Back pain, neck pain, and headache are common office visits I see in primary care. Today, I read an article put out by the American Chiropractic Association:

A new survey showing that nearly half of all Americans are concerned about the safety of the medical care they receive should send a strong signal to the health and insurance industries that safer non-drug, non-surgical treatments should be considered whenever ...

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Doctors should return test results faster
"In many ways, uncertainty is the worst disease in the world . . . the not-knowing can be worse than knowing the worst."
How true. Sheer volume of paperwork sometimes causes delay. As a primary care physician, I receive every single lab and X-ray test for my patients, whether they were ordered by me or not. This can number to over ...

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I received a pamphlet the other day from Empire Medical Training, touting Medical Procedures for the Primary Care Physician. They have various procedure-based workshops, such as pain management, cosmetic procedures, and dermatologic procedures. It all sounds great - certainly adding some procedures will increase the amount of variety I see every day. I'm thinking of doing a pain management workshop - they train you in ...

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Poor health, not lack of insurance, drives ED visits
This study was previously cited. This further emphasizes the importance of increasing primary care access as well as curtailing defensive medicine to help alleviate congestion at the ER.

Poor, uninsured don't fill emergency rooms
"More than 80 percent of patients seen in emergency rooms have health insurance and a usual source of health care such as a primary care physician." As has been previously mentioned, improving primary care access is key to alleviating ER overcrowding.

What primary care needs now
A look at addressing the problems in primary care.

Not that simple

Medrants notes that improving wait times to see GPs in the UK cannot be solved by such a simple solution:

Simple bureaucratic solutions like the 48 hour rule established in the NHS are doomed to fail, because the rules remove judgment from the decision making process. Bureaucracy often fails because it substitutes rules for reasoning.

Hospitalists

Medpundit writes about giving in to the hospitalist temptation. Let me say, hospital medicine is a completely different world from primary-care medicine. If you stay away from it, that knowledge will slowly dissipate. It's like not exercising a muscle - after awhile, it will atrophy and weaken. That's partly why I enjoy the occasional hospital and ER shifts - keeping these skills sharp is important ...

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Active euthanasia

What an incredible story today from Medpundit:

An elderly, "comfort care only" patient was transferred from her nursing home to the ER in the middle of the night because the nursing home didn't know what to do when she developed abdominal pain. She was much too frail to withstand surgery, and since she was "comfort care only," that wasn't an option anyways. The emergency room doctor who drew her ...

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Hostages in the ER

In a reminder that an emergency room can be dangerous place, this story reveals how desperate some patients are to continue their prescription drug abuse:

A man apparently distraught at not being able to see a doctor immediately held two hostages for 20 minutes at Frisbie Memorial Hospital Wednesday. . .

"They were able to get a doctor to respond to the emergency room," Officer Mike Allen said. ...

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