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Low-Cost 3D-Printed Stethoscope for Low-Resource Areas

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario, aka Western University, have developed a 3D-printed stethoscope. The device costs just $3 to produce and takes less than three hours to print, but maintains the acoustic quality of more expensive stethoscopes. The researchers hope that the device could be useful in low-resource settings, where medical equipment is […]

The public’s unrealistic expectations about CPR

A survey of 1,000 volunteer adults found 71% regularly watched medical television dramas, but only 12% said the shows “were a reliable source of health information.” The participants were given some brief vignettes describing scenarios where CPR was administered: a 54-year-old who suffered a heart attack at home and received CPR by paramedics, an 80-year-old […]

Communication skills: a tale of 2 doctors

There are two doctors working at the local hospital. They are both around the same age, been in practice for several years, and in the same specialty. Dr. Cooper grew up in Ohio and went to medical school in California, before moving to New York after his residency training. Dr. Steele grew up in Michigan, […]

Accurate Cuff-less Blood Pressure Measurement on a Smartphone

Blood pressure is a critical vital sign and patients, particularly those with cardiovascular conditions, are often directed to take readings on their own on a regular basis. Of course too few of them do as prescribed, and the lack of motivation has a lot to do with the fact that blood pressure measurement devices tend […]

aerSleep System for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Interview)

TTP Ventus, UK-based developer of Disc Pump, a tiny, quiet, and very efficient pump, and Sommetrics, US-based creator of aerSleep negative-pressure treatment system for obstructive sleep apnea, teamed up to develop the slimmed-down tetherless aerSleep system. Show More Summary

What to do if you have huge student loan debt

Q. Where do I start? I have a huge student loan debt and don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay it off. I am a physician assistant, and my partner is a physical therapist. We’re about two years out of school. I have only recently started to try and figure out how to be smart […]

ACUSON Bonsai, a Powerful Cardio Ultrasound in a Small, Portable Package

At the just concluded American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session and Expo, Siemens Healthineers introduced its new ACUSON Bonsai portable cardiovascular ultrasound. The company touts the system’s powerful cardioShow More Summary

Intern year is still universally hard. Intern year is also universally great.

4:00 p.m. Right on time. I am walking down the street with my brother on his first visit to me in residency; I’m only two weeks in. I turn to him: “Wait a second.” I place my hand on the cement wall next to us, and I start to heave. “Um … are you OK?” […]

Antidepressants really do work after all

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } The narrative for he last decade was that they didn’t, and that their use was a pharma conspiracy. Nice post at SBM. (Oh, but wait! One of he authors of the primary source is John Ioannidis! Does hat make this paper one of the few research reports that’s actually true?).

Interview with Devyn Smith PhD, COO of Sigilon Therapeutics

Sigilon Therapeutics is a Cambridge, MA-based biotech company developing innovative therapeutics by encapsulating cells in a novel coating that renders them invisible to the immune system. The engineered cells contained in the company’s...Show More Summary

The AHRQ is in the line of fire. Here’s why you should care.

For the past 30 years, a little-known U.S. health agency has supported and produced volumes of groundbreaking research on how to make health care safer, less wasteful, and more effective. Dubbed “the little federal agency that could,” AHRQ has accomplished this feat with a small fraction of the budgets of its higher-profile cousins, the Centers for Disease […]


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When medical coders blame physicians

An interesting paper in CMAJ Open reports on a series of interviews with coders concerning their perceptions of their interactions with doctors. The study was done in Canada, but it rings true to what we experience in the U.S. The fundamental objective of coding is the same: to translate information about the patient’s story into a series of numeric ICD-10 […]

May-Thurner syndrome

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The master clinician’s approach

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } Definitely worth the read.

Match Day: the perfect ending to the medical school experience

The first week of medical school you became a new person.  Assigned a cadaver and some partners in your first anatomy lab, the gravity of the endeavor struck you to your core as you slowly unzipped the cadaver bag for the first time and met “Ernie” (as you later named him) and wondered how he […]

Male and female resident evaluations in emergency medicine

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } From JAMA Internal Medicine: Importance Although implicit bias in medical training has long been suspected, it has been difficult to study using objective measures, and the influence of sex and gender in the evaluation of medical trainees is unknown. The emergency medicine (EM) milestones provide a standardized

When your first food allergy reaction takes place in the air

Can you imagine flying home from a family vacation and having a first-time anaphylactic reaction in the air? Did you know that airlines are not required to stock their planes with easy-to-use auto-injectors that any adult or child could operate? Francine’s family was flying back home from vacation on American Airlines. Her 10-year-old son, who had […]

Magnesium levels in critically ill patients: another case of less is more?

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } From the green journal: Methods A consecutive 8498 patients admitted to the Mayo Clinic Hospital—Rochester cardiac care unit (CCU) from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2013 with 2 or more documented serum magnesium levels, were studied to test the hypothesis that serum magnesium levels are associated with

CMAJ Open editorial disguised as research

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } There was an interesting paper in the CMAJ Open that looked at the relationship between drug company promotional spending and therapeutic impact of various drugs. So let’s dive right in. Here is the abstract: Background: Whether drug promotion helps or hinders appropriate prescribing by physicians is

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