ENTtoday: July 2011


Everyday Ethics

Making the Diagnosis: Sleep expert warns about OSA risk in obese children

The most significant danger to children now is obesity, and of the many related comorbidities that affect obese children, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) will impact a child’s life more than anything else, according to Carole Marcus, MD, an invited lecturer here last month at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.Dr. Marcus is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the sleep center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Career Development, Everyday Ethics, Practice Management, Resident Focus

A Prevalent Problem: Studies report sleep deprivation in colleagues, patients

Among the issues highlighted here last month at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, was the effect of inadequate sleep on both the health of the individual and on society at large. Two studies presented at the meeting, for example, looked at the effects of inadequate sleep on health care providers and the risks posed to their health and the health of their patients. Another study put into context just how underreported inadequate sleep and sleep disorders are and elaborated on the challenge this poses to otolaryngologists and others who are on the frontlines managing these disorders.


Practice Management, Tech Talk

Help or Hoopla?: Surgical robots can benefit otolaryngology

The large, roadside billboards advertised robotic surgery in bright, bold colors, something that struck David Eibling, MD, professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh, as “fundamentally wrong.” Hospitals and physicians “should not be offering robotic surgery as a draw for patients,” said Dr. Eibling, who noticed the billboards while traveling through Florida earlier this year, “but rather as a potential tool to benefit the care of the patient.”

Everyday Ethics, Practice Management, Special Reports

An Unofficial First-Line Treatment: Propranolol gains widespread use for infantile hemangiomas

Since the first report in 2008 of the effectiveness of propranolol to treat infantile hemangiomas, its use has grown among physicians who treat these tumors, which arise in 5 to 10 percent of infants. Among these infants, approximately 10 percent will require treatment to correct functional impairment or prevent lasting cosmetic deformity caused by the hemangioma.

Legal Matters, Practice Management

Put It in Writing: Hiring a physician extender involves more than a handshake

Physician extenders, commonly referred to as mid-level providers or practitioners, often offer financial profitability for the practice as well as efficiency, improved quality of care, enhanced flexibility for physicians and greater patient satisfaction. When you hire an extender, it’s important to go beyond a handshake and clearly define the terms of the relationship in a contract. Below are some of the key issues that should be addressed in a mid-level provider’s employment agreement.

Career Development, Health Policy, Practice Management

Identity Crisis: A new bill would require marketing materials to clarify one’s credentials

More often than not, members of the public are confused about which health care providers are physicians and which are not. That uncertainty is expected to increase as the trend toward non-physician providers earning doctorate degrees continues and as demand for services grows with the millions of people gaining insurance under the 2010 health reform law.