The tone, overall, was intense. Intellectual, brain-stimulating… By contrast to other medical meetings I’ve attended, there was little glitz, scant makeup and limited Wireless. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the ASBH conference
Anger is an understandable reaction to a system that dehumanizes patients, that treats bodies as containers of billable ailments and broken parts. But most doctors go about their daily work with good intention – to heal.
Profit is not what medical care is about, or should be about. What we need is a simple, national health plan, available to everyone, with minimal paperwork and, yes, limits to care.
Dr. Donald Berwick left his position last week as head of CMS. He said this, as quoted in the WSJ’s Washington Wire, yesterday: “Maybe a real death panel is a group of people who tell health care insurers that is it OK to take insurance away from people because they are sick or are at […]
Today we should move forward on the list published in the NEJM on Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care. We’re up to point 7 in our discussion, what’s 2nd in the authors’ proposed changes in attitudes and practice: “Both doctors and patients need to have more realistic expectations.” This point follows closely from the […]
The latest NEJM features a big story about a small trial, with only 39 patients in the end, on the potential for placebos to relieve patients’ experience of symptoms. This follows other recent reports on the subjective effectiveness of pseudo-pharmacology. My point for today is that placebos are problematic in health care with few exceptions. First, […]
This week the Times ran a leading story on a new med school admission process, with multiple, mini-interviews, like speed dating. The idea is to assess applicants’ social, communication and ethical thinking (?) skills: …It is called the multiple mini interview, or M.M.I., and its use is spreading. At least eight medical schools in the United […]
This is the fourth in a series of posts on Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care, by Drs. Thomas J. Smith and Bruce E. Hillner, in a recent NEJM health policy piece. The authors’ third suggestion: to limit chemotherapy to patients with good performance status, with an exception for highly responsive disease, is surely one of the most […]
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Don Berwick speak at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Berwick now heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. When he spoke in April, on transparency and how we might simultaneously cut costs and improve care, I thought his […]
Dr. Wes has a short post today, How to Optimize Your Care While Hospitalized that got me thinking. He writes: …A lone doctor listening to some highly experienced and capable nurses, reflecting on their work: “If the patient’s nice, it’s a lot easier to want to go back in that room with them. Their reputation […]