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Latest Posts

Could Your Swimming Pool Give You A Rash?

Allergic to Swimming? We’re in the dog days of August and summer continues to hold on. What better way is there to relax than in your nice, cool pool? Unless you’re allergic to it, of course.

I had a patient this summer who developed an itchy rash all over. He thought it might be due to his pool, but insisted that he kept it immaculately clean. Ironically, that might have been the trouble.

Some people are allergic to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Dermatology Blog*

Strange Prescriptions: Tax Free In Texas

From an old HS buddy (also a Navy Man) now in healthcare:

Texas law makes almost any item with a doctors prescription exempt from
sales tax.

(most details at : RULE §3.284 Drugs, Medicines, Medical Equipment, and
Devices (Tax Code §151.313) Item 11 is the sort of catch all.

What is most odd item you have been asked for a prescription for purely for
tax-free purposes?

Sellers of the Select Comfort beds, and hot tub/spa dealers are very aware
of this law. Presciption needed for bed, letter and presciption needed for
hot tub/spa.

Oddest request received at clinic where I work: one for in ground pool,
heated and deep enough for water aerobics.

While I don’t notice it on that list, food for helper animals is exempt
from sales tax.

Interesting also, repair parts for devices are exempt, but not
*improvements*. If you replace like for like wheel on a walker, it is tax
free. Replace with improved wheel-taxable.

I’ve never been asked to write a prescription for anything like that in the ED, but I’d be willing to bet my office-based colleagues have.  Care to share?

*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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