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Latest Posts

The Nursing Shortage: A Big Disconnect

With the aging of America, it’s well known that there will be a shortage of registered nurses and nursing assistants to take care of the population. It’s predicted that the shortage of nurses in California will climb to 80,000 by 2015. California has just 653 registered nurses employed per 100,000 people.

One of the problems is a lack of qualified faculty to teach at nursing schools. California was forced to turn away 23,000 qualified applicants from nursing programs during 2008-2009. And this week Humboldt State University announced plans to discontinue the school’s nursing program because of financial concerns and inability to retain nursing faculty. Shortage of nurses and closing nursing programs — now there’s a big disconnect.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Progressive Healthcare Rationing: What Will It Look Like?

In prior posts, DrRich introduced his readers to Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., brother of Rahm, eminent medical ethicist, and one of the White House’s chief advisers on healthcare policy. Dr. Emanuel was one of the authors of that recent paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine which admonished American physicians that resistance is futile. He has also famously called upon American physicians to abandon the obsolete medical ethics expressed in the Hippocratic Oath.

The reason the ideas (and pronouncements) of Dr. Emanuel are important is that he presumably will be a major “decider” in determining who will serve on the GOD panels, and how those panels will operate to advance his (and Mr. Obama’s) program of healthcare reform.

So, before we leave Dr. Emanuel to his important duties, let us take one more pass at the views he has expressed, regarding the direction of American healthcare, which we can expect to see manifested in government guidelines and policies in the coming years. In particular, and especially relevant to the subject of this blog, let us view how Dr. Emanuel would direct the rationing of our healthcare. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Healthcare Reform Will Keep Medicare Afloat

One of the more effective criticisms of the health reform law (Affordable Care Act, or ACA) is that it hurts Medicare. It also is wrong.

Effective, in that it has been widely reported that seniors are more likely to express negative views of the ACA than other age groups. (Although the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman, citing the group’s most recent tracking polls, writes that seniors’ opposition to health reform “is at least somewhat over played.”)

Effective, but wrong: The ACA actually helps Medicare in three important ways. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Can We Stop Aging?

Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a contemporary popularizer of the very old idea that biological aging can be put on hold, gave this talk at TEDMED 2009:

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

The Japanese Healthcare System: Same Crisis, Different Country

Japan is completely different from the United States.  But it’s exactly the same.

I’m talking about health care, of course.

Japan is a country of about 130 million people, and one of the richest countries on Earth.  They enjoy a system of universal health care coverage, and some of the best doctors in the world.  But there are problems.

The country is is straining under the twin burdens of an aging population and rising health care costs.  At some point in the next two decades, retirees will outnumber active workers.   Medical expenses per person have almost doubled since the 1990s and continue to rise.   In a country with little immigration and low birth rates, it’s a bad combination. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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