Dr. Frances Kelsey and Thalidomide: Standing up for evidence based medicine

Submitted by Farhan Asrar on August 12, 2012 - 17:03

July 24 marked Dr. Frances Kelsey’s 98th birthday. Dr. Kelsey is a true medical hero from North America who became a hero within her first month of working for the FDA in 1960.

Why I had to interrupt the Minister: Don't cut refugee health care

Submitted by Tarek Loubani on July 8, 2012 - 16:59

When Minister Diane Finley spoke in London on Thursday, I stood up and
interrupted her
in the name of my fellow physicians and our refugee
patients who have long been a staple in the practice of Canadian
medicine. Here's why.

Access to Abortion in Malawi

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on June 13, 2012 - 14:53

Since January, my Fellowship in Global Health & Vulnerable Populations has taken me to St. Gabriel's Hospital, a rural district hospital in Malawi. For the past two months, I’ve been tending to the bedside of patients in St. Gabriel’s Female Ward.

Health Providers for Refugee Care: National Day of Action June 18th

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on June 11, 2012 - 14:14

As my colleague pointed out here and here, the current federal government is going to be instituting major cuts to health services for refugees starting at the end of the month.

On June 18th, a broad alliance of physician's organizations accross Canada will be participating in public demonstrations of opposition to the cuts.

Why I'm cheering for the Québec protesters

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on May 31, 2012 - 20:57

Reading through some of the coverage pertaining to the ongoing tuition crisis in Québec, I've noticed certain people arguing vociferously against the students' demands. Let's call them "Team Race to the Bottom."

Health Provider Action & Media Coverage of IFHP Reform

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 20, 2012 - 02:53

The proposed Interim Federal Health Program cuts (discussed further here) have not only motivated individual physicians to action, but also mobilized groups of health providers nation wide.

Interim Federal Health, Bill C-31, Jason Kenney & Refugee Health – a Primer

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 20, 2012 - 02:38

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, has been a very busy man as of late. In less than five months, he has sought to redefine Canada’s threshold for asylum seekers and to tighten the handshake that welcomes them to their new home. For those in the medical community providing care for and advocating on behalf of refugee patients, these efforts have caused considerable consternation.

The Politics of Health

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 19, 2012 - 16:18
Topics: 

As the newest member of the Open Medicine blog team, you can expect posts from me that focus on the intersection of health and elected politics. If I had started posting some months ago, you might have seen stories on the 2014 health accord, the health scandals in Alberta/defection of Raj Sherman and the recent ICES report on primary health care reform in Ontario.

Drug-Pushing and Bribery at the American Academy of Neurology

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on May 14, 2012 - 23:08

I recently returned from a university-sponsored junket to New Orleans, where I attended the 2012 meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.  I learned a few things, met a few people of interest to me, and took a stroll or two through the displays in between sessions. In one (smaller) hall, there were daily displays of posters from academic institutions all over the world. In the larger hall (at the very back of which we were served a soggy and repetitive lunch), scenes like these were to be beheld:

Baseball Forbids Pay for Performance – A Lesson for Healthcare?

Submitted by Steven Lewis on May 10, 2012 - 15:21

Baseball has terrific and comprehensive performance data to which it pays assiduous attention, and an outcomes-based culture. Yet its collective agreement forbids pay-for-performance (P4P) based on players' reaching certain statistical performance targets, like number of home runs or stolen bases. Health care ignores far more data than it pays attention to, yet P4P has been touted in many organizations as the solution to problems of quality and efficiency. This despite the dearth of comprehensive, valid data that relate what a provider does to how well her patients do. This post explains what baseball understands about P4P and why what seems to be a good idea in theory is fraught with unintended consequences in practice.

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