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After hours of emotional debate, the Texas Senate late on Tuesday evening approved omnibus legislation to tighten abortion restrictions.

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Political powerhouse Texas Right to Life is working overtime to try to defeat a compromise measure aimed at improving state laws governing “end of life” medical decisions. But with time running out to get Senate Bill 303 passed, the fight over the legislation has shifted from political to personal.

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While reactions to Bloomberg’s soda ban continue to effervesce, those truly concerned with the public’s health would be well advised to hold their praise.

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The most exciting exchange erupting on Twitter last week wasn’t about Kony 2012. Or Nandito Ako. It was about NNT — number needed to treat.

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Does rural healthcare have a future? And how can we ensure that rural California residents have access to decent healthcare, as doctors are becoming scarce?

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From the opening keynote of this week's National Health Journalism Fellowship seminar, prevention and health beyond just health care have been common themes. Today's afternoon panelists gave examples of programs that take simple, novel approaches to integrating physical activity into people's daily lives.

Take a Walk

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Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman has become the go-to source for comments on how drug companies have been using ghostwriters to inject marketing messages into the medical literature, a controversy that prompted powerful Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to send a letter on Aug. 11 to the National Institutes of Health asking, among other things, "What is the current NIH policy on ghostwriting with regards to NIH researchers?"

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I wrote a post earlier this week about a Nieman Reports article by Dr. John Abramson, a clinical instructor at Harvard and outspoken critic of the pharmaceutical industry. After serving in the National Health Service Corps, Abramson worked as a family physician for 20 years in Massachusetts.

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Dr. William A. Norcross is a professor of family medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. At UCSD Medical Center, Hillcrest, he studies the future of health care and the role of the family physician. Norcross has collected data over two decades on the practices of residency-trained family physicians and the role of the primary care physician. Norcross also serves as director of the Physician Assessment and Clinical Education program, or PACE, a physician course to improve physician education in all specialties, including physician-patient communication. Norcross received his M.M.S.

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Dr. Katherine A. Flores is director of the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research Center, a unit of the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The center is intended to address the serious shortage of Latino physicians and other health care professionals in the area by guiding individuals to become health care professionals who ultimately return to the San Joaquin Valley and provide culturally competent health care services to the medically underserved.

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