It’s a scenario that every doctor is familiar with. You are having a busy day and working full steam to get everyone better. You suddenly receive that unexpected message: “Mr. Johnson and his family are very upset and would like to speak with you now.” Most of the time, any physician’s initial reaction will be one of irritation, disappointment or frustration: “My goodness, I’m working so hard here, and we have ...

Read more...

Last week a physician friend recommended watching the movie the Big Short. The description given to me was that it was a great movie that was all about a bunch of guys who saw the 2008 financial crisis coming. Sure enough, that very weekend, I planned a night in to get take out and watch it on Netflix. And it sure didn’t disappoint. Starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, and ...

Read more...

“Hello Dr. Payne, thanks for calling back, there’s a consult I’d like you to see.” “What’s going on?” “Well there’s a patient up on 7 East who ...” “Wait a minute. 7 East ... isn’t there some other specialist covering there?” “No Dr. Payne, the schedule says you on Wednesdays.” “Oh, I’ll check that.” “OK, Dr. Payne, well we have this 72-year old, Mrs. Jones, who originally got admitted with pneumonia. She now has unusual inflammatory ...

Read more...

As many of you know, much of my focus has been on how we can improve health care information technology, and build on the systems that we currently have to make them more user-friendly and less cumbersome. At the crux of the problem is the issue of the disproportionate amount of time they take to navigate and how they turn the noble and personable art of being a doctor, into ...

Read more...

Several years ago, when I was working as a hospital physician in Florida, a patient’s wife said something that has always stuck with me. The service was very busy on that day, and I was doing my best to get through everybody in a timely manner. I was with a patient whose wife was at the bedside, beside herself with worry. I was focused on the main presenting complaint, but ...

Read more...

Being a doctor is about as much of a social job as one can get. Even though computers and healthcare information technology mean that physicians are now spending a disproportionately large amount of their time staring at their computer screens, there’s no getting around the importance of good old face-to-face interactions. That’s also what’s valued by your patients. In this time of great upheaval in healthcare, everything has ...

Read more...

There are many different theories out there about the direction that health care should go, and what we need to be doing in the future. Passions run high, and peoples’ opinions vary wildly. It’s frequently difficult to find agreement on anything. There is, however, one universal truth I’ve found about the everyday practice of medicine, and what constitutes great medical care for any individual in any health care system. Having worked ...

Read more...

Following my latest article on health care information technology, and how tragic the situation has become for physicians, I received a lot of correspondence. As always with articles that express physicians’ frustrations with the current batch of IT systems, there’s typically a lot of sympathy and agreement (although I believe that just nodding our heads and saying how bad a situation is, doesn’t really mean that ...

Read more...

Illness is a disappointing and frustrating time. Nothing could be worse than a sickness which suddenly jolts you out of your daily routine, and forces you to confront a harsh new reality. That’s something that physicians should always remember as they go about their hectic work days. Doctors see patients at extremely low points in their lives. The vast majority of physicians, and indeed all other health care professionals, are among ...

Read more...

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the suboptimal nature of electronic medical records and what we need to be doing better. At their best, health care information technology systems can make finding patient medical data unbelievably quick and easy. However, at their worst, they take up an unacceptable amount of physicians’ time and also dumb down medicine, reducing our patients’ stories to rows of meaningless tick ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.