The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, on remand from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has again decided that the previously agreed termination date of the access provisions contained in the UPMC/Highmark Consent Decrees, i.e. June 30, 2019, is not a term subject to the modification provisions of those Consent Decrees, and is definite. The adjudication of the Commonwealth Court, attached hereto, discusses the history of the negotiation of the terms, especially the termination date, and confirms the Consent Decrees will expire on June 30, 2019.

PA vs. UPMC 6-14-19 Adjudication

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided Mitchell v. Shikora in favor of Pennsylvania’s physicians. 

All seven justices agreed and held that evidence regarding risks and complications of a surgical procedure may be admissible in medical negligence actions to assist in establishing the standard of care. In a dissenting/concurring opinion, however, two of the justices essentially opined that risks and complications evidence is not always germane and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

PAMED action: On Dec. 1, 2017, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) Executive Committee approved the filing of an amicus curiae brief with the American Medical Association (AMA) in the state Supreme Court case Mitchell v.

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This is the first installment of a four-part series.

Part I: Introduction

Medical malpractice is an unfortunate issue that all physicians are forced to confront from time to time. My background for this topic includes the following: I am a retired diagnostic radiologist who is certified by the American Board of Radiology. My principle areas of interest are musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and trauma imaging, with special interest and expertise in spine injuries. My academic career included faculty positions at the University of Louisville, Duke University, Drexel University and Temple University (during my 30 years at Allegheny General Hospital). I was an expert witness and legal consultant in diagnostic radiology for 35 years.

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Since former U.S. President Richard Nixon redeemed his legacy by defrosting and strengthening the relationship between the United States and China, China has rapidly advanced in terms of technology, economic power and manufacturing capability to become a superpower in its own right. Our recent news is filled with worries of U.S. debt to China, trade wars with China, industrial and perhaps political espionage perpetrated by China and the like. At the same time, it has become fashionable amongst Americans to visit China and take pictures along the Great Wall of China or before the famous Stone Soldiers to cross these off one’s bucket list.

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2019 Bulletin Photo Contest




 Contest entry instructions and rules


October 2018 - Photo contest submission

  1. Email your VERTICAL jpg photos with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher to Photos should be 8”W x 10”H; no more than three photos may be submitted.
  2. You must be an ACMS member physician to submit photos.
  3. Include the name of the photo (please keep file names short) as well as your name, specialty, address and phone number in the email.
  4. You will receive verification that your photo has been received and is eligible to be entered in the contest.
  5. a) Horizontal photos will not be considered.
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Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs are a source of irritation and controversy in medical communities today. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), representing 24 specialty member boards, notes that prior to the 1970s, board certification of a physician provided them with lifetime credentials. These written and sometimes oral exams were designed to test for basic competence in that particular specialty. (This was analogous to medical licensure based on an individual passing the three parts of the examinations given by the National Board of Medical Examiners [NBME]. In 1992, this exam was superseded by the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination [USMLE], sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards [FSMB] and the [NBME]).

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The alarming rise in measles cases has finally reached Pittsburgh, with four cases confirmed after exposure to an unvaccinated adult with measles. These people visited the airport, grocery stores, a thrift store, a car rental agency and untold other venues, exposing untold other people. This has fueled reactions in the general public from righteous anger (how dare these idiots remain unvaccinated and endanger my vulnerable loved ones with a preventable serious disease?) to outright fear (I can’t take my infant/immunocompromised relative out of the house now!).

When I learned as a child that vaccines keep us safe from viral scourges via herd immunity, the cynic in me thought that somewhere, there would always be an evildoer who would work to reintroduce the virus as a form of bioterrorism when the immunity of the populace was waning.

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Hepatitis Awareness Month is a campaign to raise awareness about hepatitis. National Hepatitis Awareness Month was first established by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in 2001.

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and is caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. There also are hepatitis D and E, which are not common in the United States.

Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C
Self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection Chronic in about 5% of cases Chronic in about 75%
of cases
Transmitted through feces due to poor hygiene or contaminated food or water Transmitted through blood, semen, or another body fluid Transmitted blood to blood
Vaccine available

Usually resolve within 2 months of infection

Treatment available

Vaccine available

Cure available

No vaccine available

Prevention is key


Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.

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Background. Cannabidiol (CBD), derived from cannabis (cannabis sativa L.), has been marketed for several years, but interest in CBD products – and the number of outlets selling such products – skyrocketed after Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). The Farm Bill, among other things, established a new category of cannabis – hemp – defined as cannabis with 0.3 percent or less concentration of compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Products meeting the definition of hemp were removed from the purview of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Companies manufacturing CBD products interpreted this to mean that their CBD products were legal so long as they were derived from hemp.

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I recently attended the UPMC-sponsored first annual all-day Physician Wellness Seminar, and I wanted to share the information the conference provided, along with how it has impacted my individual approach to my own well-being as well as that of my colleagues and other friends and family I interact with on a daily basis.

The conference was divided into four distinct segments. These were Nutrition (not Diet), Movement (not Exercise), Sleep and Relaxation, and Stress Reduction. These four components were identified as the major determinants of our well-being, and empiric and careful medical research was presented at the conference to bear this out.… Read more