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Med school enrollment not growing as quickly as projected

The Assn. of American Medical Colleges said first-year allopathic medical school enrollment will not increase by 30% by 2015, as the association had hoped. The AAMC recommended increasing enrollment to boost the number of first-year medical students from 16,488 in 2002 to 21,434 by 2015. But the goal is not expected to be reached until 2018. However, combined first-year enrollment at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools is expected to rise 36% above 2002 figures by 2015. That would mean nearly 27,000 total first-year spots for the 2014-15 academic year. Edward Salsberg, director of the AAMC's Center for Workforce Studies, said AAMC officials are encouraged that first-year enrollment is growing, even if it's not as fast as previously projected. "There was a slight slow-up [in enrollment growth], which we think really reflects the impact of the recession on medical school enrollment. But the long-term trend continues to be positive," he said. There is some concern by ...

FDA calls on physicians to report misleading drug ads

The Food and Drug Administration wants physicians' help monitoring deceptive or misleading pharmaceutical advertising or promotional efforts. The agency's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications in May unveiled the Bad Ad Program, an initiative aimed at getting doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to report drugmaker violations of marketing rules. "The Bad Ad Program will help health care providers recognize misleading prescription drug promotion and provide them with an easy way to report this activity to the agency," said Thomas Abrams, director of the FDA's drug marketing division. The agency's staff tracks what drugmakers say in advertisements, pamphlets and medical meetings, but has little ability to monitor what detailers or company-sponsored speakers say in private when promoting pharmaceuticals. The FDA said reportable marketing violations include when detailers or company-sponsored speakers: * Omit information ...

MRSA infection rates increase tenfold in children

The trend of prescribing clindamycin for children with Staphylococcus aureus may build up resistance to treating the infection, a new study says. Clindamycin use among children hospitalized with S. aureus increased threefold during the past decade, according to a study published online May 17 in Pediatrics. In 1999, the antibiotic was used to treat 21% of S. aureus cases. In 2008, 63% of such infections were treated with the drug. The antibiotic became popular because it effectively treats methicillin-resistant S. aureus and it can be taken orally, unlike vancomycin, which is only available intravenously, said senior study author Jason Newland, MD. But he said the problem is that physicians are using clindamycin to treat cases of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, which can be effectively treated with different antibiotics. Clindamycin "is used a lot. And we've learned that [S. aureus] has an incredible ability to become resistant over time. ... We don't want to overuse clinda ...