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Listen to Your Psychiatrist, Uncle Sam

uncle-sam Dear Uncle Sam:

I know it’s been a rough week. I’m sure you’re grieving the lost of life at Fort Hood just like the rest of us, but I’m compelled to write you this letter. I hope you take it in the spirit in which it is meant.

I read an article at Salon.com today that made me wonder about your judgement. Since when did you stop listening to your doctors? The article was about Dr. Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who wanted to help troops before they went postal on military bases. Uncle Sam, Dr. Manion use to work for you at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Then he got fired. Why did you give Dr. Manion the boot for stating the obvious? He pointed out that troops at Camp Lejeune are getting bullied by superiors and dumped into an overwhelmed mental health care system when they asked for psychiatric help. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Family Receives Medical Bill And Form Letter After Son Dies In ER

Wow. Just wow:

Hospital bill stuns slain student’s parents
By Sam Stanton

“It was just devastating and insulting,” Gerald Hawkins said Monday. “It’s just hard to grasp for words. My wife and I were near collapse.”

On Saturday, 10 days after Scott Hawkins was beaten to death inside his dormitory at California State University, Sacramento, his parents got a letter in the mail.

It contained a bill from the UC Davis Medical Center for $29,186.50 along with a form letter addressed “Dear Patient” that implied they were indigent and stated that the hospital no longer could provide them services.

“UC Davis can no longer provide follow-up care or any other non-emergency care to you,” it read. “Please go to a County clinic for all non-emergency care or to get a referral to another doctor.”

For Gerald and Elizabeth Hawkins, it was just too much to bear.

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*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*

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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