Sure, doctors are supposed to be objective and to provide an equally high standard of care for everyone. But according to recent research out of Johns Hopkins, most physicians have favorites among their patients.
Ugh: so after an Allegany County doctor sexually assaulted a patient, the state Board of Physicians looked into the guy. And found that he had been convicted of breaking into a woman’s home and raping her at gunpoint. (That article is an extremely troubling example of how powerful men are allowed to keep committing sexual assault, by the way. In sentencing William Dando to less time than guidelines recommended, the judge expressed sympathy for his position, and agreed that he was unlikely to reoffend… Yeah.) So how did he get a medical license? Because Maryland doesn’t do background checks before allowing doctors to practice in the state.
Forget the high pay, societal admiration, and life-saving: Being a doctor is actually “a miserable and humiliating undertaking,” according to a recent Daily Beast article. So miserable, in fact, that medicine was recently ranked the second-most suicidal occupation (after marine engineers — who knew?!). But are physicians really that unhappy?
Let’s say you’re a doctor with a drug problem… and a sleeping with patients problem… and maybe also a photographing patients problem, too. You might worry that these problems could have a negative impact on your business — but never fear! Just buy some space in Baltimore Magazine’s “Top Doctors'” issue, and everyone will forget all about those unpleasantries. Right? RIGHT?
Today, graduating medical students throughout the nation will find out where they will go for their residency to launch their careers. For a lot of med school students around the country — and especially in Baltimore where we have some pretty high-powered med students — it is a day full of joy and anticipation.
Has your doctor diagnosed you as obese? It might depend on the number he or she saw when stepping on the scale this morning. According to a recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, physicians who are overweight or obese are less likely to discuss weight loss — or to diagnose patients as obese — than their normal-weight counterparts. The study also found that normal-weight doctors were more confident in giving advice about diet and exercise, while obese doctors preferred to discuss weight loss medications. Even though national guidelines for the treatment of obesity exist, other studies have found that two-thirds of obese patients don’t get diagnosed or get counseling from their doctors.
Quick, imagine what the U.S.’s next terrorist attack will look like. Odds are, you pictured a big city under threat from international agents. That’s in part because since 1970, nearly a third of terrorist attacks have taken place in five major cities: New York (343 attacks), Los Angeles (156), Miami (103), San Francisco (99), and Washington (79). But, according to a new study by the University of Maryland, more rural counties have also emerged as “hot spots” of terrorism. Per the study’s terms, a terrorism “hot spot” is any county that’s had more than six attacks from 1970 to 2008. And many of these attacks — such as those in Maricopa County, Arizona — were the work of domestic groups. “Despite the clustering of attacks in certain regions, it is also clear that hot spots are dispersed throughout the country and include places as geographically diverse as counties in Arizona, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Texas,” note Gary LaFree, professor of criminology at UM. Most places that saw multiple attacks were under threat from groups with the same motivation — for example, the Bronx experienced only extreme left-wing terrorism, while Texas’s Lubbock County had the opposite result — attacks from only the extreme right-wing.
Health care reform and cuts to Medicaid and Medicare have really hit — wait for it — doctors hard. Physicians are probably not the first people you think of struggling from cuts to social programs, but with a little imagination it’s not hard to see how their practices could be adversely affected.
The major issue is that Medicare and Medicaid have been paying out less in reimbursements to physicians. A large percentage of physicians say they lose money treating patients on Medicare or Medicaid, and 40 percent plan to “drop out of patient care in [the] next one to three years in response to reform.” It’s already caused many doctors to either restrict the number of Medicare/Medicaid patients they accept or sell their practices.
What does a less profitable medical profession mean for us here in Hopkinsville, I mean, Baltimore?