Physicians are now receiving nearly $200 million in payments as a result of a record-breaking settlement reached last January in a historic court challenge led by the American Medical Association against UnitedHealth Group. Under the settlement’s terms, UnitedHealth is paying $350 million to help compensate patients and physicians for 15 years of artificially low payments for out-of-network services.

altThe FDA-approved drug dabigatran is being marketed as a safe alternative to Coumadin. But without a proven reversal agent available, it has the potential to create a new set of complications, and send unsuspecting patients right back to the ED.

I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, curious, but also somewhat apprehensive about being a woman in Saudi Arabia. The reason for my visit was the ‘2nd Up to Date Emergency Medicine Practice’ conference, sponsored by the King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh.

The emergency department (ED) is not an ideal place for patients with depression to seek help. Waiting times, busy staff, and a greater likelihood of a fleeting interaction with a physician coincide with the reality that many emergency physicians do not receive training for depression screening.

In a recent emergency medicine listserv exchange several posters commented on the widespread abuse of emergency physicians made possible by their lack of due process “rights.” Perfectly innocent emergency physicians, nay even model citizens it was alleged, had been terminated on the spot purely on the whim of some grumpy hospital administrator with not a word of protest from the contract management group.

titleAbdominal pain is one of the most frequent complaints that present to the emergency department. With every physical examination of the abdomen we note if there is pain in the right lower quadrant (RLQ) over that most famous of landmarks, McBurney’s point.

At the ACEP Scientific Assembly this year, I spoke to a group of physician assistants and advanced practice nurses. I gained many insights into the uniqueness of their role and their place in Emergency Medicine.  The first thing I learned was that terminology is evolving as their training and scope of practice is evolving.

altIn 2010, Rep. Joe Heck became the first emergency physician (and first osteopathic physician) elected to the US Congress. In addition to his emergency physician skills, Rep. Heck brought to Washington a unique skill set developed through years of military and specialized medical operations experience.

For the third time this week Ms. A, a 49 year old with a history of alcohol dependence and untreated bipolar disorder presents to your emergency department (ED) for suicidal ideations. Of course it is Friday night, or rather, Saturday morning, your department is over capacity and Ms. A is being uncooperative with both the triage nurse and the security staff attempting to maintain order.

altDecompression Sickness (DCS) is a condition caused by the change in absorbed gas volume upon depressurization that releases gas bubbles into tissue and vasculature (1). This process can occur in divers who quickly arise from depth or who perform repetitive dives. The most common presentation of DCS in shallow dives is referred to as DCS Type 1 and is characterized by localized deep joint pain.

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