I watch some TV (and essentially no commercials, thanks to DVRs) and have been enjoying some shows: Necessary Roughness and Covert Affairs. Yes, put a reasonably attractive female in the lead role of a show with some action and I might watch. Demographic shocker.
So, within the last two days I saw one completely egregious professional breach, and one exercise of pretty awful medical judgement (in an ED, which makes it way worse for me), and I will now outline my concerns/gripes.
(Yes, I’m aware they’re TV shows, and are therefore not reality. What I’m unhappy with is the glib way in which these terrible decisions played out, like it’s not a big deal to act against the interests of your patient, even especially, on TV). (I think TV behavior, not the cartoon violence but the everyday mundane stuff, influences how regular people think, which is why I’m writing this: so the zero regular people who watch TV and read this blog have something to consider).
So the Necessary Roughness (episode Anchor Roughness) thing: (Background): the protagonist is a female psychologist hired by a football team to get their star player “TK” (with more than a mild resemblance to “TO“, the former 49ers Eagles Cowboys Bills Browns wide receiver) playing and catching; it’s a TV troubled relationship. (Player is aware she works for the team). In the show TK threatens to leave the team, is convinced not to leave in a bluff by the team to send him to a cold climate, and TK decides to stay with the team. In the denouement, it is revealed that the whole idea for the bluff was the psychologists’ idea, for which she was praised by the team.
Umm, I have an objection. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*
This is not a lesson about the limitations of 140-character messages on Twitter.
Rather, it is a warning about careless Tweets that mischaracterize the real meat of the message in longer stories linked to in the Twitter message. As I wrote on Twitter in response to these two episodes, “Better not to Tweet on complex health care topics than to mischaracterize your own story with a misleading 140 characters.”
First, my friend Andrew Holtz caught the fact earlier this week that Men’s Health Magazine tweeted:
If you’re a smoker, you NEED to get a CT scan. Here’s why: http://ow.ly/5x34y
That “here’s why” link took you to a Men’s Health Magazine story, that despite being headlined “The Medical Test Every Smoker Needs,” went on to explain:
Don’t run out and ask for a CT scan, though. More than 96 percent of the positive screens in the study were false positives, which could subject you to unnecessary surgery, cancer treatments, and the complications that come with them. They’re also expensive: A chest CT scan can cost up to several thousands of dollars.
So look at how silly Men’s Health looked on this confusing back-and-forth message:
1. You NEED to get a CT scan.
2. It’s a test “every smoker needs”
3. But don’t run out and ask for one.
Then this morning I caught AARP doing the same thing. They tweeted:
Are you a smoker? CT scan those lungs – they’re proven to cut risk of lung cancer death for 55-plus: http://aarp.us/rdleHu
That links takes you to a story that includes caveats such as the following: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
“Doctors, with the consent of their patients, should be free to provide whatever care they agree is appropriate. But when the procedure arising from that judgment, however well intentioned, is not supported by evidence, the nation’s taxpayers should have no obligation to pay for it.”
So argues Dr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, in a provocative op-ed published in the New York Times. She writes that Medicare “spends a fortune each year on procedures that have no proven benefit and should not be covered” and offers the following examples:
“Medicare pays for routine screening colonoscopies in patients over 75 even though the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts financed by the Department of Health and Human Services, advises against them (and against any colonoscopies for patients over 85), because it takes at least eight years to realize any benefits from the procedure.”
“The task force recommends against screening for prostate cancer in men 75 and older, and screening for cervical cancer in women 65 and older who have had a previous normal Pap smear, but Medicare spent more than Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*