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Female Wounded Warriors

I am a proud University of Arkansas alumni. The current issue of the alumni magazine has a short segment on Janet Cater and her work with female wounded warriors. Her research on military women amputees earned her a doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling.

I did a Google search and was happy to find she has a blog: Female Wounded Warriors Posterous. There were only four entries but they allow an understanding of her research project.

The first one, Institutional Review Board Information (November 10, 2009), lays out the goal:

I am seeking to understand the psychosocial adjustment issues experienced by women veterans who have had a traumatic amputation. I am interested in your life experience.

The second one, Volunteer To Help Future Wounded Women Warriors, presented the goal and method again:

My study seeks to understand the adjustment issues faced by American women warriors who experience a traumatic amputation. At the present time there is no published research. As the number of women warriors returning with physical disabilities increases, it is vital that medical and mental health support staff understand the unique challenges these women face. Over 220,000 female soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for one or more tours of duty. As of August 2009, a total of 121 women warriors have died, and it is estimated over 620 have received serious injuries. This study will use internet interviews using Skype to understand this life experience. Each woman will be invited to tell her story of how she adjusted to life as an amputee with the assurance of confidentiality. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Why It’s Wrong To Call Drug Seekers A “Micropopulation”

I don’t know what’s going on with American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) lately, but it’s disheartening. Their abdication of responsibility and engagement during the healthcare reform debate was depressing. Then there was a rigged poll designed to elicit a predetermined result. Now I see a bizarre op-ed piece in USA Today entitled “Opposing view on drug addiction: Don’t make us ‘pain police’” and authored by ACEP President Angela Gardener. An excerpt:

The patient-physician relationship is sacrosanct, demanding candor and trust. In the emergency department, trust is built in nanoseconds because patients and doctors do not have prior relationships. Knowing that any pain prescription will be entered into a large, public database might prevent patients from being truthful, or in the worst case, from seeking needed care. … As an emergency physician, I can assure you that the drug abusers who use the emergency room simply to get a prescription drug fix represent a micropopulation of the 120 million patients who seek emergency care every year in the USA. … Put bluntly, if legislators have money to spend, they should spend it where it will do the most good for our patients, and that is not on drug databases.

I really don’t know what to say, other than to wonder whether Dr. Gardner and I practice in the same United States in which abuse of prescription drugs is growing exponentially and in which “drug-seeking” patients are a part of each and every shift worked in the ER, where deaths due to overdoses of prescription medications are on the rise, and where diversion of narcotics is a serious and growing problem. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*

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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