Docs’ Bad Behavior Seen at Work, Online by Colleagues: Survey

It seems that everyone’s nerves are on the edge right now, and people are often behaving in surprising ways. Physicians are no exception. “The days of surgeons throwing retractors across the OR and screaming at nurses and medical students are hopefully gone now,” said Barron Lerner, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at New York University … Read more

Police Often Called for Emergency Mental Health Transfers

University health clinics in Ontario, Canada frequently enlist law enforcement to accompany students during transfers to mental health facilities, a new study finds. Physicians fear that this practice is harmful. At some clinics, the police routinely handcuff students during the trip to the hospital. “The people we interviewed were all on the same page, but … Read more

Prosecutors Must Prove Ill Intent in ‘Pill Mill’ Cases

In an unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court set aside the convictions of two physicians accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act (1970) and running “pill mills.” The cases were sent back to their respective jurisdictions to be reheard in order to consider whether the juries were properly instructed. If they were not, said the … Read more

A Psychiatric Patient Confesses to Murder: Now What?

NEW ORLEANS – The patient, a 60-year-old woman who’d just tried to kill herself by overdosing on gabapentin, felt the need to make a confession. As she told a resident psychiatrist late one night at a Philadelphia crisis response center, she’d just murdered two people and buried them in her backyard. More details kept coming, … Read more

Psychiatrist’s License Revoked After Alleged Sexual Assaults

The Osteopathic Medical Board of California has revoked a psychiatrist’s license because it found that he sexually assaulted two patients after giving them ketamine and that he had an affair with the sister of another patient. In its decision, the board stated that the psychiatrist, Cuyler Burns Goodwin, DO, committed gross negligence, violated ethical standards, … Read more

Brain Implant Allows Fully Paralyzed Patient to Communicate

An experimental brain-computer interface has allowed a man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who was unable to speak or move to communicate. Using a commercially available implant and newly designed software, the patient, who was in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease and unable to move his eyes, was able to interact with researchers … Read more

Will Physician Intent Matter in SCOTUS Pill Mill Cases?

Legal experts are divided on whether the US Supreme Court’s eventual decision on the cases of two physicians convicted for illegal opioid distribution will have precedent-setting implications for medicine. Attorneys for Xiulu Ruan, MD, and Shakeel Kahn, MD, both pain management specialists, argued — along with some medical organizations, business groups, and law professors, through … Read more

12 Physicians Sentenced in Illegal Opioid, Billing Fraud Scheme

Twelve physicians in Michigan and Ohio were to prison because of their involvement in distributing 6.6 million opioid pills, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The defendants’ activities also resulted in more than $250 million in false billings. “It is unconscionable that doctors and healthcare professionals would violate their oath to do no … Read more

Debate Heats Up on How Best to Treat Gender-Questioning Kids

The past week has seen heated debate about the complex issue of how to best treat children with gender dysphoria, with further developments in a number of US states as well as in Sweden and France. In the United States, more states have moved to prevent the use of any medical treatment, such as puberty … Read more

Former Physician Sentenced to 20 Years in Pill Mill Case

A former pain medicine physician received a sentence of 20 years in prison for selling opioids and writing prescriptions for patients who were abusing or diverting the medications. Patrick Titus, 58, operated Lighthouse Internal Medicine in Milford, Delaware, from 2005 to 2014. Federal prosecutors said Titus unlawfully distributed or dispensed opioids including fentanyl, morphine, methadone, … Read more