2018 Physician Compensation Report Released

2018 Physician Compensation Report Released

The MedScape Physician Compensation Report, the most comprehensive physician salary survey in the United States, was recently published using data from more than 200,000 physicians from over 29 specialties. The average overall physician salary, including specialties and primary care, is $299,000. This represents a modest increase from last year: in 2017, primary care physicians earned 217,000, compared with 223,000 in 2018. Specialists earned 316,000 in 2017 compared with 329,000 in 2018. Average Annual Salary by Specialty     Other findings from the survey include: The top three earning specialties from 2017 (Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, Cardiology) are the same in 2018. The lowest-earning specialty in 2018 is Public Health & Preventative Medicine ($199,000) Males earned 18% more than women in 2018 compared with 16% in 2017. Physician income overall has increased over the last 7 years.   Men vs. Women Men vs. Women Specialties     Increases and Decreases in Salary Salary By Race/Ethnicity Source: Adapted from Medscape’s 2017 Physician’s Compensation Report Read the full report here....
#PWChat Recap: Gender Disparities in Medicine

#PWChat Recap: Gender Disparities in Medicine

Physician’s Weekly, along with co-host Julie Silver, MD, addressed the important, timely, topic of gender disparities in medicine as part of our latest #PWChat. Topics discussed included studies indicating that women earned less than men regardless of rank, clinical hours or training, with other specialties having similar findings, what can be done to close the gender wage gap, gender disparities in rank, retention & leadership, as well as that women are less likely to attain senior-level positions than men. View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here. Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.       Question 1 Madsen, et al. studied #emergencymedicine physicians and found women earned less than men regardless of rank, clinical hours, or training. Other specialties have similar findings. Report link: https://t.co/jiPytp4Vhj #PWChat#WomenInMedicine#PROWD#HeForShe#EqualPayDay2018 pic.twitter.com/KGXxYtyXAV — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) April 10, 2018 A1 This is the perfect study to share with colleagues on #EqualPayDay re the #medpaygap. I’m looking forward to hearing what solutions you all suggest! #PWChat #WomenInMedicine https://t.co/TP5XZZdkCB — Julie Silver, MD (@JulieSilverMD) April 10, 2018 A1. Until we have standardized ways to ensure equitable salary for men and women, we need to disseminate effective negotiation strategies to women. Transparency in salary would also help immensely. #PWChat #WomenInMedicine #PROWD #HeForShe https://t.co/UAbAdK33bB — Amy Oxentenko M.D. (@AmyOxentenkoMD) April 10, 2018 A1. Mentor female physicians to stay in academic medicine to increase longevity and percentage of women professors.#PWChat #WomenInMedicine #PROWD #HeForShe #IlookLikeASurgeon https://t.co/oT8TjlHjeW — ELAM (Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine) (@ELAMProgram) April 10, 2018 A1. Transparency in salary reporting by offers is the first way to start. When interviewing it...
Discharge Against Medical Advice in Elderly Patients

Discharge Against Medical Advice in Elderly Patients

Data indicate that discharge against medical advice (DAMA) is associated with greater risk of hospital readmission, increased costs, and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. However, there is a lack of national data on DAMA in the rapidly increasing elderly inpatient population in the US. For a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, Rosanne Leipzig, MD, PhD, and colleagues analyzed data from The National Inpatient Sample to describe trends and assess factors associated with DAMA in elderly patients. “Most of the research in this area has been performed in patients younger than 65 and specific patient subgroups such as those with mental health problems,” says Dr. Leipzig. Study results indicated that from 2003 to 2013, rates increased in individuals aged 18 to 64 (1.44% to 1.78%) and in those aged 65 and older (0.37% to 0.42%). Factors associated with higher adjusted odds of DAMA were generally similar between age groups “However, the risk of discharge against medical advice was much more pronounced among African American and Hispanic elderly patients compared with minority patients aged 18-64,” says Leipzig. “This could stem from communication-related issues, especially since studies have demonstrated that these are likelier to occur in minority patients. The same goes for elderly patients, who rate physician–patient communication lower than younger patients). Communication is even more important in elderly patients as cognitive issues, multiple chronic diseases, mobility, housing and family circumstances are even more...
Managing Risk Associated with Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices

Managing Risk Associated with Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices

Heater-cooler devices used during cardiothoracic and other surgical procedures to warm or cool a patient have been linked with infections from bacteria called M. chimaera. Between 2010 and 2015, the FDA received 32 Medical Device Reports of patient infections associated with heater-cooler devices. More than 250,000 heart bypass procedures using heater-cooler devices are performed in the U.S. every year. The 3T device linked to these infections represents about 60% of all heater-cooler devices in the country. Proactive steps to manage the risk include: Maintain documentation of biomedical inspections of equipment; include the date, time and name of the inspecting technician. Notify the FDA via Med Watch report and the unit manufacturer If a contaminated heater-cooler device is identified. Require the manufacturer to perform its inspection at the hospital and monitor the inspection. Establish a chain of custody for any tubing, connectors or parts that are replaced. Do not release the device to the manufacturer. Develop a plan to transition away from the 3T device. Ensure perfusionists and staff follow FDA recommendations for the use and maintenance of 3T devices. Establish a team to develop the hospital’s plan of action to notify patients and physicians and conduct training for physicians and employees. Include the hospital risk manager on the planning and implementation team. Develop the patient notification letter and a plan for notifying patients and the public. Maintain a database that identifies patients notified. Determine how returned, undelivered mail will be addressed and additional measures the hospital will take to notify potentially exposed patients. Notify risk management of all patients identified infected with M. chimaera. Submit a notice of potential...
Overhauling Healthcare from a Physician’s Perspective

Overhauling Healthcare from a Physician’s Perspective

  As a physician, I’ve always felt confident in my knowledge, skills, and ability to diagnose, treat, and manage disease on the individual patient level. However, after about 8 years of practice, I began to realize that my efforts could only go so far in helping my community as a whole. It was clear that the actual medical care I was administering was just a small part of the equation. The quality of a patient’s health and the overall medical care they receive is largely affected by other determinants, such as their lifestyle choices, socioeconomic status, level of education, and genetics. However, seeing only a single patient at a time, I had little ability and almost no platform for addressing these other determinants of health at the community level. As a radiologist, I could, for instance, help develop large-scale breast-screening programs using mammography. These efforts could help the population but did little to help connect the other community organizations involved in addressing the determinants of health. What was desperately needed, in my eyes, was a way to connect and coordinate my efforts with other parts of the community not typically included in healthcare conversations and strategies. Fortunately, the State of Oregon also saw a need for better coordination of health services, mainly as a way to help manage costs. The state was facing a budget deficit driven by spending on Medicaid. Typically, when states try to manage deficits related to Medicaid, they employ a combination of three strategies: Decrease reimbursement rates to hospitals and providers. This does not work very well because, ultimately, clinics will need to limit the...
#PWChat Recap: The Mental Healthcare Crisis in the United States

#PWChat Recap: The Mental Healthcare Crisis in the United States

Physician’s Weekly co-hosted another installment of the #PWChat series on Wednesday, March 21, with Linda Girgis, MD, to discuss the current status of mental healthcare in the United States. Topics include whether there truly is a  mental healthcare provider shortage in the US, and if so, whether the shortage has gotten worse in recent years and what its impact is on patients and other clinicians, why many psychiatrists are moving to all-cash practices, and what the impact of this is on both patients and other clinicians, with many pointing to mental health issues as a major factor behind some the recent mass school shootings in the US, and much more! Please make sure to check back here for updates on Part II of this #PWChat.   View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here. Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.     Question 1 Q1: Is there truly a #MentalHealthcare provider shortage in the US? Has the shortage gotten worse in recent years? What is the impact on patients and other clinicians of this shortage?#PWChat — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) March 21, 2018 T1 Yes there is a shortage of well-prepared MH workers. No, there are many MH workers who want to “help,” taken a short course & set up an unsupervised MH practice. Also do not separate MN & drug related issues. #PWchat — ElizabethKelly, Ph.D (@Elizabe85727641) March 21, 2018 Great point! So many people call themselves “therapists” and “counselors” that the designation becomes murky. #PWchat https://t.co/jV9ieluNed — Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) March 21, 2018 T1 IMHO there is a...
The Impact of Critical Access to Hospitals

The Impact of Critical Access to Hospitals

  A designation of critical access hospital was developed about 20 years ago to help ensure access to care for the more than 59 million people living in rural areas of the United States. The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program was established because policymakers were worried that many hospitals would close due to financial hardship. The critical access hospital provision entitled hospitals to higher reimbursements if they had fewer than 25 inpatient beds and were located more than 35 miles away from another hospital. “Many hospitals enrolled in the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, but concerns emerged about the resultant Medicare budget growing to more than $9 billion annually,” explains Andrew M. Ibrahim, MD. This led government agencies and advisory groups to call for modifications and perhaps elimination of the critical access designation. Advocates, however, argue that such changes could disrupt the communities that heavily rely on critical access hospitals for healthcare. An Important Comparison Dr. Ibrahim and colleagues had a study published in JAMA that evaluated outcomes and costs among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing operations at critical access and non–critical access hospitals. The investigators retrospectively reviewed more than 1.6 million Medicare beneficiary admissions to critical access hospitals and non–critical access hospitals for one of four common types of surgeries—appendectomy, cholecystectomy, colectomy, and hernia repair—between 2009 and 2013. After adjusting for patient factors, admission type, and type of operation, they then compared 30-day mortality and rates of serious postoperative complications, such as myocardial infarction, pneumonia, or acute renal failure. Hospital costs were assessed using price-standardized Medicare payments during hospitalization. According to the results, patients undergoing surgery at critical access hospitals...
Surgery, Survival, & Glioblastoma

Surgery, Survival, & Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) ranks among the most common and fatal types of brain tumors that occur in adults, and the disease is largely characterized by its invasive and aggressive behavior. Various surgical procedures have been somewhat effective for some patients, ranging from minimally invasive biopsy to craniotomy, with the goal being to achieve gross total resection (GTR). Guided intraoperative techniques have increased the extent of resection (EOR) that is surgically possible, but all patients do not receive this aggressive treatment. “Surgery is a mainstay of therapy in GBM, but we recognize that we can’t achieve clean margin resections in many cases because the brain is so delicate,” explains Michael Glantz, MD. He adds that there is currently no consensus on the optimal EOR that is needed to improve survival. Prior meta-analyses on the subject of EOR and overall survival in GBM have produced contradictory results, and the data suggest that currently available treatment options do little to extend survival. The association between EOR and outcome remains undefined, notwithstanding many relevant studies. Addressing a Need Considering that there is widespread treatment variation in GBM, Dr. Glantz and colleagues had a meta-analysis published in JAMA Oncology that examined if GTR— as compared with subtotal resection (STR) or biopsy—could improve overall and progression-free survival. After conducting a systematic review of investigations involving newly-diagnosed GBM patients, the authors identified 37 studies that compared various EOR and presented objective overall or progression-free survival data. This resulted in more than 41,000 unique patients for inclusion. Findings of the analysis showed that patients with newly diagnosed GBM who received GTR were 61% more likely to survive...
Delivery Dates: How Obstetricians Can Collaborate to Advance Patient Care

Delivery Dates: How Obstetricians Can Collaborate to Advance Patient Care

A Baylor College of Medicine study from 2017 found that women who deliver on the weekends – and their babies – are more likely to suffer poor outcomes. Although the increased risk of death for weekend deliveries was small, the Baylor study also found that weekend deliveries are associated with more maternal blood transfusions and more perineum tearing (neonatal intensive care unit admissions and neonatal seizures also increased on weekends). The “weekend factor” is due to the greatest threat to maternal and infant health: time. Hospitals have unique needs in obstetrics based on the variability and unpredictability of labor and delivery. But their foremost consideration is optimal maternal and infant health and safety outcomes. That requires consistent coordination and oversight of emergent situations and uninterrupted patient coverage by an experienced, on-site clinical care team – whether it’s a weeknight, in the middle of the night, or over a weekend. This can present a challenge for community obstetricians who must balance the practice of medicine with the business of medicine. A private OB/GYN practice requires being available to deliver a baby or handle an obstetrical emergency at any point during the day or night, which requires a rapid, often unanticipated trip to the hospital and hampers the ability to smoothly run a private practice. Over a weekend (when OBs hope to be “off the clock”) the stress is compounded exponentially. “One Team” Approach In recent years, more hospitals have engaged OB hospitalists to support the local physicians who serve pregnant women in the community, including overnight and on weekends. OB hospitalists work closely with the community physicians to ensure seamless...
#PWChat Recap: 3D Printing in Medicine

#PWChat Recap: 3D Printing in Medicine

Physician’s Weekly co-hosted another installment of the #PWChat series on Tuesday, March 6, with PW blogger Lars Brouwers, MD, PhD-candidate. He recently drove to Africa to deliver 3D-printed hands to children. For the interactive discussion, topics included the various ways in which 3D printing can be used in medicine, how Dr. Brouwers and others have and are currently using 3D printing in medicine, the exciting possibilities of 3D printing in medicine, the cost-effectiveness of 3D printing in medicine, and much more! View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here. Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.     Question 1 OK, let’s get started! Q1: Can you provide some of the various ways in which #3DPrinting can be used in medicine?#PWChat — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) March 5, 2018 A1 #3Dprinting can be used to plan an operation, to inform patients, hopefully to speed up the surgery and improve accuracy of the operation #PWChat — Lars Brouwers, MD, MSc (@Brouwers_3D) March 5, 2018 our study showed that doctors were able to classify acetabular fractures more accurate using #3Dprinted models instead of X-ray and 2D CT #PWchat — Lars Brouwers, MD, MSc (@Brouwers_3D) March 5, 2018 One of the most impactful uses for 3D printing is the ability to custom fit/print for an individual. — 3D Logics (@3dlogics) March 5, 2018   Question 2 Q2: How have you (Dr. Brouwers & everyone else joining the chat) used #3DPrinting in medicine?#PWChat — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) March 5, 2018 A2 we started only 1.5 year ago, because we noticed #3Dprinting was not that expensive anymore. We wanted...
Conference Highlights: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology and World Allergy Organization Joint Congress 2018

Conference Highlights: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology and World Allergy Organization Joint Congress 2018

Peanut Tolerance With Maintenance OIT Researchers conducted a peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) treatment protocol to determine the long-term therapeutic efficacy among patients who have difficulty reaching a 3,000-mg target maintenance dose of peanut protein (PP). Patients aged 6 to 19 had starting doses of 12.5 mg PP and reached maintenance doses of 1,200 mg.. The study consisted of an in-hospital initial induction-desensitization phase, in which a maximal individualized tolerated dose was determined and then consumed daily at home. Doses were gradually increased monthly for 5 months. Among participants, 91% appeared to achieve desensitization following long-term treatment with maintenance doses ranging from 600-1,500 mg. —————————————————————- Protecting Against Red Meat Allergy Previous research has shown that meats containing the antigen galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) play a large role in red meat allergy (RMA). Since the molecular structure of α-Gal is similar to that of the B antigen, researchers hypothesized that patients who harbor the B antigen are less likely to undergo allergic sensitization to α-Gal and develop RMA. To test this, they employed a cohort of RMA patients and controls, all with known blood types, and compared expected and observed frequencies of blood types O, A, B, and AB in the two groups. Among those with RMA, the observed frequency of the B antigen (types B or AB) was markedly lower than expected (4.35% vs 20.3%,). Patients expressing the B antigen were less likely than those without the B antigen (blood types O or A) to produce α-Gal-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) or beef-specific IgE and were 5-times less likely to have been diagnosed with RMA. —————————————————————-  Preventing Childhood Asthma Exacerbations Data on the...
Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older, 2018

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older, 2018

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued its 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 or Older, and was recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Key changes in the updated schedule pertain to the new herpes zoster vaccine, as well as to the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Following the US Food and Drug Administration’s October 2017 approval of recombinant zoster vaccine to prevent shingles in adults age 50 years and older, the ACIP now recommends RZV as follows: Give two doses of RZV 2 to 6 months apart to adults age 50 years and older with competent immune systems regardless of a history of herpes zoster or receipt of the zoster vaccine live. Give two doses of RZV 2 to 6 months apart to previous recipients of ZVL at least 2 months after ZVL. For persons age 60 years and older, administer RZV or ZVL, with RZV the preferred option. “The new zoster vaccination recommendations is a reminder for health care providers, including pharmacists, to routinely discuss vaccinations with their adult patients (similar to reviewing medication lists; vaccines, as do medicines, help prevent disease, reduce the severity of disease, and prevent complications from disease) and educating them that there are vaccines specifically recommended for adults,” says Richard Benson of the CDC.  “Improving low vaccination coverage rates for adults is possible with increased awareness by adult patients and health care providers’ advocacy.” Additional vaccines on the schedule include those for hepatitis A and B, varicella, influenza, and human papillomavirus, among others. ACIP offers recommendations for...
#PWChat Recap – Communication & Integration in Emergency Medicine: Has Anything Changed in 30 Years?

#PWChat Recap – Communication & Integration in Emergency Medicine: Has Anything Changed in 30 Years?

Physician’s Weekly co-hosted another installment of the #PWChat series on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, with PW blogger Matthew Loxton, MKM, CKM. The discussion was based on a previous article on whether communication and integration in emergency medicine has improved in the past 30 years since Loxton’s days as an EMT. Topics discussed included whether facts are still lost in the handoff between EMTs/paramedics and emergency department staff, whether time is still wasted in getting ambulance crews turned around, whether there are still missed opportunities for hospital staff to be better prepared for incoming emergency patients, and much more! View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here. Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.       Question 1 Q1: Are facts still lost in the handoff between #EMTs/#paramedics and #EmergencyDepartment staff? What contributes to this & how can it be overcome?#PWChat — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) February 28, 2018 A1 would be interested to hear if salient pt info still gets lost. It used to be a huge frustration that much of what the EMT collected never made it into the pt record at the hospital #PWChat — Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) February 28, 2018 #PWChat Extension of @AmCollSurgeons ATLS ABCD Primary/Secondary survey/communication method to prehospital (EMS/paramedics) and post-ER providers (Anesthesia/Non-surgical intensivist) would help put everyone on the same page. — Robert Vance (@WVUpython) February 28, 2018 The ATLS primary survey teaches a systematic and quick way to assess all trauma patients. If the initial provider can competently follow the algorithm, they should be able to communicate clearly all the info to the receiving ER....
Updating Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management

Updating Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management

By Andy Skean, Senior Editor, Physician’s Weekly The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) recently published an update to their comprehensive type 2 diabetes management algorithm. “The update provides clinicians with a practical guide that considers the whole patient, their spectrum of cardiovascular risks and complications, and evidence-based approaches to treatment,” explains Alan J. Garber, MD, PhD, FACE, who was the AACE/ACE Task Force chair for the updated algorithm. “It’s designed to serve as a practical and easy-to-use decision-making tool for patients’ medical management.” The AACE/ACE algorithm, which was published in Endocrine Practice, has been updated to reflect the role of newer therapies, management approaches, and important clinical data. It includes an updated section on lifestyle therapy and discusses all classes of obesity as well as anti-hyperglycemic, lipid-lowering, and antihypertensive medications that have most recently been approved by the FDA. The document also details specific lipid targets for patients with type 2 diabetes based on their unique characteristics (Table). The recommendations for blood pressure and lipid control are critical as these have been identified as the two most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).   An Emphasis on Obesity It is important to note that the updated algorithm emphasizes obesity as one of the underlying risk factors for type 2 diabetes and its microvascular complications. Placing a great emphasis on obesity and its role in the development and management of type 2 diabetes may guide physicians in providing tailored care to optimize patient outcomes. The update also includes important information on necessary weight loss therapies as well as details regarding the...
Conference Highlights: American Academy of Dermatology 2018

Conference Highlights: American Academy of Dermatology 2018

  Gene Expression Test Impacts Melanoma Management The DecisionDX-Melanoma is a 31-gene expression profile (GEP) test designed to identify high-risk stage I and II melanoma patients based on biological information from 31 genes within their tumor tissue. For a prospective multicenter study, 247 stage I (181) and stage II (66) patients were enrolled at 15 dermatology, surgical oncology, and medical oncology centers. Participants had clinical management plans documented after their melanoma diagnosis and then underwent 31-GEP tests, after which changes in management plans were documented. DecisionDX-Melanoma resulted in a change in clinical management in nearly 49% of cases, with changes occurring most frequently in patients who were identified as being at high risk of metastasis.   Aggressive Skin Cancer Rates Skyrocketing Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) incidence rates are rising and strongly age-associated, relevant for an aging population. A team of researchers sought to determine MCC incidence in the United States and project incident cases through the year 2025. Registry data were obtained from the SEER-18 Database, containing 6,600 MCC cases. From 2000 to 2013, the number of reported solid cancer cases increased 15%, melanoma cases increased 57%, and MCC cases increased 95%. In 2013, the MCC incidence rate was 0.7 cases/100,000 person-years in the US, corresponding to 2,488 cases/year. MCC incidence increased exponentially with age, from 0.1 to 1.0 to 9.8 (per 100,000 person-years) among age groups 40-44 years, 60-64 years, and ≥85 years, respectively. Due to aging of the Baby Boomer generation, US MCC incident cases are predicted to climb to 2,835 cases/year in 2020 and 3,284 cases/year in 2025.   Acne More Harmful than Melanoma? For the...
First Blood Test to Help Diagnose Brain Injuries Gets US Approval

First Blood Test to Help Diagnose Brain Injuries Gets US Approval

The first blood test to help doctors diagnose traumatic brain injuries has won US government approval. The move means Banyan Biomarkers can commercialize its test, giving the company an early lead in the biotech industry’s race to find a way to diagnose concussions. The test doesn’t detect concussions and the approval won’t immediately change how patients with suspected concussions or other brain trauma are treated. But Wednesday’s green light by the Food and Drug Administration “is a big deal because then it opens the door and accelerates technology,” said Michael McCrea, a brain injury expert at Medical College of Wisconsin. The test detects two proteins present in brain cells that can leak into the bloodstream following a blow to the head. Banyan’s research shows the test can detect them within 12 hours of injury. It’s designed to help doctors quickly determine which patients with suspected concussions may have brain bleeding or other brain injury. Click here to read the full...
Time Trends in Parkinson Incidence

Time Trends in Parkinson Incidence

By Andy Skean, Senior Editor, Physician’s Weekly In recent years, investigators have learned much about the causes of Parkinson disease (PD), and greater efforts have been made to develop medications and treatments to manage PD. “Time trends of a given disease are an important way to monitor changes in lifestyle and the effectiveness of public health and medical practice,” explains Walter A. Rocca, MD, MPH. Recent studies have suggested that there has been a decline in the risk of people developing dementia and stroke but an increased risk for developing PD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. “These opposing trends may suggest that better lifestyle and improved medical care for conditions like hypertension and hyperlipidemia have prompted a decline in neurovascular lesions and mechanisms,” Dr. Rocca says. “However, the neurodegenerative lesions and mechanisms—such as plaques, tangles, Lewy bodies, and brain atrophy—may be increasing at the same time.” Dr. Rocca also notes that clinicians are beginning to see some important differences in risks for neurologic disease between men and women. “There appears to be a more pronounced decline in dementia risk among women, whereas increases in PD risk are more pronounced in men,” says Dr. Rocca. “Sex and gender factors are interacting with historical changes in environment and lifestyle over time.” Examining Long-Term Data For a study published in JAMA Neurology, Dr. Rocca and colleagues examined time trends for parkinsonism overall and for PD over a period of 30 years using data from a well-defined United States population. The authors used the medical records–linkage system of the Rochester Epidemiology Project to identify incidence cases of PD and other types of parkinsonism in Olmsted...
Bacteria Play Critical Role in Driving Colon Cancers

Bacteria Play Critical Role in Driving Colon Cancers

Patients with an inherited form of colon cancer harbor two bacterial species that collaborate to encourage development of the disease, and the same species have been found in people who develop a sporadic form of colon cancer, a study led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy research team finds. A second study in mice published concurrently by the same researchers shows a possible mechanism behind how one of these species spurs a specific type of immune response, promoting — instead of inhibiting — the formation of malignant tumors. Together, these findings could lead to new ways to more effectively screen for and ultimately prevent colon cancer, a disease that kills more than 50,000 people each year in the U.S. and is on the rise among younger adults age 20 to 50. The complementary findings were published online Feb. 1 in Cell Host & Microbe and in the Feb. 2 issue of Science. Click here to read the full press...
#PWChat Recap: 1-Year Follow-Up on Healthcare Under President Trump

#PWChat Recap: 1-Year Follow-Up on Healthcare Under President Trump

The #PWChat series rolled on with another informative discussion with co-host Linda Girgis, MD. We discussed where we now stand with TrumpCare since the version we knew a year ago is essentially dead, reactions to Pres. Trump’s touting in his 1st State of the Union address (Jan 30, 2018) of the FDA’s approval of more drugs last year than any other year on record, his plan to decrease prescription drug prices, the impact on the US healthcare systems as a whole, as well as on patients and healthcare professionals, and more! View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here. Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here. Editor’s note: some of Dr. Girgis’ numerical responses do not match the question asked, but each response listed under the question is the correct answer.         Question 1 Q1: A year ago, we were wondering if TrumpCare would replace #ACA / #ObamaCare, but TrumpCare, as we knew it then, is dead. So, where do we stand now?#PWChat — Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) February 6, 2018 A1. Seems we are stuck and everyone has given up on doing anything to fix the healthcare system. #PWchat https://t.co/vynFEnqzoB — Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) February 6, 2018 Q1 standing the same place as one year ago, just getting by amidst much talk and little listening to all the speakers. #PWchat — ElizabethKelly, Ph.D (@Elizabe85727641) February 6, 2018 Question 2 Q2: In the #SOTU last week, @realDonaldTrump touted @US_FDA approving more drugs last year than any other year & his plan to decrease Rx prices & get more terminally ill...
Are Edible QR Codes the Medicine of the Future?

Are Edible QR Codes the Medicine of the Future?

For the last 100 years, researchers have constantly pushed the boundaries for our knowledge about medicine and how different bodies can respond differently to it. However, the methods for the production of medicine have not yet moved itself away from mass production. Many who have a given illness get the same product with equal amount of an active compound. This production might soon be in the past. In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen together with colleagues from Åbo Akademi University in Finland have developed a new method for producing medicine. They produce a white edible material. Here, they print a QR code consisting of a medical drug. “This technology is promising, because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way you want it to. This gives an opportunity to tailor the medication according to the patient getting it,” says Natalja Genina, Assistant Professor at Department of Pharmacy. The shape of a QR code also enables storage of data in the “pill” itself. Click here to read more about this new...
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