You have probably read that experience makes for better doctors.
And of course this would be true–in the obvious ways, like with the hand-eye coordination required to do complex procedures, or more importantly, with the judgment of when to do them.
There’s no news here: everyone knows you want a doctor that’s been out of training awhile, but not so long that they have become weary, close-minded or physically diminished. Just the right amount of experience please.
But there’s also potential downsides and struggles that come with experience. Tonight I would like to dwell on three ways in which experience is causing me angst.
But first, as background…
It was the very esteemed physician-turned-authors, Dr. Groopman and his wife, Dr. Hartzland, who wrote this thought-provoking WSJ essay–on how hidden influences may sway our medical decisions–that got me thinking about how I have evolved as a doctor. They were writing from the perspective of the patient. But in the exam room, there are two parties: patient and doctor.
# 1) The sobering view that experience brings: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
Perhaps the greatest thrill in attending a summer meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) is listening to new, enthusiastic and exciting speakers. They bring new insights and opinions to numerous topics and discussions, which is an essential part of the educational process. This past summer, at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the WMS held in Snowmass, Colorado, Dr. Drew Watters from the Indiana University School of Medicine approached the audience with his observations about neurobiology and survival. It was an innovative approach to a very common topic within wilderness medicine. How does one account for and handle emotions in a time of stress, including the most stressful situation of all—namely, a survival situation? When is it better to think, rather than to react? The objectives of his presentation were to understand to a certain extent survival, the anatomy of thought and perception, the neurobiology of emotions, behavior, emotive and cognitive decisions, and implementation of interventions in situations dominated by emotion.
Anyone who has practiced wilderness medicine knows that bad things happen, sometimes despite the best preparations and intentions. People make bad decisions that can too often be characterized as dumb. If they follow with more bad decisions, the situation Read more »
This post, Handling One’s Emotions In A Survival Situation, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
Today I refer you to an excellent post by Peter A. Lipson, M.D., at the blog Science Based Medicine entitled “HuffPo blogger claims skin cancer is conspiracy.”
The post focuses on an article by someone who contends that the link between sunlight and skin cancer is a conspiracy by dermatologists and the cosmetic dermatology industry. Dr. Lipson’s highly insightful analysis about the “interview” process and how doctors must act these days on behalf of their patients concludes:
This article shows a misunderstanding of journalistic ethics, medical ethics, and medical science. It’s a disaster. And it’s no surprise that it’s in the Huffington Post.
While this is a medicine story, my question relates to why an organization with a lot of great front-page news so frequently posts medical articles that are wrong and, sometimes, downright dangerous.
Read the article first, then read Dr. Lipson’s analysis.
Disclosure: I am an occasional contributor to Science Based Medicine but, like all contributors there, receive no compensation.
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
How fast should an ambulance go? The stereotypical speeding ambulance with lights flashing and sirens blaring is the image that most conjure up. But recent data suggests that transport speed may be overstated.
In a fascinating piece from Slate, emergency physicians Zachary F. Meisel and Jesse M. Pines examine that very question. They cite a recent study from the Annals of Emergency Medicine, which concluded that a fast transport speed didn’t necessarily save lives. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*