Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Mini-Interviews For Med School Applicants Focus On Social Skills

Recently the Times ran a leading story on a new med school admission process, with multiple, mini-interviews, like speed dating. The idea is to assess applicants’ social, communication and ethical thinking (?) skills:

…It is called the multiple mini interview, or M.M.I., and its use is spreading. At least eight medical schools in the United States — including those at Stanford, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cincinnati — and 13 in Canada are using it.

At Virginia Tech Carilion, 26 candidates showed up on a Saturday in March and stood with their backs to the doors of 26 small rooms. When a bell sounded, the applicants spun around and read a sheet of paper taped to the door that described an ethical conundrum. Two minutes later, the bell sounded again and the applicants charged into the small rooms and found an interviewer waiting. A chorus of cheerful greetings rang out, and the doors shut. The candidates had eight minutes to discuss that room’s situation. Then they moved to the next room, the next surprise conundrum…

This sounds great, at first glance. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*

Teamwork And Good Communication Make Everything Better

What? Just what am I talking about? Give me a minute.

More and more people are telling me too often they are encountering doctors who 1) don’t look them in the eye 2) don’t listen to them 3) don’t touch them or get anywhere near them and 4) stay focused on their a) computer b) smartphone or c) iPad.

More of us are saying we are “mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore” just like the character in the movie “Network” years ago. We find another doctor.
I am happy to report that an increasing number of the gray haired doctors who run medical schools are agreeing with us. Doctors need to be better communicators. They need to celebrate human contact rather than devote themselves to only technology and leading edge science. The professors also want tomorrow’s doctors to know how to work as part of a team. That’s the core of multi-disciplinary care that we talk about all the time these days. It’s smart minds working together for you and me – and to avoid medical errors – which, by the way are estimated to kill 98,000 U.S. patients a year. The idea is Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*

Better Health Covers HIMSS, Day 3

Nick Genes and Mike Sevilla and I had a fascinating series of interviews with key exhibitors at HIMSS yesterday. I hope you enjoyed them on UStream. We will edit them a bit and offer them up on the blog soon. Please join us from 8am-6pm today for more HIMSS coverage. Here is our interview schedule (all meetings will be held in the Better Health conference room, located behind the Information Desk in the lobby of Building B (near HIMSS Central):


Sex In The City: Interviews In Central Park

An assumption of my new web show, CBSDOC.COM, is that people are aching for mature discussions about health.  This week I went to Central Park in New York City to talk to passersby about their sexuality, hoping to strike the right tone.  I brought along two female gynecologists – Dr. Lori Warren and Dr. Rebecca Booth – experts who flew all the way from Louisville, Kentucky to help me out.  Dr. Booth has written a book called “The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle At Any Age” that explains how hormones affect women from adolescence to menopause.  Each has an active clinical practice and extensive experience talking to their patients about everything from memory loss following pregnancy (“my memory went out with the placenta”) to plummeting libido.  And as luck would have it, total strangers we met at Columbus Circle talked to us quite openly about those very problems, eager to hear some practical advice.  I hope we accomplished our goal of talking about a sensitive subject in a grown-up manner.

**Better Health readers: please let us know what you think of this new video series with Dr. LaPook. Leave a comment below. Thanks!**

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »