Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Medical Studies' Category

Why do we die?

What factors predict how long we live?  What are the best ways to forestall death? The determinants of premature death are 40% behavoiral, 30% genetic, but only 10% medical care.  It is important to remember that medical care and health are far from synonomous.

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700 billion reasons to read the Health Wonk Review

With the Senate passing a $700 billion Wall Street bail-out last night, the Healthcare Economist wonders who else needs a bail out.  The best and brightest health bloggers have your answer.  In this edition of the Health Wonk Review, we will examine six groups looking for help: Wall Street Health Insurers Healthcare Reformers Doctors The […]

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Expectations and Prostate Surgery

The N.Y. Times Well Blog writes that 19% of men regretted having prostate surgery. What is interesting is that men who underwent a newer, less invasive, robotic surgery were four times more likely to regret the prostate surgery than those who underwent the older, more invasive “open” procedure. Is this increase in regret due to […]

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Americans have the best cancer survival rates

On Friday I reported that the U.S. scored poorly on the Commonwealth Fund’s National Scorecard. Those in favor of universal health care are probably rejoicing. “The U.S. system is dysfunctional beyond repair and we need universal health care!” Yesterday, the Economist reported on an article in The Lancet Oncology journal which found that the U.S. […]

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Doctors are very empathetic…until they start seeing patients

According to InsideHigherEd.com (“Tomorrow’s Doctors…“) medical students are very altruistic, empathetic people…until the start medical school.  The article describes the findings of a study titled “Is There Hardening of the Heart During Medical School?” in March’s Academic Medicine.  The longitudinal study finds significant decreases in “vicarious,” or emotionally driven, empathy, during the course of medical […]

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Doctors, Patients, and the Racial Mortality Gap

Differences in the health outcomes between white and minority patients has been well documented in the medical and economics literature. Reasons for this difference could be: Unequal access to treatment. Minorities are poorer and less likely to be covered by insurance than whites. Unequal treatment – Minorities are less likely to have a regular doc, […]

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Shingles Vaccine

The USA Today reports on the development of a shingles vaccine. According to the article, “The vaccine reduced shingles cases by 51% in people given the vaccine vs. those given the placebo. Vaccination reduced the burden of illness, a measure of pain and discomfort, by 61%.” So why aren’t people getting this vaccine? One reason […]

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What questions should you ask your doctor?

Last night I saw an encore presentation of an interview with Jerome Groopman on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer. I have written posts in the past about Dr. Groopman (see 16 March 2007). Dr. Groopman notes that doctors often misdiagnose patients. Physicians are often anchored to a prior belief and have trouble changing their diagnosis […]

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Pittsburgh has more MRI Machines than Canada

There is an interesting article at Forbes describing that the housing boom is not the only bubble that may need to burst. Scans per thousand insured people went from 85 to 234 in the U.S. between 1999 and 2007. Author David Whelan describes what happened to one radiologist in Connecticut after Medicare and HMOs cut […]

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How to reform Med School

Is the current medical school curriculum optimal in terms of teaching doctors-to-be how to best practice medicine? DB’s Medical Rants blog says no. “One cannot really understand most diseases if one cannot correlate the physiology. We should focus our anatomy teaching on the big issues, not the 3rd branch off the 2nd artery (hopefully you […]

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