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Treating celebrity patients not all glitz and glamour

The controversy surrounding the medical care pop star Michael Jackson received before he died at age 50 in late June has drawn attention to the difficulties doctors face when caring for high-profile patients. There is little ethical or clinical guidance for physicians that specifically addresses celebrity patients and how to ensure that their fame does not interfere with delivering the right medical care. The guiding principle is that celebrity patients ought to receive the same quality of care as other patients, regardless of their notoriety. In terms of privacy, celebrities are covered by the same laws and regulations that apply to any patient. Doctors commonly take confidentiality measures, such as allowing famous patients to fill out paperwork in an exam room instead of in the waiting room.r But other questions arise when caring for the rich, powerful and notable. How do physicians prevent special privacy accommodations for famous patients from bleeding over into clinic ...

Mayo Clinic to open branch in Mall of America

Two of the biggest names in Minnesota -- Mayo Clinic and Mall of America -- are joining forces to create a unique partnership that will combine medicine with tourism. Mall of America has started construction on its 42-acre phase II project that will include not only retail shops, hotels, movie theaters and restaurants, but also a branch of the Mayo Clinic. "Partnering these two Minnesota brands will reinforce our state as a destination for visitors from around the world," said Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development at the Mall of America, at a June press conference. Bausch said the demographics of patients visiting the Mayo Clinic are almost identical to those of visitors to the Mall of America. The Mayo Clinic hopes a presence at the mall will be an entry point into the Mayo Clinic for visitors to the Minneapolis area, which is about 90 miles from Mayo's headquarters in Rochester, Minn. The mall, located in the suburb of Bloomington, hopes the Mayo b ...

Increasing residency slots could help reduce physician shortages

Congress should ensure that health system reform legislation includes provisions that increase the number of Medicare-supported residency positions to help reduce projected physician shortages, said the Assn. of American Medical Colleges. Such provisions are part of bills introduced in May in the Senate and the House of Representatives, said AAMC Chief Advocacy Officer Atul Grover, MD, PhD, during a June 30 briefing. The meeting was held to emphasize the role that an increase in residency positions would play in alleviating physician shortages, a concern voiced in the health system reform debate. The bills would expand the number of residency positions by 15% -- an increase of about 15,000 residency slots, according to the bills' sponsors. "The bottom line is that the caps on resident training positions funded by Medicare are restricting the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to increase the nation's physician work force," Dr. Grover said. The bills call for ...