The fierce urgency of addressing language, literacy care barriers

AMA Wire, 7 March 2017
Author: Kevin B. O’Reilly
“In the absence of a qualified interpreter, patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) can have trouble conveying critical information about symptoms and experiences. Offering reliable access to quality language and interpretive services is one strategy for improving cross-cultural communication in health care organizations. This is one pathway to quality care and shared decision-making, which some argue is not only an urgent priority, but also a clinical, legal and ethical obligation.”
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How We Are Manipulated To Believe New Is Better When It Comes To Our Health

Forbes, 2 March 2017
Author: Robert Pearl
“What struck me was that neither medical device story presented convincing evidence that the product would make a real difference in outcomes for patients. Yet both medical devices were backed by investors with billion-dollar expectations. The applications were clever, but the promises made and the media coverage provided far surpassed what the research demonstrated.”
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Betraying the oath: the rot in India’s medical education system

The Hindu, 25 February 2017
Author: Vidya Krishnan
“The Medical Council of India recently barred 32 colleges across the country. Vidya Krishnan reconstructs how one of those, a Bhopal institute, marshalled doctors on hire, fake patients and life-saving equipment on rent for inspection day.”
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Appeal Court overturns first case based on ruling that patients have right to information on treatment options

BMJ 2017; 356: j992
Author: Clare Dyer
“A pregnant woman was entitled to be told about research indicating that there were risks to her fetus in delaying labour, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important judgment on patients’ right to information.The three Appeal Court judges held that Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was liable for the serious brain damage suffered by Sebastian Webster as a result of his late delivery 14 years ago, reversing a High Court judgment in favour of the trust.”
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FDA issues draft guidance to better medical product labeling

Reuters, 18 Janauary 2017
Author: Divya Grover
“The U.S. health regulator issued draft guidance, recommending ways to communicate promotional materials and additional information that is not on the label of medical products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration typically determines what information goes on the labels of medical drugs and devices, after evaluating whether the product is safe and effective for the proposed indication. Drugmakers have long wanted to communicate supplementary information that isn’t on the label, but which concerns the cleared use of the product.”
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Doctors Want To Learn More About Treating Transgender Patients, Survey Shows

Huffington Post, 12 January 2017
Author: Anna Almendrala
“One in three transgender patients reports experiencing serious discrimination or bias when seeking medical care, even when that care is unrelated to their transgender status. While some of these negative interactions in health care may stem from discriminatory attitudes on the part of medical care professionals, a survey reveals that doctors feel they lack the training they need to feel confident when treating transgender patients.”
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Stores may steer teen boys to supplements doctors advise against

Reuters, 4 January 2017
Author: Lisa Rapaport
“Employees at health food stores often recommend supplements like creatine and testosterone to teen boys even though these products pose serious health risks, a U.S. study suggests. More than one in 10 teen boys try muscle-building products. Risks of creatine include liver and kidney damage, dehydration and muscle cramps; testosterone is also tied to liver and kidney impairment and may halt bone growth.”
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Navigating Ethical Tensions in High-Value Care Education

JAMA. 2016; 316(21): 2189-2190.
Authors: Matthew DeCamp, Kevin R. Riggs
“Enthusiasm for high-value care is increasing throughout health care, including in the education of medical students, residents, and fellows. Until recently, there were few examples of educational programs that equipped future physicians with the tools required to practice high-value care or even consider the cost of care they deliver. In fact, future physicians were encouraged to provide care that could be considered as quite the opposite—academia often instilled excess over restraint, celebrating trainees who generated (and tested for) the broadest differential diagnosis. Because physicians who train in high-spending regions subsequently provide more costly care than those who train in low-spending ones, medical school and residency are critical times to teach high-value care.”
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Urgent need for reform in Nepal’s medical education

The Lancet, Volume 388, No. 10061, p2739–2740, 3 December 2016
Authors: Bipin Adhikari, Shiva Raj Mishra
“Nepal is a low-income nation with a population of nearly 26·5 million. The doctor–patient ratio is 0·17 per 1000 population—substantially less than the WHO recommendation of 2·3 doctors per 1000 population. Nepal has seen a burgeoning of medical institutes in the past 10 years. However, this rapid surge in the number of medical colleges—with increases in fees and corruption involved in student admissions—has not aided undergraduate and postgraduate medical training, deteriorating the quality of medical education. The financial motives involved in these private medical colleges have further incurred political meddling, often resulting in disproportionate and unregulated licensing and affiliation to such colleges, which are not instructed to establish themselves in rural areas.”
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Injecting natural oils for muscle gain could be deadly, doctors warn

The Guardian, 2 December 2016
Author: Haroon Siddique
“Bodybuilders seeking to enhance their physique by injecting natural oils risk lasting damage and even death. Doctors fear that a case in west London in which a 25-year-old man suffered scarring and restricted function after injecting coconut oil may be the “tip of the iceberg”. Instances have been recorded in recent years of bodybuilders using other oils, including sesame oil, walnut oil and paraffin, which are less costly than other synthetic compounds, in the hope of boosting muscle size and definition.”
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