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Latest Posts

Infographic Describes Disconnect Between Physicians And Patients

I am a big fan of Infographics.  They are great for turning otherwise complex data into practical information.  Here’s an Infographic I built to describe the “disconnect” that often occurs between physicians and patients and the impact of adherence.

*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*

The Age Of Medical Disconnect

It’s the age of medical disconnect.

The disconnect describes the emotional and intellectual detachment that physicians feel from their patients and patients from their doctors.  This disconnect is the result of a confluence of factors, some from within the profession itself, others are more broadly social and economic.

To understand the disconnect you need look no further than your neighbor or your parents.  Dissatisfaction is evolving as the norm.  Patients feel increasingly marginalized in their experiences with physicians.  Shrinking length of visits, indifferent attitudes, poorly coordinated evaluations, difficulty obtaining test results, an institutional feel to the patient experience, and the overall sense of not feeling at all important.

The truth is that many of us are really not aware of the disconnect. Most of us have been born into a system of dysfunctional provider relationships and we know nothing else.  As physicians we’ve been trained to be detached.  As patients we’ve been conditioned to live happily detached.

Of course there are plenty of physicians who Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Communication Disconnects Between Doctors And Patients

Reading the ER Stories blog is often a guilty pleasure for me. Today’s post, however, struck a nerve:

Very often I ask patients about their recent visits to other doctors.  While I am taking a history, it’s important for me to know if you’ve recently been seen by another provider for the same or similar complaints and what they did, what they diagnosed you with, what they prescribed, etc.

I often get a kind of irritated response such as “Oh, he didn’t do anything” or “he said it was nothing” or “he didn’t say anything to me”.  Although I know my share of layzee doctors, I bet the vast majority of times, the doctor DID do something and DID say something.
Just not what the patient either wanted to hear or that their perception or comprehension was wrong.  …

… Now, maybe he is not a good communicator. Maybe he doesn’t have the time to sit there and explain the pathophysiology of viruses or something like benign peripheral vertigo  – and thus you feel short changed. After all he “just asked me a few questions, listened to my lungs and told me to go home and rest”.

Early on in my training I was fortunate to be taught that proper communication is the responsibility of both doctor and patient. So when a patient shows up in my ED and says their last doctor “did nothing”  – when I can see with a few clicks that they got labs, a CT, and two prescriptions — well, there’s a failure to communicate. And the other doctor carries at least some of the blame for this. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Blogborygmi*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Cartoon

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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