Stories We're Following this Week

News + Insights from Around the Web + The Patient's Playbook Bottom Line

You've Survived Cancer. Now What?

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“It is no longer enough to say, ‘Well, you’re alive.'"

—Thanks to biomedical advances, 14.5 million Americans are "living with a history of cancer."
But too few are receiving post-treatment guidance. (The Washington Post)

Bottom Line: Survivors of cancer face physical and psychological effects that can appear months or even years after treatment ends. Tailored lifestyle programs—ones that incorporate healthy diet and exercise habits—not only help cancer survivors feel better as they cope with changes, they may even help to prevent disease recurrence. 


Money Can't Buy A Doctor Happiness
(But Your Gratitude Goes a Long Way)

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"Money does not equal happiness"

—Relationships with patients and being good at their job are the two most rewarding aspects of medicine, so say the 19,200 physicians who responded to Medscape's annual compensation survey. (Medscape)

Bottom Line: As this fascinating snapshot notes, your PCP really likes you: "73% of family physicians and 71% of internists were at the top of the list of physicians most likely to choose medicine again..." even though they rank among the bottom 10 in earnings. Those least likely to choose medicine again? Plastic surgeons, radiologists, and orthopedists—all specialties within the top 10 in earnings. And now, this depressing news alert... "Overall, female physicians make 24% less than their male peers." 


A $5.2-Billion Bet that You Won't Read the Fine Print

"One study found that 57% of claims in drug ads were potentially misleading and another 10% were outright false."

—Drug companies spent $5.2 billion on advertising last year. But ads paint a too-rosy picture and
some physicians aren't doing enough to educate their patients. (The Huffington Post)

Bottom Line: Direct-to-consumer drug advertising has resulted in greater societal awareness and acceptance of myriad diseases. But, as this story makes clear, ads don't always tell the whole story about how a drug works. What can patients do? For any drug you are taking or want to learn more about, read the "Label Information" available online at Drugs@FDA. Ask your physicians meaningful questions about how a drug works, especially in concert with your specific condition and any prescriptions you're taking. And when it comes to medicine, always trust your consumer instincts.


How Would a Trump Presidency
Affect Physicians?

"[Malpractice reform] may not be as hot-button an issue as immigration, Islamic terrorism, jobs, or free trade for the lay citizen, but it is certainly one that affects every physician in the country."

—A cardiologist imagines a new culture of litigation under President Trump. (Kevin MD)

Bottom Line: While "Fight back and win," has been a successful legal model for Donald Trump, one would hope that America's next sitting president—whomever it may be—will be sensitive to the fact that medical malpractice reform is a serious, divisive issue, with major ramifications for patients, physicians, and the very delivery of health care in our country.