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June 12, 1989 | From staff and wire reports
Doctors must receive training in outpatient settings, not just teaching hospitals, because skyrocketing costs "now keep all but the sickest patients out of the hospital," researchers said last week. Traditional internship and residency in strictly hospital settings, the researchers said, no longer reflect a health-care system in which increasing numbers of procedures are performed in ambulatory facilities. "There are whole topics of medicine, diseases, observations, actions and decisions that are just not encountered in the care of hospitalized patients any longer," Dr. Daniel D. Federman of Harvard Medical School wrote in an editorial accompanying two articles in the New England Journal of Medicine.
April 25, 2014 | Jonathan Gold
The night of the lunar eclipse, I was having a late supper at Red Medicine out on Wilshire, a few tables over from a man who had decided to dress as Jesus for the evening, a slender young man with long, straight hair and white robes flowing around his ankles. I can't be sure, but I think he ordered the tasting menu. After dinner, I walked outside in time to see the last sliver of the moon disappear into the Earth's shadow. An elderly man plucked at my arm, eager to know what I was looking up at, and I pointed at the moon, at Mars shining bright and pink in its penumbra.
July 26, 2009 | Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. His cartoons also appear in USA Today.
Cartoonists invoked plenty of inflamed invective to inform a healthy debate on the healthcare reform battle. Mike Lester's O.R. Obama is no smooth operator. (Scalpel! Clamp! Jackhammer!) Tony Auth's elephant in the nursery had a sick, infanticide fantasy. (Mask! Gloves! Pillow!) And Rob Rogers' throwback family displayed one giant misplaced leap of faith in mankind. (Hope! Change! Disappointment!) -- Joel Pett
April 25, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
In the wake of a $10-million payout to a whistleblower, UCLA's School of Medicine is drawing more scrutiny over its financial ties to industry and the possibility that they compromised patient care. A new study in this month's Journal of the American Medical Assn. raised a red flag generally about university officials such as Eugene Washington, the dean of UCLA's medical school who also serves on the board of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. The world's biggest medical-products maker paid Washington more than $260,000 in cash and stock last year as a company director.
January 2, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
When it comes to treating pain, a new study suggests traditional Chinese medicine has been getting it right for thousands of years. A chemical compound found in the underground tubers of the Corydalis plant can effectively alleviate three different types of pain in mice, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. The study also shows that mice do not build up a resistance to the naturally occurring compound, which means it could one day be used for managing chronic pain in humans.
January 17, 2013
Re "First the cat, now the health system sinks teeth in me," Column, Jan. 15 I am sorry about that horrible ordeal David Lazarus experienced, including his problems with the money side of our healthcare system. However, I am concerned that one of the aspects of Obamacare that Lazarus supports will have doctors making more money by not treating patients. If a doctor gets a fixed amount to treat you (say, $8,000) and "pockets" the amount not spent, then who is to say that he will treat you to the fullest extent?
September 18, 2013 | By Glenn D. Braunstein
This year, 36.6 million people will be admitted to U.S. hospitals. Each patient will stay an average of 4.8 days, and the cost for all those hospitalizations will reach into the billions. Is all that time spent in hospitals good for patients? Hospitals, of course, are vital institutions that save lives. When someone needs intensive, around-the-clock care, there is no substitute. But as physicians and hospital staffs know well, the longer a patient stays in a hospital, the more perilous the hospitalization can become.
July 18, 2013
Re "Alluring but risky medicine," Opinion, July 7 Dr. Paul A. Offit's theory of "conventional" versus "alternative" medicine misses the point that Americans have moved beyond choosing one or the other. Instead, we are integrating all the options available for good health, including the use of vitamins and other dietary supplements. More than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements every year, and consumer research shows that supplement users are generally higher educated, with higher incomes, and are more likely than those who don't take supplements to also engage in other healthy behaviors, such as trying to eat a healthy diet, exercising routinely and visiting their doctor regularly.
October 17, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The line between candy and medicine can be a fine one, at least when it comes to looks, a study finds. Researchers tested 30 kindergarten students and 30 teachers to see if they could distinguish popular candies from over-the-counter medicines. And although you might be thinking you could tell the difference, even the adults didn't get it right 100% of the time. The students guessed correctly on average 70.5%, while teachers averaged 77.6% correct answers. Students who could read (these were kindergartners, remember)
September 28, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
For the growing fan base of period drama, the BBC's "Call the Midwife," which debuts Sunday on PBS, fits in chronologically and somewhat thematically between "Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men. " Set in London's very pre-revitalized East End during the late 1950s and based on the memoir of Jennifer Worth, it chronicles the adventures of a group of midwives working at the Nonnatus House, a nursing convent named for the early cesarean-surviving patron saint...
April 16, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront an epidemic of deaths from heroin and prescription drug abuse, one that his opponents have cited as a reason for not loosening drug sentences. In prepared remarks for a speech Wednesday, Holder cited the "stunning rise in heroin and prescription opiate overdose deaths" and vowed the Justice Department was committed to "rigorous enforcement" of the drug laws and "robust treatment" of drug addicts.
April 14, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins
Charles F. Farthing, a physician who was at the forefront of care for HIV/AIDS patients and who drew attention to the need for an AIDS vaccine by announcing his willingness to inject himself, has died. He was 60. Farthing, who collapsed in a Hong Kong taxi April 5, had a heart attack, family members said in an announcement. Farthing was chief of medicine for the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation from 1994 to 2007. He was planning to return to the foundation in June as director of treatment programs in the 32 countries outside the U.S. where it provides services.
March 15, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - A 52-year-old La Mesa man Friday was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of practicing medicine without a license and promising to cure patients of AIDS, cancer and other maladies. Desperate, terminally ill patients paid up to $40,000 to Keith Barton for cures, prosecutors said. A 60-year-old woman suffering from an autoimmune disease followed Barton's advice to have all her teeth extracted as part of an ineffective treatment called "dentritic cellular therapy," according to court documents.
March 15, 2014 | By Philip Levitt
American hospitals have a big problem with unnecessary deaths from medical errors. Estimates of the numbers vary widely, but extrapolating from the best studies, a conservative estimate would be that well over 100,000 people a year die unnecessarily because of errors made by their healthcare teams. And the numbers have remained high despite concerted efforts to bring them down. Why? Because we've embraced a so-called solution that doesn't address the problem. For the last 14 years, the medical profession has put its faith in a systems approach to the problem.
March 8, 2014 | BILL SHAIKIN
Frank Jobe batted third at Cooperstown last summer, in the annual awards ceremony on the Saturday before the induction ceremony. Paul Hagen led off, a distinguished baseball writer from Philadelphia. Shirley Cheek followed, the widow of the late Tom Cheek, a beloved broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays. The names of Paul Hagen and Tom Cheek would be forever displayed within the Hall of Fame. Jobe's award did not come with a permanent place inside the Hall of Fame -- an error that ought to be rectified forthwith -- but the good doctor nonetheless was delighted with his moment in the Cooperstown sun. Jobe rose to his feet, slowly.
March 5, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
For the first time in more than four decades, the drug lysergic acid diethylamide -- better known as LSD -- has been the experimental adjunct to psychotherapy in a controlled clinical trial approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And a newly published study on that trial reports that the medication's anti-anxiety effects on patients facing life-threatening illnesses were sizable, sustained -- and free of worrisome side effects. In short, everything was groovy. In a pilot study conducted in Switzerland, 12 patients suffering deep anxiety due to serious illnesses participated in several drug-free psychotherapy sessions, and then joined a pair of therapists for two full-day psychotherapy sessions, separated by two to three weeks, under the influence of LSD. After tapering off any anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications and avoiding alcohol for at least a day, subjects in the trial were given either a 200-microgram dose of LSD or an "active placebo" of 20 micrograms of the drug.
January 14, 1999
The recent pieces by Gillian Gunn Clissold (Commentary, Jan. 8) and Wayne Smith (Opinion, Jan. 10) accurately portray the halfhearted new policy initiative on Cuba by the Clinton administration. Our relief agency is fully licensed by the U.S. government to provide medical aid to Cuba. What the new policy fails to do is allow us any better means of providing that aid. On Jan. 8, we were forced to send lifesaving medications to a pediatric hospital in Havana by buying a full-fare airline ticket through Mexico to Havana and having a staff person hand-carry an ice chest with the medicines.
January 18, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Think your medication dosage isn't strong enough? No need to get a bigger pill -- simply move it around in your belly. With magnets. That's the idea behind technology that was explored in a paper published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Swallowing pills may be less unpleasant than getting a shot, but pills are a bit difficult to control once they enter the gastrointestinal tract. The body absorbs more or less medicine depending on where the pill is. Ideally, pills could be guided to whichever spot would yield the most effect.
February 24, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Stephen J. Blackwood is utterly, unalterably convinced that his mother has lost access to her cancer medicine because of Obamacare. That's the theme of his passionate op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. The piece currently tops the most-read list over at the Journal website and has shot around conservative websites with the speed of a measles virus in an unvaccinated population. Since we recently expressed perplexity about how easy it is to debunk most (if not all) Obamacare horror stories being retailed by Republicans and other critics of the Affordable Care Act, it's only fair to take a look at this one. It's not quite like many of the others, which present as victims people who actually are clear beneficiaries of the act. By contrast, Blackwood's mother appears to have been genuinely abused by the health insurance system.
February 4, 2014 | By Wendy Orent
Doctors used to call influenza "knock-me-down" fever, and there was a reason for that. Anyone who's suffered through a bout of it knows the miseries: the headaches, the throat that feels scrubbed with sandpaper, the fever so high you're floating on the edge of delirium. And then there is the cough, the muscle pain, the general misery. Worse still: Flu can kill, though not often, and typically only the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. So what do you do?
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