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How do Mississippi's VA medical centers rate?

If you or a family member relies on a hospital run by the Department of Veterans Affairs for medical care, you now have access to ratings for the 146 VA medical centers across the country. The VA has always rated its facilities on a one-to-five scale in order to determine which ones need improvement, with five being the best. However, late last year, the VA began publishing the information on its website.

Are female doctors better than their male counterparts?

Everyone wants to have the best possible doctor, whether for annual check-ups, treatment of a serious or chronic condition or major surgery. A doctor's gender should be irrelevant. However, a recently-published study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that outcomes for patients with female doctors were better than for those with male doctors.

Proposal for longer shifts for doctors sparks debate

Multiple studies have shown that young doctors working long hours with no breaks put their patients as well as themselves at risk. For that reason, work hour restrictions were put in place in 2011. These limited first-years residents' shifts to no more than 16 hours.

Why should you try to avoid hospitals over the holidays?

Many of our readers have probably heard that it's best to avoid going to the hospital, if you can, during the holiday season. Many people decide to get elective surgery done in the latter weeks of the year while they have time off and before their insurance deductibles kick in for the new year.

Study: Hospital staff should be encouraged to report errors

It's understandable that medical professionals may be hesitant to report errors for fear of disciplinary action by their employers, as well as potential liability. However, a study by St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital found that by reporting so-called patient safety events, hospital staff can improve patient care and safety in the future.

The dangers of poor communication by medical professionals

If you or a loved one has been hospitalized recently, you may have felt overwhelmed by the seemingly dizzying number of medical personnel in and out of the room administering medications and doing all types of poking and prodding. You may have wondered how they all stay on the same page regarding your care.

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