Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (5)

Heard Around The Blogosphere

A non English-speaking husband and wife went to a rural ER because the wife had chest pain. The ER staff was unable to understand their language and did not have an interpreter. Since the husband was trying to explain his wife’s chest pain to the doctors, they thought he also had chest pain. Both patients were admitted to rule out MI (a heart attack). They stayed overnight and both had a full, negative cardiac workup. The husband complied with the workup, figuring he was getting free care and a place to stay next to his wife. His wife’s symptoms resolved on their own. (via Rural Doctoring)

Did you know that there are medical diagnosis codes for almost everything under the sun? Yes, even an “accident involving a spacecraft injuring the occupant of the spacecraft.” (via KevinMD)

A hospital pharmacy cancelled a surgeon’s order of antibiotics after a young patient survived a ruptured appendix (with pus in the abdomen). They were adhering to a new protocol that required all antibiotics to be discontinued 24 hours after any surgery. If the surgeon hadn’t noticed the inappropriate application of this new rule, his patient could have become septic and died. This is just another example of the oversimplification of medicine that is becoming more and more common these days. (via Buckeye Surgeon)

The ACP Internist blog posts a weekly “Medical News of the Obvious.” Here are two goodies:

Parents of twins report more anxiety and sleeping difficulties in the year after birth than parents of single children, according to a study presented at the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (via Science Daily). I wonder why?

This study, courtesy of the Washington Post, finds that auto deaths decline as gas prices rise because– ta da!– there are fewer people on the road to kill or be killed. And that is especially the case for those subgroups (like teenagers) who don’t have as much money to burn on gassin’ up.

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

5 Responses to “Heard Around The Blogosphere”

  1. LeighAnnMyFamilyDoctorMag says:

    I love this. I’m going to tweet it tomorrow morning. Thanks!

    Leigh Ann Hubbard

    Managing Editor

    James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor

  2. xss500 says:

    This is  sad news that due to communication problem patient suffered from serious illness. There should be an interpreter there to help them out….

    <a href=””>Addiction Recovery North Carolina</a>

  3. xss500 says:

    I have also suffered from this problem many times……….

    [url=""]Addiction Recovery  North Carolina[/url]

  4. ValJonesMD says:

    Thanks for the comment… I’ll check out your blog.

  5. DrB44 says:

    The automatic cancelation of the surgeon’s antibiotics is an interesting example.  That rule was created to comply with the Dept. of Health and Human Services quality measure of stopping PROPHYLACTIC antibiotics 24 hours after surgery (see 

    Attempted compliance with this quality measure is another example of how a broad policy inevitably has unintended consequences.  This is why doctors push back against “cook book medicine.”  Often it does more harm than good. 

    As a shameless plug, I have recently started my own blog as well (  I hope it adds something useful to the blogosphere.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »