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Have you struggled to lose weight for as long as you can remember? Perhaps, you’re about ready to give up. If you can relate to this frustrating situation, consider speaking with your trusted physician about your concerns. Your doctor might be able to determine why you’re encountering difficultly losing weight. For instance, you might have an undiagnosed thyroid problem. Or, you may be retaining water. If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, taking a prescription medication every morning might help you shed a few pounds. On this blog, I hope you will discover how a doctor can help you achieve lasting weight loss success. Enjoy!

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Medical Screening For Intimate Partner Violence

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In 2013, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force handed down new recommendations on how physicians handle intimate partner violence or IPV. Physicians are now not only expected to report incidents of domestic violence; they are expected to screen for it. This procedure offers more help to the women most likely to suffer from this abuse, but it places more responsibility than ever on the medical professional's shoulders. If you are a physician, like Matthew Steiner MD, you need to know exactly what your responsibilities are. 

Statistics

The numbers on domestic violence are frightening, with one-third of all women and one-quarter of all men reporting that they have experienced an instance of IPV at least once in their lifetimes. Experts fear the real numbers are much higher since many victims do not report abuse. The CDC notes that 20% of homicides are associated with violence between intimate partners. 

Screening Women

You are expected to screen women who are in their childbearing years since they are considered to be more at risk than any other age group. A variety of assessment tools can be used, including the HITS test, a brief written test that asks how often a woman's partner physically hurts her, insults or talks down to her, threatens her with harm, and screams or curses at her. Each question is scored with a 1 through 5, and a score of 10 is considered positive. 

Referrals and Reporting

Since the screening is usually done on women with no visible physical injury, the next step is to refer women to intervention services, both private and public. When a woman seeks medical attention and a crime has clearly been committed, you can report the incident to the police, even if the victim asks you not to do so. If you only suspect abuse, the issue becomes cloudy since you have a responsibility to honor her protected medical information. In that case, you should exercise all possible options, including calling in a psychiatrist if possible. Also, you should consult with your legal counsel if you are uncertain of your responsibilities in a particular situation. 

So far, the guidelines only direct you to screen young women, but older women and men are also victims of abuse. You may certainly decide whether you wish to screen them as well. Though these victims often avoid contact with outsiders, they still visit healthcare providers, which is why the onus of screening is falling on you. Intervention does produce positive results, so the responsibility you are assuming is an essential one. 

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