Blog | Wednesday, October 13, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Medicine pays well, but is it considered meaningful?


Doctors are the top six best-paid careers (based on median and top pay), with anesthesiologists being the best-paid, primary care being the sixth-best and nurse anesthetists the seventh best-paid, according to a survey by CNN/Money magazine and PayScale.com. But not one of the physician careers landed on the top lists for job growth or quality of life. The title of best job went to software architect and the second-best job went to physician assistant. Take heart, though. When asked about having the most meaningful work (based on the percentage who think their job makes the world a better place), the top spot went again to anesthesiologists, and second through ninth went to some kind of medical provider or health care administrator. Social workers rounded out the tenth spot. (CNN/Money)

One internist who considers his job meaningful is Stanford, Calif., educator Abraham Verghese, MACP, who is profiled for his work on the work-up, and how he diagnoses patients via the physical exam. Dr. Verghese learned his hands-on skills in the pre-scan era, in countries where such technology wasn't available even when it existed elsewhere. Dr. Verghese, Stanford's senior associate chair for the theory and practice of medicine, designed a course made of up of 25 techniques every doctor should know. (The 25 and their justifications are listed here.) (New York Times)

Embryonic stem cells could one day be a meaningful treatment, although they're still far off. Yet, the first patient has been treated in a phase 1 study. Researchers injected 2 million oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, which become oligodendrocytes that make myelin, into a partially paralyzed patient's spine one to two weeks after having suffered an injury between the third and 10th thoracic vertebrae. The patient is at the Shepherd Center, a spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation center in Atlanta. (Washington Post)