Daily Rounds: Wal-Mart As Doctor; Stroke Operation Flops; Reporting Child Abuse; Abortion Initiative Defeated

Wal-Mart plans ambitious expansion into medical care (NPR) - "Wal-Mart wants to be your doctor. The nation's largest retailer is planning to offer medical services ranging from the management of diabetes to HIV infections, NPR and Kaiser Health News have learned. In the same week in late October that Wal-Mart said it would stop offering health insurance benefits to new part-time employees, the retailer sent out a request for partners to help it "dramatically ... lower the cost of healthcare ... by becoming the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation." (NPR)

Study debunks operation to prevent strokes (The New York Times) - "An operation that doctors hoped would prevent strokes in people with poor circulation to the brain does not work, researchers are reporting. A $20 million study, paid for by the government, was cut short when it became apparent that the surgery was not helping patients who had complete blockages in one of their two carotid arteries, which run up either side of the neck and feed 80 percent of the brain." (

Doctors sometimes fail to report child abuse (The Boston Globe - White Coat Notes) -  "Pediatricians and other primary care providers are good at identifying physical injuries in their young patients that might be the result of child abuse, but they are not as good at judging when to report those cases to child protective services, a new study found. A group of researchers led by Dr. Robert Sege of Boston Medical Center compared how primary care providers responded in 92 child injury cases to evaluations by child abuse experts. They found that reporting was warranted in 13 of the 63 cases doctors chose not to report to authorities." (

Mississippi defeats life at conception ballot initiative (Associated Press) - JACKSON, Miss. — "Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would have declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide. The so-called "personhood" initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted. If it had passed, it was virtually assured of drawing legal challenges because it conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion. Supporters of the initiative wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge the landmark ruling." (AP via Boston Herald)

This program aired on November 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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