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February 21, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • AAFP leaders lobby to replace SGR, stop sequestration cuts
    AAFP leaders met with House and Senate staff to continue to push to eliminate Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula and enact policies that emphasize the value of primary care medicine. Academy President Jeff Cain, M.D., said leaders of both political parties are committed to achieving a long-term solution even if they differ on the methodology. The AAFP representatives also stressed the need to avoid sequestration cuts. AAFP News Now (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • FDA: Codeine use after tonsillectomy can be fatal to children
    The FDA issued a warning Wednesday against the use of codeine-containing drugs to ease pain in children who have had their tonsils or adenoids removed, following 13 reports of child deaths linked to the drug. Since many of these children had sleep apnea, "they may have been particularly sensitive to the breathing difficulties that can result when codeine is converted in the body to high levels of morphine," officials said. The agency said it will require all codeine-containing products to have a boxed warning against use in children after such surgeries. The Wall Street Journal (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study shows high prevalence, low awareness of type 2 diabetes
    According to a Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey, 1 in 8 Americans report being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, while more than one-third of respondents either had the disease themselves or had an immediate family member with diabetes. Researchers also found 35% of diabetes patients said their condition was only "somewhat" controlled, while 5% reported having poorly controlled diabetes. HealthDay News (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Overall calorie intake down slightly in children, CDC says
    Adults ate, on average, about 11% of their daily calories from fast food between 2007 and 2010, down from 13% from 2003 to 2006, CDC researchers reported on Thursday. The overall calorie intake of children dropped, but the calories they consumed from saturated fat remained above optimal levels. Reuters (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SAMHSA: High-school dropouts are more prone to substance abuse
    High-school seniors who dropped out of school were at greater risk of substance abuse including drinking, cigarette smoking and illegal drug use, according to a report released by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Since almost 1 in 7 high school students drops out of school, communities should devise strategies to keep teens in school and prevent substance abuse problems, researchers said. HealthDay News (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • EHR adoption lags among U.S. physicians, study finds
    One in 6 U.S. physicians is making sufficient use of electronic health record systems to attest to meaningful use, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers said costs and productivity concerns play roles in low EHR adoption rates. "My guess is that more people are on the journey [to using electronic records] than have attested to it. But, there are still some physicians who haven't started using electronic health records at all," said researcher Adam Wright. HealthDay News (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Minority of pre-med students intend to venture into primary care
    A Kaplan Test Prep poll of 543 pre-med students in the U.S. showed that only 32% of them plan to pursue primary care after getting their medical degrees, while the rest said they wanted to become specialists. Although academic or personal interest was the most cited reason for studying to be specialists, researchers said that "earning potential is understandably a key factor considering how much debt most medical school graduates are saddled with." (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
--Maria Montessori,
Italian physician and educator

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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in AAFP SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to

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