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Five Dead Babies: A Lesson In Prenatal Politics

When the Nebraska lawmakers voted to end Medicaid prenatal care for approximately 1,500 women, their unborn babies paid the ultimate price.

Any labor room hospitalist who is responsible for the care of unassigned pregnant women will tell you that it is far easier to take care of pregnant women who have had prenatal care than it is to take care of women who haven’t. The recent vigil of the Equality Nebraska Coalition in front of their state capitol to honor five dead babies whose death can be related to the lack of access to prenatal care speaks volumes.

On or about February of 2010, Nebraska expectant mothers received a “Dear John” letter from Nebraska’s Health and Human Services stating that their pregnancies were no longer covered under Medicaid. It appeared that the rationale for making such a drastic decision involved a resistance of state politicians to pay for medical services of “illegal immigrants.”

However, when one reads the comments on a popular website called Baby, the pregnant women who were affected were U.S. citizens who were college students, wives of husbands who had lost their medical insurance, and unemployed women. Eventually all the women were able to receive government-sponsored healthcare coverage, but the panic preceding their reinstatement was palpable. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

The Dumbing Down Of Nursing Academics

nursing-education-advertisment-NP-DNPI’m embarrassed to say this, but the nursing profession is making a mockery of healthcare education by downgrading the post-graduate degree process. The nursing education requirements in the advertisement seen here are an embarrassment to the nursing profession.

Mrs. Happy pointed out an advertisement from her nursing magazine offering advanced nursing education opportunities. This advertisement for the doctor nurse practitioner (DNP) training track at Creighton University is a mockery of the rigorous educational requirements necessary to care for patients independently. Check out the nursing education requirements on their advertisement: No entrance exam required?  No clinical experience?  No thesis required?  What has this world come to?

These are professionals who are going to be taking care of patients in less than two years. Some states allow NPs to manage patients independently with no physician oversight. That is just plain scary. This is an embarrassment to the foundation of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, neuroanatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, genetics — and on and on — required to care for patients independently. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

An Earful And A Mouthful: Insulted Woman Bites Off Man’s Ear

So I’m listening to the radio [yesterday] when I hear a story about a woman who was called “fat” by a 24-year-old man at a party. What does she do?

The Omaha World Herald is reporting that she bit off more than she could chew by literally biting off his ear.

Police at a Lincoln, Nebraska hospital responded to a call in the emergency room at 3:25AM on April 28th when the unnamed, one-eared man claimed 21-year-old Anna Godfrey bit off his ear for calling her “fat” at a party. The ear chunk is missing in action. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

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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