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Archives for October 2011

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Engage with independent insights, opinions, and analysis from an array of leaders in cardiology.
Avatar of Westby G Fisher, MD

Joining the Fishbowl (28 Oct 2011)

Westby G Fisher, MD

With practice consolidation, your competitors become your colleagues. Do you trust each other? And where should dissatisfied patients turn?

Avatar of John E Brush, MD

The Art of Arriving at a Diagnosis (27 Oct 2011)

John E Brush, MD

A 55-year-old man came to the emergency room complaining of aching chest pain radiating to the back. The pain had started the day before and recurred several times. It seemed to worsen with exertion and resolve with rest. One resting episode was associated with diaphoresis. Exam, EKG, and cardiac enzymes were normal. A portable chest X-ray showed a slightly widened mediastinum. The ER resident ordered a CT scan of the chest, and the preliminary report was negative for aortic dissection but showed a small pericardial effusion. The patient was placed… Continue Reading

Avatar of Christopher Seymour, MBA

National Lipid Association Responds to Coverage of Its Statement on Biomarkers (17 Oct 2011)

Christopher Seymour, MBA

Editor’s Note: This contribution from Christopher R. Seymour, Executive Director of the National Lipid Association, is a response to Larry Husten’s October 13 blog post titled “National Lipid Association Expert Panel Has Many Deep Ties to Industry.” On behalf of the National Lipid Association (NLA), I want to address your inquiry regarding the paper titled “Clinical Utility of Inflammatory Markers and Advanced Lipoprotein Testing: Advice from an Expert Panel of Lipid Specialists.” To begin, this paper is not a guideline. Rather, it is a statement to the NLA membership. Our… Continue Reading

Avatar of Steve DeMaio, MA, MSEd

My Doctor Is a Technophobe (17 Oct 2011)

Steve DeMaio, MA, MSEd

What one patient witnessed when he observed his physicians trying to interact with their electronic medical records systems

Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

National Lipid Association Expert Panel Has Many Deep Ties To Industry (13 Oct 2011)

Larry Husten, PhD

[Editor's note: see here for a reply post to this news story by Chrstopher Seymour, MBA, Executive Director of the National Lipid Association]. An “expert panel” assembled by the National Lipid Association (NLA) is recommending a dramatic expansion in the use of new biomarkers for the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease. The recommendations, if widely adopted, would significantly increase not just the use of these diagnostic tests but also lead to much greater use of lipid-lowering drugs. But every member of the panel  has extensive ties to industry, and the… Continue Reading

Avatar of Westby G Fisher, MD

The Vagaries of Atrial Fibrillation (10 Oct 2011)

Westby G Fisher, MD

Dr. Wes explores the features of a “full-disclosure” patch heart monitor that doesn’t seem to miss asymptomatic arrhythmias.

Avatar of John E Brush, MD

Does Intuition Lead to Bad Medical Decisions? (5 Oct 2011)

John E Brush, MD

Discussing how medical practitioners use intuition and cognitive shortcuts (heuristics) to make decisions can elicit strong reactions. Some people heartily agree that reflecting on their use is informative and helpful; others believe that to entertain this topic is to condone sloppy thinking and to renounce rationality and hard science. These critics are concerned that heuristic shortcuts are quick and dirty, favoring speed over accuracy. But research in cognitive psychology suggests otherwise. Take, for example, a study in which Dawes and Corrigan compared the accuracy of the tallying heuristic (discussed in… Continue Reading