Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Morning Drill: June 15, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments to start your day.

Experts: Weiner's behavior similar to addicts'
So what's wrong with Anthony Weiner?

The New York congressman says he is seeking professional treatment "to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person" following a sexting scandal that threatens to drive him from office.

Weiner hasn't specified what type of care he is getting, or where, raising questions about the depth of his troubles — or whether it's a simply a ploy to buy time and sympathy as his colleagues seek to push him from office.

"He certainly has a media relations nightmare and saying he needs treatment sounds a lot better than the alternatives," said Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons, a sex addiction expert and psychology professor at Hunter College in New York City. "It's a lot harder to bash someone who says he is seeking treatment and help."

If he has opted for an inpatient treatment facility, experts say there are just a handful of places where he could be, including a Mississippi clinic where Tiger Woods reportedly sought help for his litany of marital indiscretions. Or perhaps he is getting outpatient advice on sexual addiction.

Parsons noted that sexual addiction is not officially recognized as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There has been talk about including a passage on the topic in the next edition, describing it clinically as a hypersexual disorder, he said.

Experts witnessing the demise of the rising politician's reputation, if not his career, are among those opining from afar. Some say Weiner's actions — making electronic sexual contact with strangers — mimic the characteristics of drug addicts, alcoholics or problem gamblers.

"He's exhibiting behavior of an addict. The secrecy, the risk taking, the denial," said Robert Weiss, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.
"I am sure he understood on some level what he was doing," Weiss said. "When someone like that is not in a state of arousal, they can have a more intellectual, nuanced view of things. But that gets lost in the euphoria. And he begins not thinking clearly."
Parents charged in kids' rotted teeth case to face trial
A couple charged by Bethlehem police in April for allegedly not providing dental care for their young children who police said had rotted teeth will face trial in Northampton County Court after a hearing Tuesday.

John Grobelny, 39, and Donna Grobelny, 44, were living at 977 Wyandotte St. when the children were taken from the home by Northampton County Children and Youth investigators. Police said the children – ages 7 and 9 – had rotted teeth and blackened gums.

On Tuesday, the parents gave up their right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez on charges of felony child endangerment and reckless endangerment. They are free after posting bail; $35,000 for John Grobelny and $15,000 for Donna Grobelny.

Donna Grobelny's attorney, Michael Corcoran of Bethlehem, said after the hearing that the Grobelnys are no longer living at the Wyandotte Street home because it was condemned by city health officials. Police said the home was unsanitary, infested with fleas and garbage was scattered in the yard.

"They are focused on getting the services they need to benefit them and their children," Corcoran said. "That is their main concern right now, doing what is best for the children."
New Sunscreen Rules from FDA
Sunscreen labels will carry a "broad spectrum" label to show they offer some protection against UVA radiation as well as UVB radiation, according to a long-awaited new rule from the FDA.

The old "SPF" designation still will show how well a product protects against UVB, although the highest SPF level a product can claim will be "50+."

The "broad spectrum" designation carries a lot less information than a zero-to-four-star system the FDA originally proposed for UVA protection. But the FDA did hold firm on insisting that sunscreens claiming swim/sweat protection say how many minutes such protection lasts.

"FDA has evaluated the data and developed testing and labeling requirements for sunscreen products, so that manufacturers can modernize their product information and consumers can be well informed on which products offer the greatest benefit," said Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn and plays a major role in causing skin cancer. It affects only the outer layer of the skin. UVA, while less intense than UVB, is 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB and penetrates to deeper layers of the skin. UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and is closely linked to skin aging. It's also damages skin DNA and is believed to cause skin cancer.

The new rule also says that products cannot claim an SPF factor higher than 50. The highest permitted rating will be "50+," because the FDA says there's no convincing data that SPF levels higher than 50 are meaningful.

The FDA will allow product labels to carry the claim that they prevent skin cancer -- but only if they protect against UVA and have an SPF of 15 or higher.

Products will have to specify whether they protect only against UVB (SPF rating alone) or whether they protect against UVA as well as UVB (SPF rating plus "broad spectrum" claim).

Sunscreen products that claim to be water resistant will have to undergo water-resistance testing. They will have to specify the number of minutes of "swimming/sweating" for which the product continues to protect.

Consumer groups wanted a lot more from the FDA, which has been mulling the new rules since 1978.
Majority of New Physician Jobs Feature Hospital Employment
Primary care physicians remain in high demand, although the majority of job openings are for hospital employees, not in private practice, according to a new survey by Irving, Texas–based national physician search firm Merritt Hawkins.

For the sixth consecutive year, family practice and general internal medicine were the top 2 most-requested physician search assignments. They were followed by hospitalists, psychiatrists, orthopaedic surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, obstetrician/gynecologists, neurologists, general surgeons, and pediatricians.

Reimbursement cuts and declines in elective procedures have reduced the volume of search assignments for radiologists, cardiologists, and anesthesiologists. Those specialists, which were among the most requested searches 4 to 5 years ago, are now ranked 17th, 18th, and 19th.

The majority of physician search assignments (56%) were for hospitals, up from 51% a year ago and 23% five years ago. Only 2% of the firm's search assignments featured openings for independent, solo practitioners, down from 17% five years ago.

Healthcare reform, which enhances the role of primary care physicians by encouraging new delivery models such as accountable care organizations, is one factor driving the need for additional family physicians and internists, Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, said in a news release.

"The era of the independent physician who owns and runs his or her practice is fading," said Singleton. "Doctors today are more likely to be employees working for increasingly large health systems or medical groups."
Hospital acquisitions of physician practices have "to some extent replaced traditional recruitment in the past year, as health care organizations have focused on preparing for new delivery models," the survey found. "As this trend plays out, there has been a nationwide lull in the traditional physician recruiting market, which is only now showing signs of returning to its customary vigor."
Enjoy your morning drill!

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