Physicians

Doctor’s Orders? Another Test

Universal Images Group, via Getty Images Diagnostic tests, like cardiac stress tests, are being ordered too frequently, a new study has found. It is no longer news that Americans, and older Americans in particular, get more routine screening tests than they need, more than are useful. Prostate tests for men over 75, annual Pap smears(…)

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New Efforts to Close Hospitals’ Revolving Doors

Joshua Lott for The New York Times Sue Koner, a transition care manager for Sun Health, checks Ted Cohn’s blood pressure to try to prevent his readmission to a hospital for a heart condition. In the past, the only thing a patient was sure to get after a hospital stay was a bill. But as(…)

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Advice for Dealing With Multiple Ailments

Philippe Huguen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images A new brochure offers tips for managing medical care of multiple chronic conditions. Here’s the problem: A majority of older adults, the medical literature shows, are coping with at least three chronic conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension, kidney failure — the list goes on and on. Medical(…)

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For the Very Old, a Surprise in Blood Pressure Readings

Joe Raedle/Getty Images It’s such a routine thing: A nurse wraps the cuff around your elderly relative’s arm, squeezes the bulb, listens with a stethoscope and says: “120 over 60. Very good.” Smiles all around (this was my 89-year-old father’s latest reading), because everyone knows that high blood pressure is a risky proposition. Or is(…)

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In the Hospital, but Not Really a Patient

On Labor Day weekend in 2009, Miriam Nyman, 83, arrived by ambulance at Rhode Island Hospital. She’d fallen, a result of a degenerative brain disorder, and broken her neck. She and her daughter, Tamar Lasky, waited in the emergency room for eight hours until finally, close to midnight, Dr. Lasky needed to go home to(…)

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