The Link Between Age and a Familiar Face0

Individual ability to recognize and remember the faces of those we meet is best between the ages of 30 and 34, some 10 years after many other mental skills are sharpest. This comes from the work of Laura T. Germine and Ken Nakayama of Harvard University and Bradley Duchaine of Dartmouth College. They will present their research in the journal Cognition.

According to Germine, a Ph.D. student in psychology at Harvard, the late-blooming nature of face recognition may simply be a case of practice making perfect. … Read more →

We Listen Before We Look0

We judge people by their accent, according to psychologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany). According to Dr. Tamara Rakic, who has recently published her study in the online edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “The accent is much more important than the way a person looks.”

In their research, Dr. Rakic and her colleagues Professor Dr. Melanie Steffens and Professor Dr. Amélie Mummendey explored the influence of language on ethnic categorization. … Read more →

Hospital Holiday Perspective0

This time of year can bring joy as well as sadness to just about anyone. For the local hospital emergency department, however, the holidays can mean an increase in patients who have potentially put themselves in peril.

According to Mark DeSilva, M.D., Emergency Department Medical Director at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital: “For those who have no support system, no friends, family, loved ones or even co-workers, the holidays can prove very deadly. Everywhere, there are signs of gatherings, gift exchanges, happiness and love. If you are not experiencing what the rest of the world is enjoying, it is very bitter. . . . The holidays bring out desperate behavior in unstable individuals and they frequently end up in the ED as a medical emergency.”

DeSilva advises that there are usually signs when an individual is feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, and friends, families, and co-workers have time to intervene. … Read more →

Tetris Treats Trauma0

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. Flashbacks are the symptomatic “calling card” of PTSD, and treatments often focus on the disorder after the flashbacks are firmly established. Unfortunately, early interventions are rare.

In a recent study published in examines a possible “cognitive vaccine” to prevent PTSD flashbacks after a traumatic event. … Read more →

Lost Hospital — Kingsburg District Hospital, Kingsburg, California0

Before it closed in May 2010, Kingsburg District Hospital was one of the last remaining rural hospitals in the San Joaquin Valley.

Located just off of Smith Street in Kingsburg, California, Kingsburg District Hospital faced many challenges since it opened in 1961. Past cutbacks and bankruptcies did not shut the rural hospital down before, but it was unable to survive financially any longer.

One Kingsburg resident drove herself to the hospital when she thought she was having a heart attack (the hospital was only a few blocks away from her home).  When she arrived, she learned that the emergency department — which had been closed in 2008 — was gone. She had to drive to the local fire department, and was then taken by ambulance to Selma Hospital more than seven miles away. … Read more →

Can Hallucinations Save the Human Species?0

Psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, DMT, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, salvinorin A, and ibogaine. This laundry list of hallucinogens does not describe the contents in the car of Raoul Duke or his attorney Dr. Gonzo, but instead, ingredients sometimes found in modern day therapeutic research.

What started in the 1950s and slowed in the 1960s due to legal restrictions has resumed in studies around the world. Researchers want to know whether these mind-altering substances can effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder, help with symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, provide help in battling addictions, ease the anxiety of cancer patients, or even battle depression. … Read more →

Lost Hospital — San Diego General Hospital

San Diego General Hospital was built in 1972 with city assistance, at the time called Community Hospital of San Diego. The hospital quickly got into financial difficulties due to its patient population (largely uninsured or under-insured). After San Diego General Hospital closed briefly, the facility was leased and operated through the 1980s as San Diego Physicians & Surgeons Hospital.

San Diego General Hospital’s last patients were transferred on March 2, 1991, to Coronado Hospital and various nursing homes, marking the end of its long battle to continue as Southeast San Diego’s only hospital. It’s closing ended the hospitals’ year-long struggle to keep the doors open, even as it piled up more than $15 million in unpaid bills to suppliers and taxing agencies. … Read more →

A Fundamental Conflict Between EMTALA and Religion?0

The American Civil Liberties Union has requested federal intervention to ensure that Catholic hospitals follow the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). The ACLU has alleged that by failing to provide emergency reproductive care to pregnant women, these hospitals violate federal law.

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the ACLU referenced St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, which lost its Catholic status Tuesday because hospital physicians performed an emergency abortion when a female patient developed life-threatening complications. … Read more →

Federal Government Publishes New Regulations to Monitor Health Insurance Rate Increases0

In an attempt to provide consumers with added protection in the insurance market, new federal regulations will require health insurance companies to disclose and justify any rate increases of 10% or more next year. State or federal officials will then review such increases to determine reasonability.

The summary of the proposed requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations state:

“This document contains proposed regulations implementing the rules for health insurance issuers regarding the disclosure and review of unreasonable premium increases under section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act. The proposed rule would establish a rate review program to ensure that all rate increases that meet or exceed an established threshold are reviewed by a State or HHS to determine whether the rate increases are unreasonable. The proposed rule represents a major expansion of federal authority in an area long regulated by states.” … Read more →