Friday, July 22, 2011

And Today's Word of the Day Is: Advocacy

Lots to catch up on, so I'll keep it to just the facts.

1.Efforts Continue in Opposition to Proposed GME Cuts: This week, more than 60 members of the US House of Representative expressed their opposition to a 60% cut in GME spending as part of the deficit reduction plan. Read the letter they sent to Congressional leadership here. Additionally, the AAMC ran a radio ad, which you can listen to here.

2.Panel recommends coverage for contraception: The Obama administration is “inclined to accept” a proposal for all insurers to cover contraception as a preventive service.

3.Should parents of morbidly obese children lose custody?: JAMA recently published a commentary piece titled, “State Intervention in Life-Threatening Childhood Obesity” (2011), which has been taken by the media to mean that all fat kids will be removed from their homes. A Medscape article brings the message back with “Childhood Obesity is Not Child Abuse.”

4.Florida "gag law" on gun questions: There is a recent Florida law that prohibits physicians from asking patients about gun ownership/guns in the home. Several Miami physicians have filed litigation against this law, and the AMA is on board. The NRA is on the other side of the debate, arguing that any inquiry into gun ownership can be seen as harassment. (This article is about whether the NRA should be allowed into the lawsuit. I haven’t been able to found out if there’s been a decision yet.)

5.Student-Run Clinics Help Patients in the Face of Challenges: Here’s an AAMC article about student-run clinics, touting the benefits to providing students with experience but also recognizing that the lack of physician supervision may lend itself to less than stellar care.

6.IAS: ‘Cure’ comes out of the closet: AIDS doctors from around the world are hopeful for a cure for HIV/AIDS after the first patient was cured earlier this year. Research will focus on natural ways to develop the delta-32 deletion on the CCR5 receptor that is believed to be the mechanism of the patient’s cure.

7. More discussion on whether cell phone use causes cancer. A more exciting argument can be found here.

8.Sex abuse by doctors a "profound betrayal": The American Academy of Pediatricians set forth its first policy admonishing child sexual abuse by doctors, in light of a recent Delaware case in which a former DE pediatrician was convicted on multiple counts of rape, assault and exploitation of children.

9.AMA adopts policy discouraging airbrushed images, especially in teen magazines.

10.ACOG recommends annual mammograms begin at age 40: 40- to 49-year-olds have the shortest “sojourn time” with breast cancer, meaning that the time from detection by mammogram to symptomatic disease is less than that for other age groups already getting mammograms. The only group to disagree with the recommendation is the US Preventive Service Task Force, which stick to previous guidelines.

11.Watch Low-Sodium Products in Vulnerable Groups: Patients with renal dysfunction should be advised against low-sodium foods, since such products often have higher potassium that can be dangerous. One case report that is cited mentions a patient who became hyperkalemic during his hospital stay due to ingestion of Solo, a low-sodium salt replacement.

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