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Everybody has worked with a jerk. Someone who steals credit for your work. Someone who berates their employees behind closed doors but turns on the smiles for the executives. Someone who is loathe to admit a mistake.

When that jerk is a physician, the consequences are steeper than bruised egos or misbegotten bonus pay. Patients can end up with the wrong medication. Surgery can be performed on the wrong organ. Someone who had an excellent chance at surviving a disease can be dead in seconds.

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As Americans struggle with the aftermath of the health care reform bill, and try to determine exactly what it means for themselves and their families, the homeless population is often ignored. Most assume that homeless Americans get free medical care, but that is not necessarily the case. Even those who do have government-sponsored health care are forced to make difficult choices when health must compete with food, shelter, and transportation. This ongoing series of stories will detail the plight of the 'sick and homeless' in Riverside, California.

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Luckily for Dr. Dan Stephen Hollis, an Alabama ophthalmologist, medical boards rarely see selling drugs over the Internet in the same way that police officers see selling drugs in the street.

 

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We have a guest post today from Felice Freyer, veteran medical writer for the Providence Journal, member of the Association of Health Care Journalists Board of Directors and chair of AHCJ's Right to Know Committee.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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Public Citizen put together an important report in May that was mostly missed by the press (including me).

It's a comprehensive and critical investigation of The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act 19 years ago, ostensibly to protect patients from rogue doctors.

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Timothy C. Rickard is a professor of psychology at UCSD. He researches numerical cognition, memory, memory and attention, human memory and performance, expertise, skill acquisition and transfer. His current projects explore the changes in cognitive processing and representation that occur with practice, memory impairment in patients with damage to the medial temporal lobe, the role of attention in memory retrieval, and the cognitive and neurological structures involved in numerical cognition.

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Dr. Herman A. Taylor Jr. is director and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study, the largest-ever, population-based study of heart disease and related disorders among African-Americans. In his capacity as director of the Mississippi-based study since 1998, he holds appointments at Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He also holds the medical center's Aaron Shirley Chair for the Study of Health Disparities.

Announcements

U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.

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