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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Health Care Reform Summit: ‘Breaking News’ or a TV Rerun?

 Tinkerbell in Bronze I never thought I would have a chance to watch the health care reform summit on live TV this past Thursday. Fate took a U-turn. I didn’t expect to be in a New Jersey blizzard on Thursday morning. I was scheduled to be in the ICU performing an endoscopy examination of the stomach on a patient who I had seen in the emergency room a day before with intestinal bleeding. The plan was to fly to New Jersey on Thursday evening so that we could witness the milestone event of my brother being sworn in as a Superior Court Judge in on Friday afternoon. No human plan, however, can prevail against an Act of God. A torrential blizzard was descending upon the east coast and was threatening to postpone the event that was the result of years of my brother’s work and hopes. Unlike his anonymous gastroenterologist blogging brother, Robert has a deep network of judicial and political luminaries, developed over a career in the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Off

Whistleblower Grand Rounds Vol. 6 No. 22: It’s ‘Alimentary’, Doctors!

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a conventional medical Grand Rounds. These were events where a medical luminary would fly in to give a medical audience a state-of-the-art presentation on a medical subject. Ideally, the speaker was a thought leader and a researcher on the issue. These presentations were usually not a demonstration of the virtue of humility. We physicians, as a class, have generous egos. Academic physicians occupy a higher rung on the ego ladder. Medical Grand Rounders (MGRs), who are on the GR speaking circuit, often must bring their own ladders to assure they will be able to reach their desired atmospheric height. Jacob’s Ladder Photo Credit At least in the old days, before the GR speaker would assume his position behind the rostrum, a designated pre-speaker would offer an introduction. The audience would hear a list of awards, achievements, journal editorial positions, department chairmanships, honorary degrees, publications and book chapter authorships,

Where's My Whistleblower?

This week, there is no formal Whistleblower post. I am sorry to disappoint the tens of thousands of readers who race to this site each Sunday morning for a weekly dose of amusement seasoned with satire. Did I develop  blogger’s block? Hardly. There is more stuff to write about than any blogger has time to write. I am honored to serve as the host of this week’s Grand Rounds, which will appear on this site on Tuesday, February 23rd. I have been occupied sorting through the many fine submissions I have received this week.  It's been fun getting acquainted with blogs and bloggers that had been outside of my personal blogoverse. For those procrastinators who still wish to submit a post, please note that the deadline is noon today. If you miss the deadline, and you grovel sufficiently, then I will likely grant you an extension. Instructions for submitting posts can be found on the last Whistleblower . As for today, brew the coffee, crack open the New York Times and watch the Sunday

The Health Care Reform Summit: A One Act Play

Whistleblower Grand Rounds Submissions! Whistleblower will be hosting Grand Rounds on February 23rd.  All submissions are welcome. Here are some tips to maximize your chances of acceptance, which will guarantee that your blog posting will receive worldwide exposure. Send your posts to Write Grand Rounds in the subject line. Include the URL of the post in the email message. If you do not receive an email confirmation, then I did not receive it. Remember, brevity is the soul of wit.  If you are torn between 2 of your masterpieces, please send me the shorter one. Please include a sentence in the email expressing the point of your post.  This is your opportunity to  wield your razor sharp wit. DEADLINE for submission is Sunday, February 21st at noon.  Earlier submissions are preferred. Please send your stuff at your earliest convenience. In other words, now is not too soon. Now, on to this week's Whistleblower. How many times have we all been issued th

The Fee-for-Service Follies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Part II

As detailed in Part I , FFS or Salaried Medicine, I was a salaried gastroenterologist for 10 years. I resigned, but not in search of the fee-for-service (FFS) cornucopia. The multispecialty group (MSG) that employed me had been purchased by one of Cleveland's medical behemoths a few years before I signed on. After happily practicing gastroenterology (GI) for several years, the corporate owner emerged from the background and forcefully exercised its ownership rights. The business edicts they issued conflicted with our professional mission to advocate and care for live human patients. For example, the community hospital that we had served for half a century was now verboten. This meant that our elderly patients who lived near this hospital, and had been treated there for their whole lives, now had to be hospitalized downtown, if they wanted us to be their physicians. You get the idea. While I acknowledge that these decisions promoted the corporation’s health, they jeopardized our p