This year’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day was the largest and most successful yet, says event organizer Christine Rein. One hundred fifty participants attended the event, which was held Saturday, November 12, 2011 at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia.
The program provided information about the pancreas and its function, genetics, risk stratification and screening, cancer-therapy breakthroughs, surgical options, cysts, pre-cancerous tumors and more.
Lecture topics included: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*
Our ailing economy has boosted the number of people who are unemployed, without health insurance or with minimal coverage. The popularity of high deductible health plans is soaring as employers and individuals look for affordable insurance. Twenty-nine percent of bankruptcies are said to be caused by medical bills. Many of us now choose health care services and providers carefully, trying to stay within tight budgets.
The American people, long protected from the price of health care by insurance, are now forced to act as consumers. This situation is a free marketer’s dream. According to this model, we will rationally calculate the price/quality trade-offs of each doctor visit, procedure, test and drug. We will stop overusing services. We will demand better care. And the result will be reduced health care costs for the nation while the quality of care and the health of individuals will remain the same, if not improve.
There’s nothing like a good theory.
But the theory can only be tested if a) It’s easy to find publicly reported, relevant quality information about the services we need, matched with what we would pay out of pocket; and b) We use that information as the basis of our health care decisions. Neither of these conditions can be met today.
A new Cochrane review Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*
The blog, Shots, posted a question primer to prepare patients for medical office visits with their doctors. A reaction to this appeared on Glass Hospital, where John Schumann offered his own wry version of the question list. My less wry, and more dry response appears below.
While I agree with Shots that education is power, a closer look at the question list demonstrates that the intent to educate may obfuscate instead.
First, the post is entitled, Ten Questions to Ask Your Doctor, suggesting that patients arrive at their physician’s office Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
Should the government be able to dictate to a doctor what he or she is allowed to discuss with a patient? Yes, says the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is pushing state legislation to prohibit physicians from asking patients about firearms in their homes.
An NRA-supported bill in Florida originally would have made it a criminal offense—punishable by fines and/or jail—if physicians asked a patient about firearms. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) fiercely opposed the bill as an intrusion on the physician-patient relationship. Now, a compromise has been reached between the NRA and the FMA that “allow doctors to ask questions about gun ownership, as long as the physician doesn’t ‘harass’ the patient, and doesn’t enter the information into the patient’s record without a good reason.” Violations would be policed by the state licensing board instead of being subject to criminal prosecution.
A long-standing ACP policy encourages physicians “to inform patients about the dangers of keeping firearms, particularly handguns, in the home and to advise them on ways to reduce the risk of injury.” But this issue is much bigger than guns, it is about whether the government should be allowed to tell physicians what they can and can’t say to patients. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
I took my board exam this week, and I think I liked it.
Which is not to say it was easy, or even altogether fair. And though I felt a little bit better upon finishing than these folks, I could be grossly deluded in my estimation of the number and trickiness of truly tough questions.
But there was a point in the exam, three or four hours into it, when I was overcome by the sheer variety of extraordinary patient presentations — the environmental catastrophes, bizarre overdoses and bites from creatures great and small. Overcome, not because I’ve never seen patients like this (for the most part, I haven’t) or because I didn’t know how to diagnose and manage them (I think I did), but really because these questions underscored what an amazing specialty I’ve chosen. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Blogborygmi*