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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On the blogs: surgeons and sleep, cholesterol testing for kids, shortage of primary care doctors

On Nurse at small, Betsy Baumgartner, who works at a Boston teaching hospital, wonders about the safety of surgeons operating without enough sleep.

"We've all had a rough night where we weren't able to sleep, or where our kid was sick and kept us up the whole night," she writes. "Surgeons go through these same things, and they show up to work the next morning running on empty with only their Starbucks as fuel. Just like you and me. The one difference is that they are about to cut someone open."

On Healthy Children, pediatrician Dr. Steven Parker of Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine votes no on testing kids' cholesterol levels.

"I'm concerned that the testing will imply to some parents that their obese child with a normal cholesterol level should not be a concern and, alternatively, others will become unduly overwrought about their perfectly healthy child with a high number," he writes. "Seems to me a set-up for both unwarranted reassurance and needless anxiety."

On WBUR's CommonHealth, Michael V. Sack, president and CEO of Hallmark Health, asks if there will be enough primary care physicians to take care of people gaining health insurance under the new healthcare law.

"Across the state, too few primary care physicians are signing up for participation in the MassHealth and Commonwealth Care plans because of low reimbursement," he writes.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 08:34 AM
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