient can look forward to and will likely cause more frustration with medical care as a whole. The decreasing desire to pursue medicine as a career will likely only decelerate the …

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Russian medical school is no walk in the park

Nonphysicians eager to prescribe medication

“‘A person who is not a physician ought to be able to practice within their training,’ Dr. Nelson said. ‘If they want to increase their scope, they should do it through education, not legislation.'”

Agreed. If you want to prescribe medication, go to medical school. Or get a DO, NP, or PA degree. People should adapt to the system instead of …

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Graduating medical school with mortgage-like debt

The NEJM has an article detailing the spiraling costs of attending medical school:

The cost of obtaining a medical education has been spiraling upward for the past 20 years. Despite a lot of rhetoric in articles and at meetings of the Association of American Medical Colleges, nothing has happened to change the alarming pattern. The average tuition and fees at public medical schools during …

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Amazing stories of doctors who practice with disabilities

Practicing medicine can be hard enough. I can’t even imagine going through medical school and residency being blind or deaf.

"I eat a lot of ice"

A reader writes:

This was the chief complaint of a 45-year old female. She’s been doing this for several months, but worse over the past several days. She would go into the freezer and nibble on ice cubes and ice chips constantly throughout the day. No other complaints, and does not have any other abnormal food cravings. She does report more fatigued than usual, but denies nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, …

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The DTC Debate

Trent responds to my articles on DTC marketing yesterday. I’ve read and appreciated his prior articles detailing the economic impact of DTC marketing. He writes:

Anyway, the other point that needs to be made is this: even if you think that direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals needs to be restricted, it is extremely disingenuous for physicians to make these claims. For they are direct beneficiaries of …

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Does surfing for health information do you more harm than good?

“. . . people who use their computer to find out more about their condition end up in worse health than those who do not.”

I certainly support increased information flow and patient empowerment. However, there is a reason why physicians endure 7 or more years of medical school and residency. It is how the information …

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Dr. Feelscared: Drug warriors put the fear of prosecution in physicians who dare to treat pain (via Overlawyered)

“The AAPS, along with the Pain Relief Network, has been vocal in denouncing the federal and state doctor prosecutions. The groupÂ’s Web site warns: ‘If youÂ’re thinking about getting into pain management using opioids as appropriate: DONÂ’T. Forget what you learned in medical school — drug agents now set medical standards.””

The future of primary care

The New England Journal published a sounding board piece on the future of primary care in the United States. The authors suggest that one paradoxical reason is the increased exposure to primary care in residency training:

But an additional possibility, albeit an apparently paradoxical one, is that the decline is due in part to the successful efforts by medical schools to increase students’ exposure to primary care practice. …

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Should psychologists be able to prescribe?

From today’s Boston Globe comes a story detailing the controversy about allowing psychologists (non-MD’s) to presribe medication. The state of Louisiana recently passed a law allowing this to happen. Here are some excerpts detailing the arguments on both sides:

. . . [the] president of the American Psychiatric Association, calls the Louisiana law ”really scary,” saying undertrained nonphysicians will harm, and perhaps kill, patients. ”Without a …

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Why Harvard Medical School is opening a medical campus in the United Arab Emirates

Harvard Medical School is planning a medical campus in the United Arab Emirates. Some interesting points:

. . . there are enormous hurdles to fostering US-style health care in a region where medicine is so spotty that the 100 million Persian Gulf residents spend $25 billion a year getting treatment elsewhere, according to Dubai Healthcare City officials. Many medical school students enroll straight out of high school and …

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Importing drugs gaining momentum

Boston Globe:

2 chains urge OK for drug imports

CVS, Walgreens add to growing support

The nation’s two largest chain drugstores, CVS and Walgreens, launched a challenge to the nation’s drug manufacturers yesterday by calling on the Bush administration to develop a legal, safe channel for Americans to buy imported drugs.

CVS Corp.’s Tom Ryan, chairman and chief executive of the Rhode Island company, led the way …

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