In the history of medical care, medical records served one purpose and two masters: to record diagnosis and treatment for physicians to refer to and for patients to use to transfer care when they desired. The medical record was a simple 3 x 5 or ledger card in the 1950s. The patient paid directly for care at the time of service. Usually, the physician had a nurse and a spouse ...

Read more...

Doctors need to be true to themselves, but at the same time, they must be chameleons. A doctor fills certain roles in the lives and stories of patients. It is a two-way relationship that looks different to each person we serve throughout every workday and even in the most casual interactions we have. Some patients need us to take charge for a while because they’re exhausted; others need us to listen quietly ...

Read more...

The doctor shortage across the United States is coming and has the potential to be painful to millions of Americans. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2023, the country may experience a deficit of up to nearly 122,000 physicians. With more and more Americans getting access to health care because of policies like the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, and with the aging population, medical schools ...

Read more...

Start at the origin. Over two, up four. Down three, right six. Left five, up one. Keep connecting the dots. Everything will take shape. I liked graphs. Plotting coordinates — whether it be for a parabola or ellipse — was always calming for me: numbers told you exactly where you needed to be. But my numbers scared me. My 8-year-old feet would hesitantly step on the scale at the doctor’s office. I ...

Read more...

The family doctor used to be almost the only source of medical information patients had access to. Now, few people need us to bring them the latest news. It’s there for everyone to see. There’s even too much of it. Today, our role is to help make sense of it all. In order to do that, we must possess and project authority, but we have no reason to put ourselves on ...

Read more...

Research shows that as many as 50 percent of physicians report some level of burnout that manifests as depression, dissociation, indifference, and even substance use disorders. Medicine has become focused on monetary gains by large corporations, major hospitals, and insurance companies. As much as doctors want to focus on quality patient care, they are forced to focus on electronic medical records that are cumbersome, seeing multiple patients with quick assessments ...

Read more...

The other day I asked myself why do I focus my attention on immigrants when there are plenty of other underserved and neglected populations.  When an opioid crisis surrounds me, why do I speak of a crisis at the border?  When structural and overt racism contributes to an infant mortality rate of 10.97 for black women's babies, twice the rate for the nation as a whole.  When only 18 states ...

Read more...

In most other human activities, there are two speeds, fast and slow. Usually, one dominates. Think firefighting versus bridge design. Health care spans from one extreme to the other. Think code blue versus diabetes care. Primary care was once a place where you treated things like earaches and unexplained weight loss in appointments of different lengths with documentation of different complexity. By doing both in the same clinic over the lifespan ...

Read more...

acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. The administrative burden associated with caring for patients in today’s health care system has emerged as a primary driver of the loss of joy in the practice of medicine and the epidemic of burnout among physicians. No medical specialty is immune from the upward ...

Read more...

As doctors, most of us went into medicine with a true desire to help other people. What was once a noble profession is now being worn down by outside forces trying to control us. Third-party insurance companies are driven by profits, not by optimal care of patients. Politicians are driven by their own political agendas and party alliances without even acknowledging the real problems existing in the health care system. Most ...

Read more...

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link