Health & Medical

‘Sit Down, Shut Up and Sign, Don’t Make Waves’: What We Heard This Week

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“Some nursing homes and chains will hire medical directors to just do what I call the three S’s: Sit down. Shut up and sign. Don’t make waves.” — Karl Steinberg, MD, immediate past president of the Society for Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine, on a proposed bill requiring all 15,000 Medicare-approved nursing homes to publicly report the name of their medical director.

“There are probably murderers out there killing people as we speak.” — Steven Marcus, MD, former director of the New Jersey poison control center, on his involvement in the Charles Cullen case and the system that allowed a nurse to get away with murder.

“If you torture the data enough, it will confess to almost anything.” — Jay Portnoy, MD, of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, who voted against recommending approval of a fecal microbiota transfer product for recurrent C. diff infections.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Proceeding with a drug development program when you don’t have a well-founded dose is literally building a house on quicksand.” — Richard Pazdur, MD, of the FDA Center for Oncologic Excellence, on a planned confirmatory study of a cancer therapy that uses a different dose from that in the approval application.

“The question is not settled and I think we will continue to discuss it for years to come.” — Elmir Omerovic, MD, PhD, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, addressing the issue of whether percutaneous coronary intervention is better than coronary artery bypass grafting for survival in coronary artery disease.

“We have seen several patients who developed delirium after major surgery and those patients were on gabapentin.” — Dae Hyun Kim, MD, ScD, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, about risks associated with perioperative gabapentin in older adults.

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“If the government had listened to us years and years ago, then we could be in a very different place, but it ignored us. And so this is a disaster.” — Laurie Jones, executive director of #MEAction, at a protest in front of the White House about long COVID and other conditions.

“Many colleagues tell me, repeatedly, that they feel like they can’t ask for help from their institution because of fear of repercussions.” — Fay Hlubocky, PhD, MA, of University of Chicago Medicine, discussing pandemic burnout among oncology clinicians.

“Even though we were walking to school every day in this awful hellscape…our pulmonary block did not cover the health effects of air pollution.” — Karly Hampshire, fourth-year medical student at the University of California San Francisco, on the need for climate-and-health curricula in medical schools.

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