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Military veterans to benefit from federal health training grants

New White House initiatives are prodding medical schools to train military veterans for health care jobs and encouraging health centers to hire veterans. Universities and colleges that train veterans to be physician assistants will be given higher scores when applying for federal physician assistant training grants, according to an Oct. 25 announcement by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the Dept. of Health and Human Services. The move is part of White House efforts to connect veterans to jobs. "No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas," President Obama said on Nov. 7. "Our war fighters have been hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn with unemployment rates that eclipse their non-military cohorts," said Bob Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. The Obama administration also encouraged employers to list their job openings on a new database for vet ...

Suicidal thoughts, behaviors higher among young adults and unemployed

Considering patients' age, gender and where they live could help physicians identify people who have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study in the Oct. 21 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that suicidal thoughts are more common among females than males. Such thoughts also are more frequently reported by adults in the Midwest and West than by people in other regions of the country. The study is the first to present state-level data concerning suicidal thoughts and behaviors among U.S. adults, the CDC said. "Doctors might be able to think about the demographic composition of the population they see and determine if there are some higher-risk groups in their practice," said lead study author Alex E. Crosby, MD, MPH. "If doctors have more females and young adults, they might want to think about what kind of questions they can ask to probe a little more deeply into is ...

Indiana doctors face challenge to medical liability cap

Indiana physicians continue to battle a legal challenge over the state's medical liability damages cap. Indiana Court of Appeals judges on Oct. 25 allowed a lawsuit against the cap to move forward, denying a request by Community Hospitals of Indiana to throw out the case based on procedural grounds. The case stems from the death of patient Debra Plank, 47. In 2001, she sought treatment at Community Hospital in Indianapolis after experiencing abdominal pain. She was prescribed pain medication and sent home, said John Muller, the family's attorney. Doctors eventually diagnosed her with a small bowel obstruction, according to court documents. As a result of the missed diagnosis, Plank contracted sepsis and died, court documents show. Timothy Plank, her husband, sued the hospital and his wife's doctors. All but one physician were dismissed from the case. Jurors found the doctor was not negligent, but ruled the hospital was responsible. Timothy Plank was awarded $8.5 million ...