Atul Gawande says that we’re used to doctors working like “cowboys” – rugged individualists who are responsible for making sure your care gets done right. We don’t need cowboys, he says. We need “pit crews” – teams of doctors working together toward a common goal, with each playing their own role.
It’s an appealing idea. Pit crew-like teams work, and work well, in trauma units across the country.
But there’s a problem: if you haven’t just been airlifted to a hospital after a horrible accident, you’re not going to be treated by a pit crew. You’re going to be on your own, shuffled from one 15-minute specialist visit to the next, likely with no one person in charge of your care.
Dr. Gawande knows this, and he picks a heck of an example of the problem: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at BestDoctors.com: See First Blog*
There’s nothing new under the sun, or in medicine. I’m not talking about monoclonal antibody targeted chemotherapy; I’m talking about taking care of patients, and specifically about running a medical practice. Not even the incursion advent of all our fancy new electronics has (or should have) a fundamental effect on how we take care of our patients. The latest thing to come down the pike is the so-called Patient Centered Medical Home, a collection of policies, procedures, and practice re-structuring (webinars, templates, guidelines, etc. all available at low, low prices, of course) that essentially makes large group practices function like a solo doc from the patient’s point of view.
Because the buzzword of this new model is “teamwork”, we’re all supposed to begin the day with a brilliant new concept called the “huddle“: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*
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*
With all the negative press, the pay cuts, and the uncertainty of healthcare reform, I am approached by people who secretly whisper in my ear, “Would you have your child go into medicine?”
On first blush I am tempted to answer, “Heck no!” given the administrative hassles, the changes in the public’s perception of our profession, the frontload of education, and the long hours involved. But those observations, while real, are superficial at best.
Drilling down with more careful analysis after a challenging weekend on call, I find it worthwhile to stop and ask myself what makes medicine special for those of us crazy enough to subject ourselves to this lifestyle. I decided to put together a list of things that were important to me and would welcome additions from others. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*