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December 2014 Briefing - Pathology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for December 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Novel Mutation in Leptin Gene Tied to Early-Onset Obesity

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in the gene encoding leptin (LEP) resulting in biologically inactive leptin can cause early-onset extreme obesity, according to a brief report published in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Risks, Management of Atypical Hyperplasia of Breast Discussed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Atypical hyperplasia is associated with increased breast cancer risk, and consequently, women should be educated regarding their risk of developing breast cancer and the potential risk reduction associated with chemoprevention, according to a special report published in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vaccination Hesitancy in Israel's 2013 Polio Outbreak Explored

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with understanding of vaccination and contextual factors can impact parents' willingness to vaccinate their children in cases of disease outbreak, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Risk Research.

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Binge Alcohol Ingestion Has Acute Immunomodulatory Effects

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A single binge alcohol intoxication episode has acute immunomodulatory effects, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Alcohol.

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Ebola, ACA, VA Scandal Top U.S. Health News for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news features.

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AMA Identifies Top 10 Issues That Affected Docs in 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top 10 issues that affected physicians in 2014 include many regulatory issues relating to Medicare and data release, as well as health issues such as overprescribing of antibiotics and the Ebola crisis, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CDC: Influenza Has Hit Epidemic Status in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with 15 child mortalities so far this season, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

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Ebola Epidemic Traced to Exposure to Bats

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Ebola epidemic in West Africa may have started with virus-infected bats, according to research published online Dec. 30 in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

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H. pylori May Not Be Risk Factor for Head and Neck Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Helicobacter pylori may not be a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Head & Neck.

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Alkaline Phosphatase, Bilirubin Predict Outcomes in PBC

TUESDAY, Dec. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), levels of alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin predict clinical outcome, according to a meta-analysis published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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MS Remission Sustained Three Years Post-Stem Cell Transplant

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), high-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is associated with sustained remission and improvements in neurologic function, according to research published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Neurology.

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Higher Risk of Parkinson's Seen With Methamphetamine Use

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who use methamphetamine have a greatly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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FDA: Emergency Use Authorization for Rapid Ebola Test

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization for Roche's fast-acting Ebola test for emergency use.

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Risk of Leukemia Tied to Breast Cancer Rx Higher Than Thought

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among early-stage breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, the risk for developing treatment-related leukemia, though low, is still double what experts had previously thought, a new analysis reveals. Reporting online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers said the findings should give pause to doctors and breast cancer patients who are considering post-surgical treatment options.

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FDA Addresses Blood Donations by Men Who Have Sex With Men

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday its intention to release a new draft guidance in early 2015 that would ultimately open the door to blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM).

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Promising Results for Precursor of Ebola Vaccine in Small Study

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A precursor of the experimental Ebola vaccine that U.S. officials are preparing to test in West Africa has produced a safe and potent immune response in Africans. The findings have been published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Goal in Stage Ia1 Cervical Cancer Is Complete Excision

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Clear excision margins are important in the management of stage Ia1 squamous cervical cancer, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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CKD, Glomerulonephritis Risk Higher for Those With Psoriasis

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Psoriasis is associated with a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and glomerulonephritis (GN), according to a study published online Dec. 15 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Tips Offered to Docs, Spouses for Maintaining Happy Marriage

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Simple tips can help physicians and their spouses maintain marital happiness, according to an article published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance magazine Physician Family.

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FDA OKs Pathogen Reduction System to Treat Platelets

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new system designed to remove viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens from donated blood platelets was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the week, the agency approved a similar system to remove pathogens from donated blood plasma.

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CDC: Not Too Late, or Too Futile, to Get Flu Vaccine

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The flu is starting to tighten its grip on much of the United States, particularly in the South and Midwest, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And more than half of the flu infections examined so far have been caused by influenza A H3N2, which appears to have mutated from the H3N2 strain included in this year's flu vaccine.

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States Ill-Prepared for Ebola, Other Infectious Outbreaks

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Half of U.S. states are poorly prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. That was the main conclusion of a report issued jointly by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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CDC: Measles Cases at Airport Highlight Ease of Transmission

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Traveling through the same U.S. airport gate, one infected passenger transmitted the measles virus to three others within a four-hour time span, illustrating just how easily the virus can spread. These findings were reported in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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SLNB Doesn't Up Survival in Melanoma Arising in Head, Neck

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with melanoma arising in head and neck subsites (HNM), there is no association between sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and disease-specific survival (DSS), according to research published in the December issue of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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NSAIDs May Lower Risk of Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appear to reduce the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by 15 percent, according to a review published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Migraines Linked to Increased Risk of Bell's Palsy

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience migraine headaches may be at heightened risk for Bell's palsy, according to a new study published online Dec. 17 in Neurology.

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Invasive Procedures Down With Noninvasive Prenatal Testing

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of invasive diagnostic procedures, including amniocentesis, is down significantly after the introduction of noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound.

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FDA: New System Targets Pathogens in Donated Blood Plasma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new system designed to reduce pathogens in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Over 50 FDA-Approved Meds Can Help Battle Ebola Infection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A screening test has identified more than 50 U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications that could be helpful in treating people with Ebola, researchers report. The study was published online Dec. 17 in Emerging Microbes and Infections.

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Fatal Case of Legionnaires' in Infant Following Water Birth

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A Texas infant has died from Legionnaires' disease after being born in a whirlpool tub. The report of the infant's death appears in the January 2015 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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CDC: Syphilis Cases Rising Among Gay, Bisexual Men

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of cases of syphilis in the United States jumped 10 percent from 2012 to 2013, with gay and bisexual men accounting for 75 percent of the increase, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

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Low Risk of Malignancy for Small Complex Adnexal Masses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older women with small complex adnexal masses, the overall risk of malignancy is low, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Hypoglycemia Ups Cardio Events, Mortality for Insulin-Treated

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For insulin-treated patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Diabetes Care.

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FDA OKs First Newborn Screening Test for Rare Immune Disorder

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first test to screen for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) in newborns has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Condom Use for ≥3 Months Urged for Male Ebola Survivors

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Men who survive Ebola should wear condoms during sex for at least three months after recovering from the disease, according to the authors of a new study published online Dec. 16 in Reproductive Sciences.

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Physicians Reminded of Ethical Obligations Regarding Torture

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the issuing of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians of their ethical obligations relating to torture and interrogation.

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Consider False-Positives When Test Results Don't Add Up

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should weigh patient history and include the possibility of false-positive test results when considering differential diagnoses, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Support for Electronic Health Information Varies With Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consent and purpose are important for public support of secondary uses of electronic health information, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA: New Test Estimates Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new screening test designed to estimate a person's risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Physicians Should Scrutinize Job Offers Before Accepting

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should scrutinize job offers and pay attention to specific issues before accepting a job, according to an article published Dec. 3 in Medical Economics.

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Webcast Scheduled to Discuss Maintenance of Certification

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New data relating to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) will be discussed in a free webcast to be held Dec. 17 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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No Higher Risk of Breast Cancer for Women With Migraines

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine headaches do not raise the risk for breast cancer, according to research published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Cobalamin Defects Can Explain Neurologic Regression in Children

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cobalamin defects can account for neurologic regression in healthy children, according to a case report published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Screening Performance Differs With Distinct Fecal Test Brands

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Different brands of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) with the same cutoff hemoglobin concentration perform differently in detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Mortality Not Up With Pregnancy-Associated Malignant Melanoma

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cause-specific mortality does not differ significantly for women and girls with malignant melanoma (MM) diagnosed during pregnancy and up to two years postpartum (pregnancy-associated MM [PAMM]) and with non-PAMM, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA OKs Test for Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Antibodies

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new screening test to detect human T-cell lymphotropic virus-I/II (HTLV-I/II) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Increased Insulin Resistance in Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have elevated insulin resistance (IR), but this is not associated with increased atherosclerosis risk, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Researchers Estimate Number of Nevi Biopsied in U.S. Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- During 2009 through 2013, there were an estimated 2,007,423 biopsies of nevi among children in the United States, according to a research letter published online Dec. 10 in JAMA Dermatology.

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More Students Enrolling in U.S. Medical Schools

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More students are enrolling in medical schools, and enrollees are more diverse than before, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Docs Trained in High-Cost Areas Practice More Costly Medicine

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who were trained in high-cost areas of the United States may be more likely to practice expensive medicine, a new study suggests; however, that effect gradually decreases over time. The study was published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Work-Hour Restrictions Have Not Improved Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing medical residents' work hours hasn't improved mortality rates, hospital readmission rates, or outcomes of surgery, according to two new studies published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Inherited Mutations Common in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 15 percent of patients with triple-negative breast cancer unselected for family history have deleterious mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Bisphenol A in Canned Goods Linked to Higher Blood Pressure

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eating food from cans lined with the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) could raise blood pressure, a new study suggests. The report was published online Dec. 8 in the Hypertension.

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CDC: California Infants Hit Hard by Pertussis Epidemic

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In what state health officials are calling the worst outbreak in 70 years, 9,935 cases of pertussis were diagnosed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 26. That translated into 26 cases per 100,000 people, according to research published in the Dec. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: Flu Vaccine May Offer Less Protection This Winter

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The H3N2 strain of influenza appears to be circulating most widely this season, and in the past, death rates from H3N2 have been more than double that of other flu strains, according to officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, about half of the H3N2 viruses detected by CDC researchers so far appear to have mutated, and have genetically "drifted" away from the virus strain included in this year's flu vaccine.

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AMA: Social Determinants of Health to Be Taught in Med School

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy implemented by the American Medical Association (AMA) supports integrating more training on the social determinants of health into undergraduate medical education, according to a report published by the AMA.

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CDC: 35 Ebola Treatment Centers Designated

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Thirty-five hospitals across the United States have been designated as Ebola treatment centers, and more will be designated in the coming weeks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

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Research Suggests HIV May Be Evolving Favorably

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New research in Africa suggests that the AIDS virus is getting smarter about evading the immune system while evolving into a less contagious and less lethal infection overall. The study was published online Dec. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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CDC: Fatal Overdoses From Rx Opioids Have Tripled in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fatal overdoses involving opioid analgesics have tripled over the past decade, a new report shows. Deaths from heroin also nearly tripled between 1999 and 2012, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Too Much Patient Care Tied to Faculty Members' Intent to Leave

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spending "far too much/too much" time/effort on patient care is associated with increased intent to leave the institution, according to research published in Academic Medicine.

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Doctor Discusses Ways to Keep Morale in Medicine High

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the many frustrations for doctors in medical practice, there are ways to keep morale high, according to an article published Nov. 20 in Medical Economics.

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Experts Provide Guidance for Renal Masses in Pediatrics

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Renal tumors are rare in the pediatric population, and uncertainty surrounding pathology complicates management, according to a state-of-the-art review article published online Dec. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Hep B Screening Urged for Those Undergoing Chemo, Immune Tx

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening is recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or transplantation, according to research published online Nov. 21 in Hepatology.

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Many Physicians Report Their Incomes Have Plateaued

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report that their personal income has not changed since last year, according to the results of the Physicians Practice 2014 Physicians Compensation Survey.

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Physician's Briefing