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Maryland

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The Deamonte Driver Dental Project was real. It was here. Yet the job of bringing adequate dental care to the poor children of Prince George's County would not be a simple one. State and national public-health officials have been grappling with the same challenges: to educate both poor people and dentists; to address the historic breach between oral health care and the rest of health care; to confront the vast gaps in the dental public-health system.

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Although Doctors Behaving Badly tends to focus on exactly what you would expect, its mission is to make people aware of the many ways that patients are left unprotected.

There are nearly 1 million licensed, practicing physicians nationwide. Antidote has no ability to count how many are “behaving badly,” but it is safe to say that only a slim minority are tainting the reputation of the medical community. Doctors who abuse, injure or kill patients are the surrogate markers for an illness in the physician discipline system. They are not the illness.

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Medical boards from coast to coast are inconsistent, inefficient and ill equipped to monitor the hundreds of thousands of doctors licensed under their watch, Antidote’s investigation of every state board has found. There are some standouts, but, overall, they do a terrible job protecting patients and informing the public.

It bears repeating that most doctors do a great job and are focused on one thing: helping their patients heal and lead healthier lives. The mission of this tour was to explore what happens to that minority of doctors who don’t follow the rules.

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How did William Hamman, the United Airlines pilot who faked being a cardiologist, get away with it? By speaking with authority and knowing that nobody was going to bother to fact-check his résumé, including the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board.

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Andy Miller used his own money to launch the nonprofit website Georgia Health News last month. He's now in the midst of seeking foundation grants and donations. This week at Career GPS, Miller straightforwardly answers some questions about developing his new media venture.

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Today's Daily Briefing is a bit behind schedule but is all about pushing health and health care forward.

Politics: Politico's Glenn Thrush has a great lead here: "A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in."

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When Linda Marsa received a copy of the December issue of Discover magazine in the mail, she was thrilled. Her story about climate change and its effect on long forgotten diseases in America made the cover. Never mind that she has been a journalist for 30 years, Marsa finds health journalism as riveting now as when she first began. And she is still learning ways to be a better freelancer.

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Depending on whom you ask, AOL's Patch is either an innovative and well-intentioned new venture to infuse local news back into American communities, or it's "the Walmart of news," a $50 million behemoth set on invading communities and running local sites from corporate headquarters. But they are hiring, and hiring en masse.

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A recent press release from HealthGrades claims that some 232,442 Medicare patients’ lives could have been saved over a three-year period if all hospitals performed at the level of a HealthGrades five-star hospital. While this is a laudable premise, can it be true? Let’s see.

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Health reporters receive calls from people all the time who say they are experiencing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and, most recently, Morgellons, and they can’t get help.

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The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. In our next webinar, we'll explore the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people and their communities. Glean story ideas and crucial context. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

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