Beer, 1 can po tid with meals

Alcohol on the medication list:

The last time I had seen "beer" on someone's medication list was during my third year of medical school. The patient was scheduled to receive one can of beer with each meal. The patient, a upper class fellow whose wife had curtly reported, "He drinks two highballs before dinner each night and a glass or two of wine with dinner"”he's not an alcoholic!", underwent some ...

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ERnursey on what's wrong with these surveys:

By forcing the doctors to give them want [sic] to keep them happy you are completely negating all the years of medical school and specialized training that doctors have to learn how to diagnose and appropriately treat people who are ill and injured. If all we want is for them to be happy we don't need doctors or nurses, we can just sit ...

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Problem-based learning

Panda with his take on a growing medical school trend:

Problem-based learning is an admission by medical schools that most of first and second year is self-study. Instead of following this admission to its logical conclusion, that people should study on their own, Problem Based Learning was devised to justify both freeing up faculty to concentrate on their real interests and to not provide lectures while still collecting tuition. If ...

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Dr. Val thinks about the hardworking residents working this upcoming Labor Day weekend:

Physicians work for 3-7 years after graduating from medical school, and are paid (on average) about the equivalent of a home health aide or a medical secretary but work about twice the hours during residency. In fact, if you calculate out the salary by the hours they work, resident physicians are paid about $9 -$10/hour ...

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retired doc on how critical thinking has evaporated as more suits run hospitals and clinics:

. . . medicine has become more and more corporate and the business school belief that one does not need know a business to run it is increasingly applied to medical practice . The business-speak jargon now echoes through the hospitals and clinics and we talk about vision statements and leveraging this and that ...

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So says the misinformed NY Times. Trust me, I have had many more than a "few hours" of training in diabetes. It is poorly-researched articles like these that push patients towards unnecessary specialist care.

There should be no reason why most cases of diabetes cannot be treated appropriately in a primary care setting - without a referral to an endocrinologist. (via Medpundit)

Sobering words from a medical student:

This "art of defensive medicine" infiltrates the classroom too. We are taught how to ask questions of our patients and treat them in such a way that minimizes our risk of a lawsuit. We are trained what kind of patients to be wary of. Basically, we are taught that we can't trust our future patients, which is confusing to first-year medical students. How ...

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Discussion on France's health system:

. . . the average American physician earns more than five times the average US wage while the average French physician makes only about two times ... average earnings of ... compatriots. But the lower income of French physicians is allayed by two factors. Practice liability is greatly diminished by a tort-averse legal system, and medical schools, although extremely competitive to enter, are tuition-free. ...

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Dr. Do-it-all

Meet the only surgeon on the island of Nantucket:

As Nantucket's surgeon, medical examiner, school physician, football team doctor, Lyme disease expert, identifier of excavated Indian bones and occasional Dr. Doolittle, Dr. Lepore has pretty much seen it all.

It seems that way, when compared to other professions:

William Weeks, a Dartmouth professor, has done a number of studies on the work life of physicians. He found that, if you view the expense of going to college and professional school as an investment, the payoff is somewhat poorer in medicine than in other professions. Tracking the fortunes of graduates of medical schools, law schools, and business schools with comparable ...

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