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A most tiring time: Sleep and residency
Medscape (free login required)
Talking candidly about sleep and residency is a difficult task. Not because the two are incongruous — quite the opposite, actually. I think I speak for pretty much all residents when I say we love sleep and always want more. The difficulty arises because broaching the topic requires viewing sleep during residency within the focus of duty-hour regulations. The basic rules are reasonably clear: Weekly work is capped at 80 hours, including call, and first-year residents are not permitted to work for more than 16 consecutive hours.
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Better primary care needed to reduce unnecessary ED visits by Medicaid patients
The Medical News
Although a goal of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was to provide Medicaid patients with a source of nonemergency care outside of hospital emergency departments, researchers suggest that these newly enrolled patients will likely continue to look to EDs for treatment of chronic diseases and other nonemergency issues, despite state attempts to impose fees on ED visits.
Healthcare fraud and blowing the whistle
By Keith Carlson
We've all heard the news before; healthcare fraud — especially Medicare and insurance fraud — is more common than we think. Fraud occurs in home health, hospitals, physician offices, and other facilities. Healthcare professionals who find themselves potentially entangled in a fraudulent situation should immediately report the suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.
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Tips for paying off medical school loans
The Huffington Post
There is no graduate degree more expensive than a medical degree. According to the Graduate Student Debt Review, med school grads with loans carry an average debt of $161,772. If you take into account accumulating interest and relatively low resident wages, the investment for a medical degree approaches $1 million. But there are ways to significantly reduce this number.
Repaying medical school loans can be a long and tedious process, but if you are proactive about your loans you can save thousands of dollars over the course of your repayment.
Survey: Physicians, medical students need sex-trafficking education
A need exists for standardized human sex trafficking education for physicians, residents, and medical students, according to a new report.
While physicians and medical trainees may believe that knowing about human sex trafficking is important to them, many lack knowledge about how big the problem is and where to turn if they encounter a trafficking victim in their practices, according to a survey completed by 1,648 medical students, residents and practicing physicians in the United States.
Urgent care centers proliferate as popularity of retail health heats up
The rise of retail health has proven to be a major disruptor in the healthcare industry, and recent reports indicate that its power will not dissipate anytime soon.
For instance, the urgent care industry is booming in Texas, the San Antonio Express-News reports. More than 500 of the country's 6,400 or so urgent care centers are in the Lone Star State, possibly due to Texas' population growth and its residents' limited access to primary care. Nationwide, about 500 new urgent care centers open every year, according to the article.
Why internists are number 1 in physician burnout
Medscape (free login required)
Much has appeared online of late about physician burnout, including a recent Medscape survey, but internist Gregory A. Hood's eloquent essay explored the subject with uncommon sensitivity, depth, and wisdom that resonated with many doctors.
"Burnout is defined as loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment," Dr Hood observed. "Medscape's study showed that 50 percent of physicians in internal medicine say they are 'burned out.'
Doctors say some patients use emergency rooms for follow-up care
Public News Service
Americans visit emergency rooms more than 136 million times each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and some make a second visit for issues that could better be addressed with a primary care or specialist physician.
A study published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that about 8 percent of patients seen in the ER return in three days.
A sea change in treating heart attacks
The New York Times
From 2003 to 2013, the death rate from coronary heart disease has fallen about 38 percent, according to the American Heart Association citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the primary federal agency that funds heart research, says this decline has been spurred by better control of cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced smoking rates, improved medical treatments — and faster care of people in the throes of a heart attack.
And care has improved not just in elite medical centers, but in local hospitals, even among poor populations.
Rural US struggles to combat IV drug abuse
Wall Street Journal
Every Friday afternoon, dozens of drug addicts carrying bags and coffee cans filled with dirty needles stream into a makeshift clinic in downtrodden Portsmouth, Ohio. As the only such facility in a region blighted by heroin and painkiller abuse, it attracts addicts from as far away as Kentucky and West Virginia.
City health workers run the clinic on a shoestring, handing out clean needles and encouraging addicts to get tested for hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, and to seek addiction treatment. But the best treatment options are at least an hour away.
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