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Choose article section...Teaching tomorrow's doctors about palliative careThe price of bargaining with the taxman goes up Would your car pass these tests?It pays to monitor monthly statements

Teaching tomorrow's doctors about palliative care

It's been estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain, yet just 3 percent of medical schools have a separate required course on pain management. Less than a third offer elective courses in the subject. Now the American Academy of Pain Medicine plans to offer medical students a virtual textbook on palliative care.

The AAPM has joined forces with former Surgeon General David Satcher, former HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan, and representatives of several leading medical schools to create TOP MED, a comprehensive "virtual textbook" based on best practices in pain diagnosis and treatment. The textbook will cover the human and social costs of pain; neurobiology; evaluation; analgesics; acute pain; cancer pain and palliative care; chronic noncancer pain; pediatric pain; and culture, race and ethnicity. It will include a self-test section.

The online text should be available in fall of 2004 when medical students nationwide will be able to access it for free.

The price of bargaining with the taxman goes up

If you're hoping to settle your tax bill with the federal government at a discount, plan on spending $150. The application fee goes into effect Nov.1 for "offers in compromise," which cut a deal between taxpayers and the IRS by settling unpaid tax bills for less than the full payment. The IRS will waive the application fee for low-income taxpayers and those disputing the accuracy of their outstanding debt. The form for offers in compromise, Form 656, can be downloaded at www.irs.gov .

Would your car pass these tests?

Nine out of 10 cars flunked one or more aspects of voluntary inspections conducted by the Car Care Council around the country over the summer. The most common maintenance problems were improperly inflated tires (54 percent), low washer fluid (46 percent of cars), low, overfull, or dirty motor oil (38 percent), low or dirty steering fluid (25 percent), low, overfull, or burnt transmission fluid (22 percent), and faulty front windshield wipers (21 percent). The inspections were designed to call attention to maintenance problems that could compromise highway safety, air quality, and vehicle performance.

It pays to monitor monthly statements

About half of all identity theft victims uncovered the crime by closely watching their monthly account statements, says the FTC; another 26 percent were alerted by a bank or credit card company. Only 8 percent learned that their identity had been stolen because they were rejected when they applied for credit. About two-thirds of victims say thieves gained access to an existing credit card, while 19 percent reported that their checking or savings accounts were tapped. More than 27 million Americans had their identities stolen in the last five years; the average out-of-pocket loss for the past year was $500.


Yvonne Wollenberg. Online UPDATES.

Medical Economics

Oct. 24, 2003;80.

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