Doctor has part of finger bitten off by patient

Allegedly for “not writing a prescription”…

Dr. Paul Arnold turned his back for a moment on a patient who was upset because the doctor wouldn’t write him a prescription.

That’s when the patient, Gregory S. Powell, 45, of Fort Myers, allegedly attacked Arnold, 65, biting off part of one of the doctor’s fingers.

As my tipster says “…probably wasn’t about refusing an amoxicillin script…”.

In custody; no word on the doc, and best wishes. 


Thanks to Glenn (a true homie) for the tip.

Going Postal: from the Comments

One of the joys of having a blog with 10 readers is that a bunch of them actually add content.  From the comments to this post (about the Collier Township, PA mass shooting) by CHenry:

Sadly a recurring pattern of tragedy. A mentally ill person: depressed, angry, frustrated and paranoid, socially isolated largely due to the behavioral features of his disordered personality (I say “his” particularly because it is true, most of these mass-killer-suicides are men) and then some event that triggers the lethal cataclysm of violence. It doesn’t even have to be something most people would think would trigger someone to break, maybe the failure of a brief relationship, or something more significant like a job loss.

U. Texas at Austin, Port Arthur, Tasmania, San Ysidro, California, Ecole Polytechnique, Quebec, Kileen, Texas, Dunblane, Scotland, Virginia Tech. All very similar, and there have been many more.

The gun control activists point to the weapons of choice. They have a point: semiautomatic firearms give an assailant a huge advantage of speed in making a body count when turned on unarmed and trapped victims. But even in places where gun ownership is tightly controlled, those with the determination to kill have found weapons of their choice.

We live in a society where it is startlingly easy to be alienated and alone, even in a crowd. For whatever reasons, the ties that bind us to one another, community, family, church, friendship and work are much more tenuous than ever before. People with thought disorders and violent tendencies have probably never been freer, both of the laws that once gave a society powers to confine them and of the observation and social controls that a world of smaller communities once imposed on their behaviors.

The lonely berserk stranger, hell-bent on wreaking as much destruction as possible before his own destruction has become the dark meme of modern living. Going postal.

I don’t see a practical answer to this problem.  Good comment.

How to ameliorate flu panic

Flu developments | Fort Worth |
Only a fraction of the nearly 2,500 nasal swabs sent to the state health department lab have been tested. The Austin lab had tested 181 of the 2,492 nasal swabs received from counties around the state by Friday. The lab’s single testing machine was overwhelmed Wednesday.

Don’t test the swabs. Then the count doesn’t go up when everybody’s twitchy.

Emergency Physicians Monthly – Swine Flu Update: April 28

I know you’re already tired of hearing about it, but:

Emergency Physicians Monthly – Swine Flu Update: April 28

They’re have a nice Informational about ‘Swine Flu’ and a good Q&A in the comments.

Merck made a US Doctor hit list

This came out in the Australian version of the Vioxx suits:

Article from:  The Australian

AN international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be "neutralised" or discredited because they criticised the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced.

Staff at US company Merck &Co emailed each other about the list of doctors – mainly researchers and academics – who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action.

The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words "neutralise", "neutralised" or "discredit" against some of the doctors’ names.

Don’t be evil.  It’s not just a Google slogan.

via Slashdot

W.C. Varone on gold, guns, and food | Les Jones

W.C. Varone on gold, guns, and food | Les Jones
“The thing about being a survivalist kook and stockpiling gold, guns, and food is that there’s no downside. Even if you’re wrong, you’ve still got gold, guns, and food.”
– W.C. Versone


via Instapundit.

Chimp attack 911 call: ‘He’s ripping her apart’ –

Chimp attack 911 call: ‘He’s ripping her apart’ –
…Conklin said the chimp had been acting “rambunctious” earlier, prompting Herold to put Xanax in a cup of tea for him to drink. He did not know if the animal had been prescribed the medicine or if Herold had ever given her pet such a mixture before.

I wonder if chimps get disinhibited with benzos like little kids.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a child given just enough Versed to lose their inhibitions and be wide awake, and insane.

Google shoots…and misses.

Google did a Veterans’ day logo (finally) and they left off the Coast Guard.

They did fix it, though:


There are five services.  Happy (belated) Veterans’ Day!

(I screwed up, and changed the first post I did on this).

Los Angeles Times: Doctors talk shop on medical blogs

Yrs. Trly, KevinMD, OBGynKenobi and Notes from Dr RW are all mentioned.  I’ll disagree mildly (I think it’s more complicated than that) with the last sentence, but the reast is pretty good.

Los Angeles Times: Doctors talk shop on medical blogs

Web posts offer insight into the profession, but also raise patient privacy issues.
By Melissa Healy
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 4, 2008

For physicians of a certain age, the weekly teaching session known as grand rounds is a ritual steeped in formality and tradition. Presided over by the profession’s graybeards, grand rounds are attended with white coats on and clinical details in hand.

Here, young physicians learn to accept their elders’ old-school admonishments with reverence and humility.

Grand rounds on the Internet, however, is another thing altogether. A weekly compilation of the Internet’s best medical blog postings, it is part classroom, part locker room, part group therapy session and part office party — a free-wheeling collection of rants, shop talk, case studies and learned commentary along with the occasional recipe, movie review or vacation slide show…

I’m always interested that I sound a little smarter in interviews than I do in actuality.  That’s a good thing.


Doctors worried by Supreme Court gun ruling | U.S. | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a strict gun control law in the U.S. capital will lead to more deaths and accidental injuries, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine said on Wednesday.

They joined a growing clamor from medical doctors, especially emergency room physicians, who fear a surge of accidental deaths, murders and suicides if handguns become more easily available than they already are.

Huh?  I’m on the email lists for the two major EM organizations, and none of them have said a word about it.  Oh, there’s one quote from one EM doc at the end of their article (and the NEJM, which has always been for gun control is quoted, again shockingly still for gun control) but there’s been no “increasing clamor” from EM docs about this.

Another reporter writing what they want, despite the facts.

HPSP now a LOT more lucrative

That’s a much better deal than I got…

Military sweetens the deal to entice medical students

A beefed-up scholarship program now offers a $20,000 signing bonus as well as full tuition and an increased monthly stipend.

By Myrle Croasdale, AMNews staff. July 7,

Katie Doyle could have borrowed $200,000 to get through medical school. Instead, when she enters Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this fall, she won’t borrow a dime.

Doyle accepted a military scholarship that will pay her tuition, books and other school fees. A monthly stipend will cover living expenses. The scholarship, called the Health Professions Scholarship Program, or HPSP, also comes with a new $20,000 signing bonus.

…, Congress authorized the three branches to bolster their recruitment packages, resulting in the $20,000 bonus, along with a $300 hike in the scholarship’s monthly stipend, which is now $1,900. The money comes from military appropriations earmarked for medical corps recruitment. In 2007, the Air Force recruited 211 medical school students; the Army, 242; and the Navy, which also recruits for the Marines, 181.

That’s got to be a BIG shortfall for the Navy.  My Intern class in San Diego had over 100, and that was only one of two big NAVHOPS’s, with several smaller facilities.  Thus, the enticements.

A reminder: the Navy HPSP Wki

Health Blog : Tim Russert: One of a Kind; One of 300,000

Health Blog : Tim Russert: One of a Kind; One of 300,000

Prediman K. Shah, director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, says it was a classic episode, the way 80% of cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur. He wasn’t impressed with the report of Russert’s recent successful treadmill test. Even if a test is normal, “You can still have plaque and be at risk,” he tells us. It wasn’t clear whether Russert had been taking a cholesterol-lowering statin, but even if his LDL or bad cholesterol was under control, that wouldn’t assure protection against a heart attack.

“Statins do stabilize plaque (and thus reduce chances of rupture), but they haven’t eliminated every heart attack or sudden death,” Shah says. “We have to look for other means.”

Bring on the coronary CT’s please.

Japan Steadily Becoming a Land Of Few Children –

Demography is destiny:

Japan Steadily Becoming a Land Of Few Children –

The number of children has declined for 27 consecutive years, a government report said over the weekend. Japan now has fewer children who are 14 or younger than at any time since 1908.

The proportion of children in the population fell to an all-time low of 13.5 percent. That number has been falling for 34 straight years and is the lowest among 31 major countries, according to the report. In the United States, children account for about 20 percent of the population.

European and Japanese non-immigrant populations have fallen well below replacement, and that means they’ll be substantially different in 20-30 years.

Fort Worth Star Telegram eviscerates JPS Hospital System

IStar-Telegram.comt is a SIX part series, and the first two installments are so bad it’s worse than a car wreck: you know a car wreck eventually ends.

At a certain point it’s just piling on. There are deficiencies highlighted herein that any hospital would be guilty of, and it’s painful to read. Yet it has to be read.

Isn’t this the press King-Drew got before the curtain fell?

For the record, it’s not my hospital system (but I feel a little, just a little, of their pain).

Dr. Val interviews the Surgeon General

Revolution Health LogoDr. Val is showing the power of blogs (well, the power of professionally done blogs) by getting a one on one interview with the Surgeon General.  Read her post for the interview, but here’s the part that I enjoyed the most:

(Dr. Carmona):….The American public wants the best of everything, they want it yesterday, and they don’t want to pay for it. That pretty much characterizes the problem that we have. We see health as a right, we want somebody to give us a card, and if we want to smoke, that’s our right too. There’s this attitude that if we want to drink excessively, that’s our right, and if we want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, that’s our right (“you can’t tell us what to do”). However, when I crash my motorcycle and I have a head injury and I’m disabled for life, I also expect society to pay for that.

Heh.  I believe I’ve said something like that myself.