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Latest Posts

Should You Find A New Doctor?

Come  on people… you know what I am talking about.  Sure you are comfortable with your current doctor… after all you are still alive and kicking.  Besides it has taken you years to figure out what you can safely tell your doctor and when it’s ok to speak up.  Yes the fact that your doctor is often late and never seems to listen to you bothers you just a little.  But you aren’t displeased enough to stop giving your doctor high satisfaction scores.  After all who wants to upset their doctor?   But admit it; you have wondered if there isn’t a doctor out there that would be a better fit with you.   I know I have.

Doctors probably feel the same way about many of their patients.   It can’t be easy everyday trying to help patients that don’t seem to want to help themselves… or who want a quick fix from a bottle of pills.   Not to mention patients who habitually miss their appointments and are generally non-compliant.

How Would Changing Doctor’s Help? Read more »

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

Advice For New Doctors

It’s the cusp of a new medical year and there’s no shortage of advice on how to succeed as a house officer.  The White Coat Underground and Wes Fisher will put you in the right direction.  And I love Mary Brandt’s Advice for New Interns.

But just a couple of more points to keep in mind:

Keep your options open.  Medicine is changing quickly.  You’ll start your career training as a 20th century doctor and retire in a place none of us can imagine.  Your ultimate success will be determined by your ability to adapt to a shifting foundation.  Keep an open mind.

Quiet your fingers.  You are the first generation to have publication tools that make it dangerously easy to breach your patient’s trust.  Keep their business off the public forums.  Better yet, find a way to apply all this wonderful technology to really move the chains forward. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

How An Empowered Patient Finds A New Doctor

What if the average patient (person) knew what healthcare insiders, providers and expert patients know?

Take the process of looking for a new personal physician. Conventional wisdom tells people that when looking for a new physician they need to consider things like specialty, board certification, years in practice, and geographic proximity. Online services like Health Grades allow you to see and compare the satisfaction scores for prospective physician candidates.

But industry insiders know different. Consider those patient satisfaction scores for physicians. In reality, “one can assume that the quality of care is actually worse than surveys of patient satisfaction would seem to show,” according to a 1991 lecture by Avedis Donabedian, M.D.:

“Often patients are, in fact, overly patient; they put up with unnecessary discomforts and grant their doctors the benefit of every doubt, until deficiencies in care are too manifest to be overlooked.”

Given the constant drumbeat about the lack of care coordination and medical errors, it would seem that some people (patients) are beginning to reach the breaking point alluded to by Dr. Donabedian. The empowered among us are starting to compare physicians (and the hospitals that employ them) to a higher standard – a higher standard that reflects the nature and quality of the medical services physicians actually provide. Empowered patients today are “being taught to be less patient, more critical, and more assertive.” Read more »

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

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 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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