doctors

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I can’t believe how many people come in to my office telling me that I don’t understand that their pains are from “getting old,” and that everyone, as they get old, has aches and pains and that is how it is. Read more on How Old Is Your Doctor?…

Filed under Aging, Doctors, End Of Life, life, News by on . Comment#

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I have spent as little time as possible on the staff of hospitals.  The interface between doctors and administrators has always seemed to be dominated by petty politics.  People are interested in money, and secondary to that, some vague sort of reputation or power.

A large and prestigious Midwestern hospital used to have a certain kind of meeting every few months.  This hospital had only the vaguest of University associations — just enough to make it look academic and research oriented.  I knew perfectly well it was neither.

It was a luncheon meeting of the medical staff and a few administrative types — uncommonly well-catered. There were about 25 folks, but only two other women who looked as uncomfortable as I was.

The meeting was to discuss certain hospital statistics, including some case details.  As the meeting agenda was passed around, the head of the hospital reminded us of the meeting “rules.”  We were gently reminded that no recordings were permitted and neither were extraneous notes.  We each received an agenda, which were carefully counted out as they were distributed.  We were told that at the end of the meeting they would be collected — and counted — before any of us could leave. Read more on Hospital Accountability Is An Ideal (Not Always Reality)…

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This is one of those stories that I find very difficult to write. My anger is great and clouds my mind. Yet if I do not, there may be some kind of eruption – tears, shouts, or pounding on the wall.

The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer read, “4 ex-pharma execs face possible jail time.”

“Possible” jail time? This is murder.

Operating TableIn brief:

Synthes received FDA approval bone cement for use only to fill bony voids or defects in some parts of the body, but not in the spine.

In 2003 and 2004, the company is accused of having its representative train surgeons to use this cement for the very thing they were forbidden by the government to do.

For those who don’t know, many surgeries are performed by people who aren’t technically allowed to practice medicine.  A lot of times, people who didn’t complete medical school or people who have had their medical licenses taken away for various disciplinary reasons can get employment with a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals or medical appliances (like replacement hip joints) and will train doctors on how to utilize these new products.

This isn’t widely discussed and is shady, at best. It’s probably criminal, but that’s another column.

Synthes executives are charged with conducting illegal clinical trials in which 200 patients were treated for ways not approved by the FDA.

Of those 200, three died.

Read more on Getting Away With Murder — Cheaply…

Filed under big pharma by on . Comment#

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The first thing you get when you “in-process” into the Army — at least the first thing I got — was dog tags.  I had to decide if I wanted my religion on my dog tags, and tell the lady at the typewriter what kind of funeral I wanted. For all my ups and downs, I decided I would die Jewish, and get a traditional funeral, and make the Army find a rabbi.  I could put that on them with no thought of guilt. I had the option of putting my faith on my dog tags.  I was warned, in the most dispassionate possible way, that some enemies of the United States of America would kill me if it said “Jewish.”  I chose a resolution some co-religionaries had chosen in World War II.  I chose “Hebrew,” feeling more in common with the ancient faith than with the heavily politicized modern tripartite (Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed) ways of filling congregations.

Then I got my “Geneva Convention” card — Lavender and black and white, it said in 22 languages, roughly the equivalent “Don’t kill me.  I’m a doctor.” 

Read more on Doctors In Danger — Real, Physical Danger…

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