A Florida teen gets caught pretending to be a doctor, a Harvard-trained physician tells his story of drug dependence, and a new study looks at why the results of so many clinical trials go unpublished. Those stories top this weekâ€™s PMD Critical List
A Florida teen gets caught pretending to be a doctor, a Harvard-trained physician tells his story of drug dependence, and a new study looks at why the results of so many clinical trials go unpublished. Those stories top this week’s PMD Critical List.
In the “you can’t make this stuff up” department, an 18-year-old Floridian was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license after performing a physical exam on an undercover sheriff’s officer. “Dr. Malachi A. Love” also developed an elaborate Facebook page and website telling of his medical office in West Palm Beach.
• I Was a Doctor—and a Drug Pusher (New York Post)
Here’s an illuminating report on Dr. Peter Grinspoon, the author of “Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction.” The Harvard-educated physician tells “his very honest story of dependence and redemption.” The Massachusetts doctor says: “I’m much more down-to-earth and humble after my great fall.”
• Doctors Prescribe Drugs to Tackle Gambling Epidemic (Daily Mail)
Attempting to tackle Britain's betting epidemic, UK physicians are prescribing gamblers anti-addiction drugs. The medication naltrexone is usually given to drug addicts, but the NHS admits it is now giving it to compulsive gamblers who can’t fight their cravings. The main problem is fixed-odds betting terminals, dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling.
• Where are the Clinical Trials Results? (HealthLeaders)
Nearly 65% of the clinical trials conducted by researchers at US academic medical centers did not report or publish the results within two years of completion, according to a BMJ report. “It’s about a culture that allows for reporting to be discretionary rather than mandatory.”
• Agreement on How to Rate Doctors’ Quality (The Washington Post)
Federal Medicare/Medicaid leaders and the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans have reached a consensus on how to measure physician quality in seven medical areas. The hope is to lessen doctor paperwork help patients compare and choose doctors.
• When a Brain Surgeon Becomes a Malpractice Lawyer (ProPublica.org)
A probing Q&A with attorney/physician Lawrence Schlachter, who has seen medicine from inside the operating room and the courtroom. “The real issue is that medicine is incapable of regulating itself. Doctors, like any other profession or business, will act in their own self-interest and protect their own self-interest.”
Interesting perspective. “Nearly two decades after TV ads for prescription drugs began flooding American homes, drug makers have also perfected their delivery—allowing them to include the information they are obligated to provide while minimizing how scary it might sound.”
• What's Being Done to Address Physician Suicide? (HealthcareDive)
Every year in the United States 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide—about an entire medical school class. “Nobody talks about our doctors jumping from hospital rooftops, overdosing in call rooms, hanging themselves in hospital chapels. It’s medicine’s dirty secret—and it’s covered up by our hospitals, clinics, and medical schools.”
Unfortunately, basic principles of business management and leadership have rarely—if at all—been included in medical school curricula. Here a five-part series on physician leadership, published in Healthcare: the Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, offers some additional rewarding insights along these lines.