Articles matching the ‘Patient care’ Category

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November 10th, 2012

Podcast 159: Making the Clinical Diagnosis, But Blowing the Patient’s Treatment Preference

Running time: 20 min. In some diseases there are two diagnoses to make: the clinical diagnosis and the diagnosis of what the patient’s treatment preference is. The first is hard enough to make, and the widening choice of treatment choices complicates the second. Welcome to the task of “preference diagnosis,” which can lead to disappointment and worse […]


October 18th, 2012

Podcast 158: Physician-assisted dying — a conversation with Dr. Marcia Angell about the Massachusetts ‘Death with Dignity’ ballot question

Our conversation explores the question that Dr. Marcia Angell poses in a recent essay in the New York Review of Books: May doctors help you to die? Angell’s is the first name to appear as the sponsor of a November 6 ballot initiative here in Massachusetts, which is modeled on the Oregon law already in place. I’d […]


May 14th, 2012

Podcast 155: What’s wrong with U.S. healthcare and what will save it?

Dr. Arnold Relman, longtime observer of the U.S. healthcare system and editor emeritus of the New England Journal of Medicine, proposes two major reforms: First, private insurance companies should leave the healthcare field, and second, physicians should organize into multispecialty practices. His proposals, just published in BMJ, grow out of his alarmed observation — some 30 […]


December 9th, 2011

Podcast 138: Why do kids in the U.S. get so many inappropriate broad-spectrum antibiotics?

When kids go for ambulatory care, they get an antibiotic prescribed about 20% of the time. Half of those antibiotics are of the broad-spectrum variety. What are the factors leading up to this, and what are some resources to turn to for better information on this dangerous situation? Listen in to  this 27-minute podcast with the first […]


September 16th, 2011

Podcast 130: If you’re a clinician concerned about health costs, wash your hands — don’t just wring them

Health Affairs has a study in which a few simple, but rigorously followed patient-care procedures in a pediatric ICU dropped infection rates, mortality, lengths of hospital stay, and total costs. Sound too good to be true? Well, it wasn’t exactly easy, but the results were real and measurable. Listen in and see whether this could […]


July 16th, 2011

Podcast 126: Placebos and Medical ‘Meaning’

Last week’s New England Journal of Medicine paper on the placebo effect in evaluating asthma treatments was fascinating in itself. The editorial that accompanied it, however, was a delight. It asks clinicians to think less about laboratory measures of cure, and more about the patient’s satisfaction with treatment — whether the treatment was “real” or not. […]


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