I recently stumbled across a blog post by Dr. Jay Parkinson, an entrepreneur and founder of Sherpaa, who reflected on a recent private breakfast with New Yorker and best selling author Dr. Atul Gawande.

The question posed by Gawande: Can technology be a change agent for health care? The inevitable answer is yes, with one important caveat. It’s not the technology that will change the practice of medicine, it’s the doctors who ...

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As a practicing primary care doctor, I very much enjoy my career choice. I’m fortunate enough to be in a large multispecialty practice that is collegial and forward thinking. If I was in a smaller practice like other colleagues, I would not quite feel the same. Yet concern about how to make primary care attractive for both future doctors and those currently in practice has been something I’ve been occupied with ...

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October 1st was a special day. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also commonly known as Obamacare became official. The federal government shut down because Republicans and Democrats disagreed around Obamacare funding. Most importantly, October 1st was when I could finally read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book David and Goliath. Gladwell ponders why do underdogs succeed when we least expect them to? Is it possible that advantages a Goliath has can be a disadvantage? ...

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With the implementation of health insurance exchanges in October 2013 and the beginning of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, there is tremendous risk for the American public to be worse off. Certainly the millions of Americans who currently are uninsured because their employers do not offer insurance coverage and those with pre-existing conditions unable to purchase affordable individual coverage, will benefit. It is those with employer-based ...

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She was the first Michigan Wolverine I met who taught me their college fight song “Hail to the Victors,”and demonstrated their rabid pride anytime football or basketball season rolled around. (If you know people from the University of Michigan, you know what I mean). She was also one of the smartest and hardest working doctors in our family medicine residency program and one of our two chief residents. So ...

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If you want to see the future of health care, the can’t miss conference of the year is the Health Innovation Summit hosted by Rock Health in San Francisco. As a practicing primary care doctor, I had the opportunity to view health care through the lenses of technology entrepreneurs. I thought the conference was even better than the one I attended last year. Absent was the provocative rhetoric by 2012 ...

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This past July, the newest doctors, interns, have continued their journey in becoming experienced doctors. These newly minted and graduated doctors have excitement, anxiety, and anticipation not unlike the first day of medical school, college, or high school. But as new doctors begin their next step, we rarely talk about those who also graduated. Specifically, doctors who have completed their residency and in some cases their advanced fellowship training. What about ...

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8172034_cover An excerpt from The Thrifty Patient – Vital Insider Tips for Saving Money and Staying Healthy.

Do I really need an MRI?  Do I really need blood work? This often? Should I avoid talking to my doctor and jump right to tests? Americans love technology, whether it’s carrying the latest iPhone or buying the newest flat-screen TV with 3D technology. ...

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There is a stunning gap between what we know and what we need to do in health care to make it more affordable, accessible, and higher quality. In a recent piece by NPR, research shows that when it comes to treatment of low back pain, doctors are prescribing more powerful pain medications (narcotics) and ordering more imaging tests like MRI and CT scans when there is no evidence these are ...

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As a practicing primary care doctor, I very much believe that better care is when patients are engaged and share decision making with their doctor. Though in the past doctors treated patients in a paternalistic manner, my generation of doctors has been taught to uphold a balanced doctor-patient relationship and partnership. This change in balance of power has accelerated with the ease and availability of information via the internet. More ...

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In a time of crisis is when leaders step forward. If our nation faces one crisis, then it is that of the health care system which increasingly is unaffordable and trails other industrialized countries in quality and access. If there was a time leadership was needed then it would be now. As doctors, we should be providing this leadership. No longer can we let others dictate how health care should ...

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First I believe our health care system must be better so I’m always curious to hear how others might propose to fix it. I recently had the opportunity to listen in two conversations with businessman David Goldhill about how healthcare might be made better. Goldhill lost his father to a hospital acquired infection and witnessed multiple errors during his hospitalization which compelled him to write not only a piece in ...

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As a doctor, I am compelled to write because of what I know is occurring with alarming frequency in our country. Americans are skipping needed and recommended care that could save their lives and allow them to live to their fullest. Patients are more distracted, as life is more complicated and busier than ever. Households have both parents working, sometimes two jobs, just to make ends meet. They easily would ...

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Is the Ontario Annual Physical Exam going the way of the dinosaur? That appears to be the case for healthy individuals between the ages of 18 to 64 in the Canadian province of Ontario. Effective in 2013, these patients no longer would have available an annual physical examination, but instead a “personalized health review.” The new personalized health review would only be available to those who were healthy and ...

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8172034_cover An excerpt from The Thrifty Patient – Vital Insider Tips for Saving Money and Staying Healthy. In the spring of 2008, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator and Washington bureau chief, Tim Russert, died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of fifty-eight. Time magazine identified him as one of the one hundred most influential people in world in 2008. His ...

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shutterstock_110115209 One of the true joys of being a primary care doctor is partnering and educating patients to make the best decision for themselves and their families. Though they may not always agree with what I have to say, at least I know I’ve done my best to give them the information they need to be informed. What follows are common conversations I ...

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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Most of us have not had personal experience with illnesses like measles, mumps, German measles, or polio. Thank goodness for that. It is because a generation ago individuals, families, and doctors choose a different path. They witnessed loved ones stricken with these diseases. When the opportunity arose to protect themselves from these ...

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Assembling the right medical team is important to keeping you healthy and saving money. Besides you, one of the most important people on this team is your regular doctor. For many people, this is their primary care physician (PCP) or primary medical doctor (PMD). A highly trained and well-qualified primary care doctor can advise you on what preventive tests and treatments are truly necessary to stay healthy. If you view your ...

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It is always a treat, particularly when living on the West Coast, to watch the New England Patriots football team play on national television in their home stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts. On Monday Night Football, the match-up was between the Patriots and the Houston Texans, which had the best record in the AFC and undefeated in all away road games. As previously ...

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It is increasingly becoming the year of the Thrifty Patient. People are paying for more medical care and are more responsible for the costs of getting that care via higher deductibles and co-pays. Patients don’t have a choice but to be involved in their care. Though the recent 2008 recession saw a decrease in overall medical and health care utilization as ...

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