Table of Contents -- March 2000

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Vol. 95 No. 3  

Cover Story  

Bioterrorism threat
Most physicians don't spend a lot of time thinking about the possibility of a bioterrorism attack in their communities, but the threat exists nonetheless. There's no way of knowing if some foreign terrorist -- or even a local wacko -- will decide to unleash a biological weapon against an unsuspecting and defenseless population. Because the first indication of an attack may be large numbers of patients turning up in their offices or clinics, physicians need to know their roles in reporting unusual cases and in developing responses to terrorists' attacks.

By Johanna Franke

Legislative Affairs  

Legislating medical errors
That Institute of Medicine report on medical errors has gotten a lot of attention lately, and state and federal lawmakers are scrambling to see what, if any, laws are needed. But the underlying issue is whether the report is really all that accurate. There are some legitimate questions about how the authors of the report reached their conclusions. And, if changes are going to be made, physicians are the ones to make them.

By Ken Ortolon


Suing the HMOs
Lawyers who successfully sued the tobacco industry are now turning their attention to HMOs. They have filed lawsuits against several of the nation's largest insurers over various issues, including financial incentives they say encourage physicians to limit patient care. Organized medicine is helping in this effort, putting physicians in the unusual -- and to some, uncomfortable, position of cooperating with trial lawyers.

By Monica Maldonado

Medical Economics  

Medical savings accounts
When Congress gave the go-ahead for a pilot program for medical savings accounts (MSAs) in 1996, MSAs were touted as a partial answer to the problem of uninsured patients. The program has not exactly been an overwhelming success, thanks in part to limitations placed on it by Congress. Despite opposition from consumer groups, supporters still say MSAs are the way to go, and there's a new effort in Congress to remove the restrictions and make the MSA program more successful.

By Johanna Franke

Medical Education  

Minority scholarships
Damien Luviano is hard at work as a student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and is well on his way to realizing his dream of becoming a physician. He is one of the first recipients of financial aid from TMA's Minority Scholarship Program, created in the wake of the Hopwood ruling to help qualified minority students get into medical school.

By Monica Maldonado

The Journal  

Perioperative assessment and management of patients with coronary artery disease  

By Darryl K. Pottyk, MD

Texas Medicine Rounds  

Learning at TexMed * A healthy public * Amending our constitution * MedBytes * Dateline Health * Saving Texans' hearts * In Case You Missed It * A depressing study * Thank your teachers

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