With doctors pressed for time, and patients increasingly dissatisfied with their care, how can physicians do it all? According to a 2006 study, patients want their doctors to be "confident, empathetic, humane, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough." But in the age of conveyor-belt medicine, and the standard 15-minute office visit, it's becoming apparent that today's physician will have trouble fitting that mold. There are some tips a busy doctor can ...

Read more...

It's not as easy as you think. In this piece from Slate, two physicians question the numbers circulating in the media that sensationalize medical mistakes. For instance, when citing the Institute of Medicine's popular assertion that close to 100,000 patient deaths are preventable, they say that, "had [the researchers] used a different calculation method, the number of estimated deaths would have been less than 10 percent of the original." Determining ...

Read more...

In a scathing review, the Associated Press reports that $2.5 billion in federal funding has been spent on researching alternative therapies. None have been conclusively shown to work. Despite this, more medical schools and hospitals are embracing alternative medicine, and in some cases, offering them to patients who are gravely ill. Also, health insurers are making deals to provide alternative services, as well as nutritional supplements, to their members. The main reason ...

Read more...

Oprah Winfrey has been taken to task, rightly, by both bloggers and mainstream media on her advice on health issues. Most prominently is a recent front page story on Newsweek, titled, Live your best life ever! Pediatrician Rahul Parikh was ahead of the curve on this topic, blogging a similar stance a few weeks before the Newsweek piece was published. But how should Oprah, who, as Dr. Parikh writes, is an ...

Read more...

Here are some of the more interesting comments readers have left recently. 1. Carla Kakutani on how Massachusetts' health reform won't relieve ER overcrowding: Insurance does not equal access (although it’s better than nothing). Nothing changes until every stakeholder recognizes they have to control costs and allow a rebuilding of primary care in the US. That includes doctors and patients, along with everybody’s favorite villians, the insurance companies and big pharma. ...

Read more...

Here's a fascinating, and scary, video of an implanted automatic defibrillator in action. 20 year-old Belgian soccer player, Anthony Van Loo, collapsed during a match. Blogging over at MedPage Today, electrophysiologist Dr. Wes analyzes the subsequent video, giving a precise play-by-play, so to speak, of when the defibrillator kicked in, likely restoring the arrhythmia into a normal heart rhythm. As for the cause, Dr. Wes has got you covered: "In ...

Read more...

There have been plenty of stories detailing how difficult it is to treat the morbidly obese. Most of the time, the stories have centered on simply how difficult it is to transport these patients to the hospital. Once there, however, emergency physician Shadowfax talks about other issues. For instance, obtaining IV access is near impossible, and 500+ pound patients present grave challenges to securing an airway, managing ventilation, or performing ...

Read more...

This ER in Atlanta is betting that you will. Taking advantage of worsening patient wait times in emergency departments, the Emory Adventist Hospital is offering a "Hold my place in line" service. For a fee of $24.99, patients are guaranteed to be see in 15 minutes or less - or the entire visit is free. It seems to me like shrewd business, and the blatant beginning of tiered emergency service. However, WhiteCoat ...

Read more...

The Mayo Clinic has been touted by policy wonks as a low-cost, high-quality integrated health system that American physician practices should aspire to. What's somewhat less publicized is that they are also a leader in so-called "executive physicals." (via Schwitzer) These exams, which often exceed thousands of dollars, offer CEOs and other executives a battery of tests that are often not evidenced-based. These can include stress tests, cardiac CT scans, and ...

Read more...

Donald Berwick is a physician at the forefront of the patient empowerment movement. In a recent interview, he believes that medical care needs to be more patient-centered, in effect, "transfer[ring] control from doctors to the patients themselves," and, "patient preference occasionally putting evidence-based care “in the back seat." I wonder how, as a pediatrician, he's handling the anti-vaccine movement. In response to a question on patient choices that come in conflict with ...

Read more...

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories