Volume 16 - Issue 5 - May 2003

Feature »

Looking For Answers On The Malpractice Crisis

By Brian McCurdy, Associate Editor | 6625 reads | 0 comments

The scene has been played out at varying degrees throughout the country. Doctors are walking out of hospitals, practitioners are struggling to pay malpractice insurance premiums and juries are awarding millions of dollars to patients who have sued for malpractice. Many perceive a malpractice crisis is affecting the entire healthcare field and DPMs are among those who may feel the crunch.
Across the United States, doctors of several disciplines have found themselves unable to practice due to malpractice costs, leaving patients unable to access healthcare. Last year, the University of Nevada M



Feature »

How To Treat Bite Injuries

By Tamara D. Fishman, DPM | 15191 reads | 0 comments

As the warmer months emerge, people are more likely to tackle spring cleaning of cluttered areas, go outside without shoes and socks, and head to the beach for fun in the sun. Unfortunately, there is also an increased risk of lower-extremity bite injuries with these scenarios, whether the injuries are from dogs, insects, spiders or stingrays.
Let’s start out by taking a closer look at dog bite injuries. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite-related injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1979 to 1998,



Diabetes Watch »

What You Should Know About Using HBO In Diabetic Wounds

By Robert A. Warriner, III, MD, and Caroline E. Fife, MD | 11190 reads | 0 comments

Last month, Medicare began reimbursing for hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment as an adjunctive therapy for diabetic foot ulcers. After an exhaustive review of the literature, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) concluded that “HBO therapy is clinically effective and, thus, reasonable and necessary in the treatment of certain patients with limb-threatening diabetic wounds of the lower extremity.”
According to the CMS, patients must meet each of the following three criteria:
• the patient has type I or type II diabetes and has a lower extremity wound that is due to diabetes;



Diagnostic Dilemmas »

When A Blister Becomes An Ulcer: The Perils Of Insufficient Testing

By Babak Baravarian, DPM | 8460 reads | 0 comments

There is a great deal of satisfaction when our diabetic foot care team gets referrals for patients who were previously seen by doctors from surrounding regions and other nations. However, there is also a great deal of difficulty with poorly or improperly managed cases. In this diagnostic dilemma, I’d like to focus on one patient who was sent to us after one year of care by several doctors.
The patient in question is a 70-year-old male, who was previously seen by two podiatrists and an orthopedist. His initial complaint was a small blister plantar to the first metatarsal head of his left f



Editor's Perspective »

Looking For Justice In The Malpractice Arena

By Jeff Hall, Editor-in-Chief | 1689 reads | 0 comments

Would I want justice if I underwent an amputation procedure that was later deemed to be unnecessary? You bet. Do I think this kind of clinical situation happens on a routine basis? Hardly. However, you wouldn’t know it by the seemingly skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums being reported across the country.
Escalating jury verdicts seem to play a big role. A July 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) noted there was a 76 percent increase in the average jury malpractice award from 1996 to 1999. You have to wonder how many verdicts are being fueled m



Forum »

The Joy Of Making Mistakes Without Repercussions

By John H. McCord, DPM | 2280 reads | 0 comments

I am occasionally asked why I write this column. The answer is simple. Writing fulfills my need to engage in an activity where if I screw up and make mistakes, there are no dire consequences and nobody gets hurt. At times, I overstate an opinion and a fellow DPM gets mad but that doesn’t count.
There are aspects of my life in which it is more imperative to avoid mistakes. I’m a husband and father. I’m a doctor. I’m an instrument rated pilot. If I make mistakes in these roles, people can get hurt. I am responsible not to let mistakes occur and to pay the consequences if they do.
To ma



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