Washington Post on the on-call specialist shortage

Per the WaPo:

washingtonpost.comHospital emergency departments across the United States, already struggling with overcrowding and growing patient loads, are increasingly unable to find specialists to help treat seriously injured and ill patients, according to medical experts.

Crucial minutes, hours and even days can go by as patients suffering from trauma, strokes, broken bones and other maladies await evaluations by neurologists, orthopedic surgeons and other specialists because hospitals are having difficulty getting them to serve 24-hour emergency “on-call” shifts.

“It can mean death,” said Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a practicing emergency department doctor in California. “Patients have died in transport, or waiting to find a neurosurgeon, or getting to a heart center for a cardiologist.”

It means a lot of transfers, if a specialist can be found.  We’re getting more and more transfers as outlying hospitals have more and more trouble getting specialists to be on call for ED patients.

MedGadget Medical Weblog Awards: Nomination Phase

It’s time for the 2007 MedBlog Awards, again being hosted by the outstanding MedGadget!

The 2006 Medical Blog Awards
The categories are:

  • Best Medical Weblog
  • Best New Medical Weblog (est. 2007)
  • Best Literary Medical Weblog
  • Best Clinical Sciences Weblog
  • Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog
  • Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog
  • Best Patient Blog

There’s plenty of room for blog nomination, so nominate your favorite! (Except me: As the inaugural winner and having been a judge in the past I’m self-excluding).

The current nominees are excellent, and I’d encourage you to participate!