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Unnecessary Medical Care: Consumers Are A “Powerful Force,” Too

One of the points of contention in healthcare reform is whether it will do enough to control costs. Forget about the Congressional Budget Office’s optimistic outlook, as it discounts the Medicare “doc fix,” which, when factored in, will erase any supposed deficit reduction.

Reform doesn’t do very much to change the underlying structure of our health system, which continues to pay more for quantity of medical services, rather than shift the focus to value and quality.

Sharon Begley, writing in Newsweek, offers some sensible suggestions on what we can do control costs. Better incorporating the best clinical evidence into their medical decisions would help. She cites the continued, and possibly unnecessary, use of back surgery, knee surgery, vertebroplasties, and angioplasties, despite mounting evidence that they’re being overused. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

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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