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Showing posts from November, 2013

I'm now a certified ultrasonographer: passing the ARDMS test

I just finished taking an exam for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Having passed it, I can now put RDMS after my name, standing for Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. The RDMS is a credential that many ultrasound technicians carry, and occasional physicians, especially those who make ultrasound part of their practice. So now, should I ever be at loose ends, I can potentially get a job as an ultrasound tech.
To take the ARDMS qualifying test, one must first satisfy various requirements, which fit into categories meant to include ultrasonographers of great experience, ultrasonographers who have gone through a training program (usually 1-2 years) physicians who studied ultrasonography extensively during their medical school and residency training and physicians whose experience includes extensive review of hundreds of scans by experts. Proving experience requires letters from a supervising teacher. The exam is a proctored 5 hour test, 3 of which is in a s…

Who should take statins? What, exactly, do the new American Heart Association guidelines say, and should we agree with them?

Statins made the news in a big way this week. The American Heart Association, in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology, just released recommendations that should change the way we prescribe medications called statins, including drugs like Lipitor and Crestor and their generics, Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin. The headlines say stuff like "More Americans may be Eligible to Receive Cholesterol Lowering Drugs!" Boy howdy, aren't we all in for a treat?

Big Money:
I am a bit, or more than a bit, skeptical of news about statin therapy because Lipitor, before it went generic, was responsible for over 6 billion dollars in revenue for Pfizer and since it went generic, Astra Zeneca is raking in more revenue than they did last year for their cholesterol drug, Crestor, at about 1.6 billion dollars. This kind of market influence is associated with significant influence on the attitudes of both physicians and patients through advertising and research support. I think th…