Health News Review
  • Jul 22 2014

    Robotic roundup: Useful? Or little clinical value?…”robotic invasion”…outpaces evidence

    Here’s another of our periodic roundups of robotic surgery news, some of which doesn’t get much attention in the mainstream news media. Forbes has hosted a little back-and-forth about robotic surgery in recent weeks.  First, Robert Pearl, MD, chief executive of the Permanente Medical Group, included a discussion of robotic surgery in his piece, “America’s [...]

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  • Jul 11 2014

    One physician’s story: An Egregious Example of Ordering Unnecessary Tests

    Harriet Hall writes on the Science-Based Medicine website about a 21-year old man seeing a board-certified family physician for a routine physical.  Excerpt: This young man is healthy, has no complaints, has no past history of any significant health problems and no family history of any disease. The patient just asked for a routine physical [...]

  • Jul 9 2014

    What women need to know about USNWR’s “16 Health Screenings All Women Need”

    When I see a headline such as “16 Health Screenings All Women Need,” I steel myself for what comes next. “All women need“? What came next in the US News & World Report column was a list of recommendations that included imbalance, incompleteness, and more controversy than the column suggests. For example: On clinical breast [...]

  • Jul 9 2014

    Choosing Wisely will make you happy

    James McCormack may hold one of the keys to educating the public about smart health care: music videos. McCormack describes himself as pharmacist, professor, medication mythbuster and healthy skeptic at the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia. His past YouTube videos on “Bohemian Polypharmacy”…”Some Studies That I Like To Quote”…”Tom Hanks [...]

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  • Jun 12 2014

    Proton beam therapy – radiation oncology group weighs in on the evidence (and lack thereof)

    Usually when I make suggestions to journalists about things to cover, I urge them to report on questions of evidence for two of the fastest growing and most expensive medical technologies:  proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery. Recently, the American Society for Radiation Oncology issued a new model policy for proton beam therapy. In [...]

  • Feb 24 2014

    Bohemian Polypharmacy – latest in clever YouTube video series

    I don’t know how James McCormack, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, finds time to produce these videos, but I’m a big fan.  His latest is “Bohemian Polypharmacy” – a parody of Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated. [...]

  • Feb 22 2014

    Nonivasive heart imaging tests lead to invasive tests but not to better outcomes

    I found a Medscape story about the following.  Nothing else.  Granted, I can’t see/find everything, so I may have missed some reporting on this.  But nothing jumped out at me in a web search.  Why not? A paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Hospital Variation in the Use of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging and Its Association With [...]

  • Dec 13 2013

    First the hype, now the science – platelet-rich plasma therapy in orthopedics

    A paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons on platelet-rich plasma in orthopedic uses raises questions about the proliferation of that approach:  “for many conditions, there is limited reliable clinical evidence to guide the use of PRP. Furthermore, classification systems and identification of differences among products are needed to understand the [...]

  • Dec 12 2013

    The unvarying story of health care variations – Dartmouth Atlas on children’s care

    Jack Wennberg made his mark by documenting health care variations in the way certain services were utilized – even in adjacent communities in New England. One of the early signs that caught his attention was when his own kids were of the tonsillectomy age. He found, as Reuters recalls, “that rates of tonsillectomy are 60 [...]

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  • Dec 2 2013

    Coumadin, Clinton, and corporate conspired conformity: The case for decentralizing medical practice guidelines

    The following is a guest post submitted by David K. Cundiff, MD, who recently submitted a post that drew a great deal of interest on the site. ———————— Stroke, an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) journal, recently published my systematic review of Anticoagulants for Cerebral Venous Thrombosis (CVT). However, the journal editor rightly classified [...]