The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient

A cliche that comes to life in this study:

Younger doctors were particularly likely to self-prescribe, with 49% doing so, according to the survey.

A quarter of the GPs said they were suffering from depression and more than half reported having trouble sleeping.

The GMC says doctors should not treat themselves and should be registered with an independent GP.

A trauma patient exceeds the weight limit for a Medflight

She had to be transported by ambulance, but she unfortunately died. The family is suing:

The EMS rule of not transporting patients who weigh more than an estimated 300 pounds is arbitrary and not required by any regulatory agency, Hanlon said.

“I was shocked when I learned of the 300-pound limit. It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “I can’t find any state or national standard for that (rule).”
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When patients dictate care

Being advocates for your own health is one thing, but some patients go overboard:

This is not to say that patients shouldn’t be advocates for their own health, of course they should. They should ask questions, and read all about their diseases, and get second opinions (or third and fourth opinions if they’re not satisfied). But anyone who thinks that pulling rank is going to improve care should conduct the …

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Genius and madness

They may be, in fact, linked:

They say there’s a fine line between genius and madness.

Painter Van Gogh and author Jack Kerouac were both hailed as geniuses but displayed self-destructive behaviour.

Now scientists have discovered a gene which is linked to both intelligence and one of the most common forms of madness – schizophrenia.

It could explain why some of the world’s foremost minds have …

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Does universal health care favor the irresponsible?

A letter to the editor that expresses what many people think:

Too many politicians promise government programs to take care of our needs in order to get elected, so we think: Why take on the responsibility ourselves since the government will do it for us? I’ll buy another big-screen TV instead of health insurance. Forget car insurance, the inevitable accident will be the other guy’s fault. Take my driver’s license …

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Death of the pharmaceutical sales rep

BusinessWeek says the writing is on the wall:

Bye-bye Big Pharma sales rep. A host of forces is now converging to clamp down on hard-driving, gift-toting pharmaceutical pitchmasters who have been ambushing physicians for the last decade. Doctors, consumer groups, and government regulators have all had enough. And now, pharma CEOs are questioning whether the hard sell even pays off. On Jan. 22, Pfizer Inc. announced unprecedented layoffs. As part …

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Prostate cancer treatment can shorten penis length

A recent study from the Journal of Urology regrading this previously unpublicized side effect:

Men who have hormone and radiation therapy for prostate cancer can experience penile shortening, a study has suggested.

Turkish researchers studied 47 men who were receiving the treatments, the Journal of Urology reported.

Eighteen months later the researchers assessed the men again, and found a decrease in average stretched penile length from 14.2 …

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Do nurses complain too much?

Scalpel likens nurse complaints to how lawyers consider lawsuits:

Nevertheless, it seems to me that many nurses will complain about each other and about physicians at every opportunity. They will fire off e-mails to their bosses, my bosses, or even the CEO of the hospital about any disagreement or perceived mistreatment, whether or not it affects patient care. Everyone has to walk on eggshells or we will end up …

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A strange, severe case of narcolepsy

A woman faints when she says “I love you”:

Most sufferers will suddenly feel sleepy or experience temporary muscle weakness. Mrs Richmond, however, goes into a full faint. And the causes are often as simple as excitement, laughter or anger.

So the 53-year-old has to avoid telling her family she loves them and tries not to laugh at jokes or funny situations.

“When it happens it’s like …

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The Ashley Treatment

Thanks Dr. Anonymous for summarizing the controversy surrounding The Ashley Treatment:

Ashley was born with a rare condition of the brain called static encephalopathy. What does this mean? The best way I’ve seen it described is a type of permanent brain damage. This type of condition is associated with a lot of disabilities like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and other similar conditions. It’s been reported that she currently …

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TIME.com on the "Pharma Babes"

Despite appearances, some physicians and hospitals are forced to rely on reps:

. . . the most urgent reason we need our reps is that hospitals are low on trained staff these days. With the myriad parts and pieces it takes to do a spine fusion, knee replacement or robotic prostatectomy, operating room staffs need help keeping the trays and trays of little parts organized and ready for action. In …

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