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Physician talks increase likelihood of patients slimming down

Physicians can play a crucial role in encouraging overweight and obese patients to adopt healthier habits, but too few doctors broach the subject, says a study in the Feb. 28 Archives of Internal Medicine. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and about a third are obese, putting them at increased risk for chronic illnesses such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a larger proportion of the population overweight or obese, fewer people acknowledge their weight troubles, said Robert Post, MD, a family physician and study co-lead author ( "People don't think that they're overweight because overweight is the new normal," said Dr. Post, research director at Virtua Family Medicine Residency in Voorhees, N.J. "If you're going to have change, the first step is recognizing that there is a problem." Researchers analyz ...

Residency Match sees continued growth in primary care

The number of U.S. medical school seniors who will begin residency training in family medicine in July 2011 climbed 11.3% over 2010, marking the second consecutive year of growth in the field. Growth also was seen in the number of U.S. seniors pursuing first-year residency training in other primary care fields, according to preliminary data from the National Resident Matching Program. U.S. seniors filled 1,301 family medicine positions, up from 1,169 in 2010. In 2011, 48% of available family medicine slots were filled by U.S. seniors, up from 44.8% in 2010. Meanwhile, internal medicine matches for U.S. seniors increased 8%, to 2,940 from 2,722, and also grew for a second straight year. In 2011, 57.4% of available internal medicine residency slots were filled by U.S. seniors, up from 54.5% in 2010. In both internal and family medicine, a greater percentage of slots were filled even as the overall number of available positions increased. Overall, 2011 was the first year that the nu ...

Obstetrics safety initiatives cut medical liability costs by 90%

Obstetrics patient safety initiatives at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center significantly reduced staff errors and cut medical liability expenses by more than 90%, according to a study. The study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that patient safety measures lowered medical liability compensation for the hospital overall from an average of $27.6 million a year from 2003 to 2006 to an average of $2.6 million from 2007 to 2009 ( The figure for 2009 was only $250,000. The compensation payments were defined as all legal settlements, jury awards and defense expenses. Sentinel events at the medical center, including maternal deaths and serious newborn injuries, went from five in 2000 to zero in 2008 and 2009, the study showed. The patient safety efforts started after consultants accessed the hospital's obstetrics department. From 2003 to 2009, the department be ...