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BackPage Online, July 2019

doi: 10.1097/01.BACK.0000574288.63661.ae
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Illegal Promotion of Opioids Sending Corporate Marketers to Prison

Court verdicts are beginning to roll in for the executives of companies that engaged in financial malfeasance in the promotion of widespread opioid therapy in the United States. What appeared to some executives to be a cash cow has turned into a ticket to prison. Here is an article by German Lopez at VOX on company executives engaging in “racketeering” to sell highly addictive narcotic medications.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/5/3/18528123/insys-fentanyl-trial-verdict-john-kapoor-opioid-epidemic

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A Spinal Fracture and an Uncaring Medical System

The US healthcare system has become so inscrutable that even expert physicians have trouble navigating it. Here is the sad story of the 83-year-old father of a high-ranking physician at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the inadequate care he received after a painful spinal fracture. Despite having the spinal fracture, an unstable spine, and stage 4 prostate cancer, a hospital in New Jersey refused to admit him, making him eligible only for “observational care.” This led to significant financial ramifications for the family under Medicare copayment policies. VA physician Hasan Shanawani, MD, finally aired his frustrations on the Internet and the story went viral. He pointed out that not only did his Dad receive inadequate care, no one in the hospital system seemed to care about his case—and no one was even willing to listen to his narrative. Here is a link to the article:

https://khn.org/news/even-doctors-cant-navigate-our-broken-health-care-system/

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Sexual Harassment Part of Medical Education for Women

Medical students face difficult educational challenges, grueling hours, crippling expenses, and long-term debts. Female medical students face an additional challenge: widespread sexual harassment from teachers and mentors. And a culture at medical schools that discourages reporting of such harassment. And the pattern of harassment of women in medical schools continues into clinical practice once they are licensed as physicians. An award-winning study from the University of North Carolina found that 58% of female surgeons reported having experienced harassment during their medical training or during medical practice (http://news.unchealthcare.org/som-vital-signs/2019/feb-21/big-wins-at-the-academic-surgical-congress-with-eye-opening-study-on-sexual-harassment). The study found that residents and fellows were twice as likely to report harassment as full-fledged faculty members. Here is a link to an article at Bloomberg about this pervasive problem:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-04-30/america-s-medical-profession-has-a-sexual-harassment-problem

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