“Doctors’ Stethoscopes Are Contaminated With Bacteria … That Can Easily Be Transferred From One Patient To Another”

A recent New York Times article noted “Doctors’ stethoscopes are contaminated with bacteria that can easily be transferred from one patient to another …”

“Researchers cultured bacteria from the fingertips, palms and stethoscopes of three doctors who had done standard physical examinations on 83 patients at a Swiss hospital. They tested for the presence of viable bacterial cells, looking specifically for the potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.”

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“Free” Preventive Health Services For Adults Under Obamacare

Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots and screening tests at no cost to you. This includes Marketplace private insurance plans.

Free preventive services

All Marketplace plans and many other plans must cover the following list of preventive services without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. This is true even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.

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Is Your Doctor To Busy To Listen To You?

Recently a New York Times article reported this vignette.

“A close family friend with cancer had gone to see him (a renowned physician) some years back. When the friend started asking questions about the treatment plan, the doctor had stopped him midsentence, glared at him and said, “If you ask one more question, I’ll refuse to treat you.”

“What could I do?” the friend later said. “He’s the best, and I wanted him to take care of me, so I shut up.”

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“The Doctor-Patient Relationship Is Ideally An Intimate Partnership Where Information Is Exchanged Openly And Honestly.”

A recent New York Times article addressed this concept by stating “That it is seldom the reality, however. Deception in the doctor-patient relationship is more common than we’d like to believe. Deception is a charged word. It encapsulates precisely what we dread most in a doctor-patient relationship, and yet it is there in medicine, and it often runs both ways.”

Then a vignette:

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Preventing Clothing Infection Transmission From Your Doctor

We used to hear that male pediatricians do not wear ties to prevent the spread of infection.

Recently an article in the New England Journal of Medicine “issued new guidelines to help prevent infection transmission through healthcare personnel attire outside the operating room,” while acknowledging “role of clothing in cross-transmission remains ‘poorly established.’”

Among the recommendations, published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology:

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“Like All Victims Of The Single Best Answer Syndrome, (The Doctor) Ordered Tests …”

“… in wild profusion because, in his experience, every question had an answer and a test that would get you there.”

We have become a society where test scores are associated with success so it is not surprising that this has become a controversy in physician education.

Recently an article in the New York Times noted: “My young friend had just finished the last months of his medical training. He had faced down many multiple-choice tests and triumphed over them all.”

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“What Personal Care Hospitalized Patients Now Get Is Mostly From Nurses.”

“When nursing is not optimal, patient care is never good.”

It’s always interesting and illuminating what we learn from physicians who report on their experiences as hosptalized patients.

Recently a New York Times article reported about the hospitalization experience of a legendary physician.

“Last June, the month he turned 90, Dr. Arnold S. Relman, the eminent former medical educator and editor, fell down a flight of stairs at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He cracked his skull and broke three vertebrae in his neck and more bones in his face.”

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Ebola In West Africa: Four Questions For The U.S. Response Going Forward

The Kaiser Famly Foundation noted: “As of August 14, 2014, the Ebola virus has infected an estimated 1,975 individuals across four countries in West Africa, leading to 1,069 deaths (including three Americans). The official reported numbers, frightening as they are, likely vastly underestimate the true magnitude of the outbreak. Ebola has severely impacted the daily life of affected communities, and raised concerns across the globe about its ongoing spread. The fact that this outbreak has led to so many cases and deaths (approximately 45% of all cases of Ebola ever reported have come since March of this year) is concerning for the individuals and families struggling with the disease, and leads to questions regarding the global capacity to detect and respond to such events. It also brings up four key policy questions for the U.S. concerning its engagement with the international community’s efforts to combat Ebola and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks.”

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Ebola Cure Scams Are Out There; Beware, FDA Warns

Modern Healthcare noted: “The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a warning to the public after receiving consumer complaints of products being sold online claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,000 people across four countries in West Africa.

The severity of the Ebola outbreak has recently led Nigeria to issue a stern warning to anyone—such as faith healers and traditional medicine practitioners—promoting Ebola cures that they risk arrest, according to reports.

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