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Who’s More Pessimistic About Healthcare Reform, Physicians Or Patients?

While public opposition to healthcare reform has diminished since its passage, physician opinions are still negative, especially among specialists who see their value to the healthcare system decreasing as reform emphasizes primary care.

A survey reports that 65 percent of nearly 3,000 physicians in all specialties said the quality of healthcare in the country will deteriorate in the next five years. Seventeen percent of respondents believe the quality of healthcare will stay the same and 18 percent believe it will improve. Meanwhile, 30 percent of healthcare consumers believe that the quality of healthcare will improve.

Physicians cited as reasons for their pessimism personal political beliefs, anger at insurance companies and a lack of accurate planning in the reform act. Other reasons include that primary care physicians won’t have the time to keep up with the extra workload, forcing more patients to depend upon nurse practitioners for primary care. When asked who will likely handle the 32 million Americans expected to receive healthcare following passage of the reform, 44 percent said primary care physicians will handle the load and 44 percent said that nurse practitioners will see them. (Physicians could vote for more than one category; options include physicians assistants and specialists, for example.) Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Drug Ads: Consumers And Doctors Are Tuning Them Out

How effective is direct-to-consumer drug advertising? Some think that drug ads should be banned altogether, saying that it encourages patients to ask their doctors for expensive, brand name prescription drugs. It turns out their fears may be overblown.

NPR’s Shots blogs about a recent study looking at the effectiveness of these ads. The numbers, for the pharmaceutical companies anyways, are not encouraging. 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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