Widespread And Growing Trend Of Physician Burnout Putting Patients’ Safety At Risk
The consequences of the burnout can range from medical errors and high mortality rates of hospitalized patients to lower medical knowledge and impaired professionalism. In other public health news: cholesterol-lowering drugs, knee replacements, an ad campaign for condoms, the bird flu and more.
Patients At Risk As “Burnout” Among Physicians Increases
Doctors across the country are facing high rates of stress and burnout — a dangerous trend for doctors and patients that is now a hot topic in the medical profession... “Four hundred U.S. physicians take their own lives every year,” Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards, told an audience Thursday at the federation’s annual meeting. (Teegardin, 4/22)
The Washington Post:
Many People Stop Taking Life-Saving Drugs After Heart Attacks
Within two years of having a heart attack, nearly 1 in 5 people stop taking lifesaving cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, according to a new study. And nearly 2 in 5 end up taking the drugs in lower doses or less often than they should, researchers report in JAMA Cardiology. “From a societal perspective, we need to make sure the highest-risk individuals are being treated with guideline-directed therapy,” said senior author Robert Rosenson, a professor of cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. (Seaman, 4/23)
As Orthopedic Procedures Rise, Surgeons Debate 'Necessity'
Dr. Bart Ferket’s study of knee replacements begins with a few eye-popping facts. Since 2000, the annual rate of that surgery has more than doubled in the United States. More than 640,000 are now performed each year, at a cost of more than $10 billion. But in some cases, Ferket found, the patients receiving them had relatively mild symptoms, and derived limited physical benefits. Published in BMJ, his study concluded that surgeries on such patients were “economically unjustifiable.” (Ross, 4/24)
The New York Times:
XOXO Campaign: Will It Spell Profit Or Trouble For Condom Maker?
It seemed like a sensible advertising strategy. When a company discovered that women accounted for less than one-third of the purchases of its products, it shifted direction to appeal more directly to them. But when the company is the largest condom seller in America, at a time of heightened divisiveness regarding reproductive rights and women’s health, the situation can get a little more complicated. (Schonburn, 4/23)
As Bird Flu Strengthens In China, Midwest Farmers Prepare For The Next Outbreak
Midwest farmers are warily watching as one strain of a highly contagious bird flu virus infects and kills humans in China and another less-worrying but still highly contagious strain infects a Tennessee poultry farm. Two years after a devastating bird flu outbreak in the Midwest, many farmers here say they now have a better idea of how to keep bird flu at bay. In January 2015, avian influenza, or bird flu, appeared in backyard flocks in Washington state. Within six months, the virus reached 15 states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Missouri. About 50 million birds died. (Gerlock, 4/24)
The Associated Press:
Doctor's Arrest Brings Attention To US Female Circumcisions
Zehra Patwa learned only a few years ago that during a family trip to India at age 7, she was circumcised, which is common for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Patwa, 46, doesn't remember undergoing the procedure, which is also called female genital mutilation or cutting and which has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S. But she doesn't want to. (4/23)
Kaiser Health News:
Going For $1 An Ounce: The Burgeoning Trade In Mothers’ Milk
Eryn Brown reports: "Increasing numbers of women who produce more breast milk than they need are handing it over — or selling it — for others to use. It’s a boon to fragile infants and mothers who can’t produce enough milk, but it also poses challenging ethical and public health questions." (Brown, 4/24)