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February 8, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Some things are better left unsaid - and that includes certain aspects of your medical condition, doctors say. In a nationwide survey of roughly 1,800 physicians, 17% had some level of disagreement with the notion that they should “never tell a patient something that is not true.” Not only that, but 11% of those surveyed acknowledged that they had told a patient “something that was not true” in the past year. The survey, led by Lisa Iezzoni, director of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, didn't ask doctors for specifics about the type of untruths they told.
August 17, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Talk to a doctor about medical malpractice, and he or she is likely to tell you this: Patients don't necessarily sue because a doctor made a mistake, they sue because they got a bad outcome. A report released today by the New England Journal of Medicine bears this out.  It finds that in a given year, 7.4% of doctors (on average) get sued by patients, but only 20% of those claims (on average) result in some sort of payment. Researchers from Harvard, USC and the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica examined malpractice claims against nearly 41,000 doctors who were covered by a single insurance company from 1991 to 2005.
June 14, 2010 | By Marni Jameson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Want to look and feel younger? Click on Dr. Oz's website. Seeking an alternative treatment to what ails you? Visit Andrew Weil's daily blog. Aren't sure whether it's OK to spank your kid? Ask Dr. Phil. Society has revered famous physicians for years, swallowing their directives like vitamins. Dr. Benjamin Spock helped parents raise a generation. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop pushed the nation to kick, or at least curb, its smoking habit. Ruth Westheimer, a.k.a. "Dr. Ruth," encouraged us to talk about sex without squirming.
December 21, 2009
Re "A Prescription for Snooping," Dec. 14: There is virtually no need for a physician to be "detailed" by a drug company representative. There is a publication for physicians, the Medical Letter, that has been published biweekly for the past nearly 50 years. It is the Consumer Reports of drug information for doctors, reviewing virtually all new (and re-reviewing, as needed, older) drugs. It contains what the doctor needs to know about how a drug works, as well as efficacy, safety, some cost information and whatever is known about comparisons to other drugs.
September 12, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Doctors are supposed to help patients eat healthfully - but they're not exactly dietary angels themselves.    Skipping from meeting (snacks provided) to conference (catered, with jumbo cookies) to lunch at the hospital cafeteria (sugary soda on the side), many fall into the same bad habits the rest of us do, consuming too many calories, gaining too much weight, and eating all the wrong foods. At least one group of researchers thinks it's time for this to change.  Writing in the journal JAMA on Tuesday (subscription required)
June 8, 1997
I enjoyed the May 25 article on preparing for emergencies abroad ("Preparation Can Save Lives in Health Disasters Abroad," Travel Insider), but was surprised that you didn't include the organization IAMAT (International Assn. for Medical Assistance to Travelers). IAMAT has doctors in virtually every country of the world who not only speak English but have been trained in North America or Britain, so their medical standards are the same as ours. IAMAT will send a free membership card (donations welcome)
April 11, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
A majority of Americans support the idea of allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of their doctors. For instance, 55% of people questioned for the NPR -Truven Health Analytics Health Poll last  year said they were in favor of legalizing physician-assisted suicide. A BBC World News America/Harris Poll from the year before found that 58% believed that physician-assisted suicide should be a legal option for patients who request it. It's one thing to endorse physician-assisted suicide in principle.
February 28, 2014 | By Alexandra Zavis
Doctors Without Borders has been ordered to cease activities in Myanmar, leaving  tens of thousands of patients without medical care, the Nobel Prize-winning aid group said Friday. Doctors Without Borders did not give a reason for the move. But local news reports said the government had taken issue with statements made by the group about sectarian violence in northern Rakhine state and accused it of bias toward the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority. In a statement, Doctors Without Borders said it was “deeply shocked” by the suspension of its operations after 22 years in Myanmar and “extremely concerned about the fate” of patients under its care around the country.
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