A new survey released by Medscape (owned by WebMD) shows that female doctors are paid significantly less than male doctors. Some of this may be due to specialty choice, but not all; the pay gap is $33,000 even among primary care physicians. A 2012 study also found that, among a study group of highly ambitious physician-researchers, women MDs make $12,000 less than men, after controlling for myriad factors other than gender (full paper).
This photo depicts Dr. Anandibai Joshi of India, Dr. Keiko Okami of Japan, and Dr. Sabat Islambouli of Syria, three women who became doctors in 1885, at least two the first female physician in their own country, and 36 years after Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. (All three completed medical school at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.) Be sure to click "See More" to read the full post at the first link. (Previously, on the lives of trailblazing women in medicine.) [more inside]
Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law that makes it possible for nurses in a variety of medical fields with most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight. Maryland’s governor signed a similar bill into law this month, and eight more states are considering such legislation, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Now nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or better, known as nurse practitioners, no longer have to get a signed agreement from a doctor to be able to do what their state license allows — order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and administer treatments.
Changing the Face of Medicine is an online exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, first published in 2003 but continuously updated, that honors the lives and achievements of American women in medicine. It is divided into sections (see the "more inside"), but you can also browse the biographies of the physicians alphabetically or by other criteria. [more inside]
Last week the second largest US physicians group endorsed medical marijuana. On Friday the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy issued a report which explains why they are wrong.
Is there a bell curve for doctors? How hard would it be to evaluate the performance of doctors and should this information be publicly accessible?
More fallout from the Winona trial: Dr Jules Lusman, a 'celebrity doctor' who (over)prescribed painkillers to Winona Ryder, has had his California medical license revoked. 'The Medical Board said Dr Lusman became known in celebrity circles for his willingness to make out-of-hours calls at homes and hotels and write prescriptions for opiates and hypnotic drugs, as well as syringes...' The Smoking Gun has also posted the entire Ryder probation report, which details more sad, depressing facts which surfaced during the trial, including these about celebrity basket case Courtney Love.
The Access to Essential Medicines Campaign is an initiative by Medecins Sans Frontieres that seeks to "lower the prices of existing medicines in developing countries, to bring abandoned drugs back into production, to stimulate research and development for neglected diseases that primarily affect the poor, and to overcome other barriers to access." HIV is one target disease. The Campaign's press releases, press clips and reports on HIV give a good picture of recent developments. In light of this evidence, does anyone care to step up and defend "big pharma" and the governments of the wealthy North? Have we/they "done enough"? What would "doing enough" look like, given the scope of the crisis?
Paracelsus: the mercucial mage. The Fortean Times' David Hambling on one of the 16th's century's most colorful figures. A rabble-rousing non-conformist medical genuis who arguably was centuries ahead of his time, but also an egomaniac, drunk, alchemist and self-described "Prince of Philosophy and Medicine" and "Monarch of all the Arts"
Feeling chest pains? Maybe it's that gun in your pocket! Physicians For Social Responsibility want all doctors to screen patients for gun ownership, ostensibly so that they can warn them about the physical hazards said ownership can cause. Hmmm...doctors don't do that for toasters, trampolines, hammers, paper, and other things that can harm you. I'm no gun lover - don't own one, never will, but this smacks of political agenda.