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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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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