Specialist

The specialty of underwater medicine, and an interview with a dive physician

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Kristina Fiore

Physicians tend to prefer intellectual hobbies — chess, reading, writing. Dr. Alfred Bove is no exception. His hobby often requires application of his expertise in physiology. You know him as the president of the American College of Cardiology. But you may not know that his heart belongs to the sea.

Bove’s interest in scuba diving …

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Leg and buttock pain can be signs of peripheral arterial disease, especially in patients with diabetes

by Michael Jaff, MD

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a condition commonly correlated with diabetes, also known as a “silent killer,” affects at least one in every three diabetics over the age of 50 and approximately eight million Americans in total over the age of 40. Although PAD is prolific among diabetic and senior populations, current data show that public and physician knowledge of the disease is startlingly low, with only 25 …

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Tips for doctors who negotiate reimbursement rates with insurance companies

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Ed Rabinowitz

When it comes to negotiating fees with health plans, practices and physicians have more leverage than they realize. The problem, says John Schmitt, a managed care expert with EthosPartners Healthcare Management Group, is that practices often don’t even try. “Groups negotiate an agreement with a payor and then, for whatever reason, just fi le it away. Most medical groups do not have a good, proactive …

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How psychiatrists may be giving their patients too many drugs

Originally published in MedPage Today

by John Gever, MedPage Today Senior Editor

Psychiatrists who prescribe drugs for their patients today usually give more than one at a time, often with little scientific basis, researchers said.

About 60% of patients with psychiatrist office visits leading to a drug prescription received at least two medications in 2005-2006, according to government survey data analyzed by Ramin …

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Explaining basic radiation therapy terms to cancer patients

Originally posted in HCPLive.com

by Colleen O’Leary, RN, MSN, AOCNS

I have always been very intrigued by the various forms of radiation therapy and used to relish the day that I would take my basic oncology class to the radiation oncology department for a tour. I learned something every time. But now, with the advent of new technology and the trend for facilities to advertise that they have the biggest and best …

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Physician burnout in the operating room and emergency department

It’s no secret that burnout is prevalent among primary care doctors, with 30 percent wanting the leave the field within five years.

It gets no better in other specialties.

I recently read that, frighteningly, almost 9 percent of surgeons admitted to a lapse in medical judgment within the past 3 months, in part due to the fact that nearly 40 percent admitted to burnout.

The author of that post, an emergency physician, …

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Seeing floaters or flashing lights can be caused by posterior vitreous or retinal detachment

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

The eye is very similar to a camera. Both are optical systems that have lenses in the front to focus light rays onto a film. The retina is the eye’s film. It is a tissue that consists of 10 layers and is about 500 microns thick—or, half a millimeter. The main function of the retina is to trap light rays, convert them into electrical impulses, and send …

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Op-ed: Humor can be healing for both doctors and patients

A version of this op-ed, co-written with Doug Farrago, was published on October 26th, 2009 in Medscape.

It’s tough to be a doctor these days. Whether it’s listening to the difficulties of our medical colleagues as they try to best care for their patients, or engaging other health professionals about the uncertainties surrounding health reform, we’ve noticed a tense, sometimes gloomy, atmosphere among physicians.

A recent survey from the Annals of Internal …

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Can family doctors do safe first trimester abortions?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Chris Emery, MedPage Today Contributing Writer

Complications from first trimester abortions performed by family practitioners are rare, and family doctors could help address abortion provider shortages across the U.S., a new study found.

Among more than 2,500 abortions performed by family physicians, abortion was successful without complications in 96.5% of patients using medications (95% CI 95.5% …

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Many women report nerve-related persistent pain after breast surgery

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Nearly half of women who undergo surgery and other treatments for breast cancer report having persistent pain in and around the treatment area a year or more later, probably because of nerve damage, according to research published in the November 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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