Skeptical Scalpel

Medical School Grading: Everyone Gets a Trophy | Medical Blog

Grading in medical school is an excellent example of what I call the “T-ball culture”: No one keeps score. All games end in a tie. Everyone gets a trophy.

Why Malpractice Claims Take Forever To Be Resolved | Medical Blog

Since defense lawyers are paid according to their billable hours, it seems to me that it is in their best interest to make a claim last as long as possible.

How to Lower 30-Day Hospital Readmission Rates | Medical Blog

The solution is quite simple — let the patients die.

Lawyers Dodge Malpractice Insurance; Should Doctors Follow Suit? | Medical Blog

Lawyers aren't required to carry malpractice insurance, and some hospitals are dropping the coverage. Is it time for physicians to take their chances too?

A Simple Mistake? | Medical Blog

While human errors were made in the tragic death of a 12-year-old boy, this event also fits James Reason’s “Swiss cheese model” of a complex series of occurrences that will take more than a new policy about notifying ED MDs about abnormal lab results to fix.

NY Hospital Installs Hand-Washing Cam | Medical Blog

A New York hospital has resorted to videotaping staff to monitor hand-washing. Why not investigate the reasons for non-compliance instead?

New Additions to the “Never Events” List | Medical Blog

Two more complications have been proposed as additions to the CMS “never events” initiative. Do you agree that all these events are 100% preventable?

A Shortage of General Surgeons: Coming Soon? | Medical Blog

There is already a shortage of general surgeons. The population of the US is growing and the supply of general surgeons is not. And no one is doing anything about this.

Whatever Happened to Personal Contact? | Medical Blog

Back in the day, physicians used to socialize more. Something is lacking when you aren’t able to attach a face to a name. Is this another reason why a lot of us don’t enjoy practicing medicine as much as we used to?

Physician Decision-Making: Damned If You Do… | Medical Blog

We are being criticized for runaway healthcare spending and encouraged to reduce unnecessary testing, yet also being sued for failing to order certain tests.

Pregnancy Among Women Surgeons | Medical Blog

Women surgeons still feel stigmatized about pregnancy during surgical residency training. Male residents can get sick or be injured and miss time. Should there be any reason to deal with pregnancy differently?

Complications & Collateral Damage | Medical Blog

Complications during surgery can significantly impact surgeons' psyches. Are you haunted by your own patient "graveyard"?

Words Mean What I Say They Mean | Medical Blog

Frustration over semantics in medicine: Why words like "non-compliant" have fallen out of favor.

Overuse of Proton Pump Inhibitors is Expensive & Dangerous | Medical Blog

Let’s talk about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These drugs, successors to the innovative H2 blockers, have revolutionized the treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers.

An Error Occurred. Suspend All Surgery in the U.S.? | Medical Blog

I consistently question the tendency of organizations, including hospitals, to blame adverse events that seem to have been human errors on “system errors.”

68% of Physicians Unsatisfied with Affordable Care Act | Feature

The mean average grade the Affordable Care Act received by nearly 2,700 physicians in a recent survey was a "D."

What Happens When a Doctor Is Paged | Feature

You've been paged at home. You respond immediately but are placed on hold. Indefinitely. Has this happened to you?

Are You Afraid to Be Wrong? | Medical Blog

Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, wrote a thoughtful essay offering guidance for new medical students. (Full text here.) Although it was published

Wide Disparity in Hospital Charges for Appendicitis. Why? | Medical Blog

With this post we introduce a new guest blogger column on The column is a forum for exploration of sometimes controversial healthcare issues as well as coverage of topics that directly relate to the day-to-day challenges of practicing medicine.

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