Category Archive: Public Health & Policy

The patient-doctor relationship: Eroded by the opioid epidemic but essential to overcoming it

The opioid epidemic has swept through communities across the country, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse more than 115 people in the U.S. die every day after overdosing on opioids. This crisis is dominating the headlines as physician…

Primary care today: There are several concerning trends

In 2006 Dr. Tom Bodenheimer wrote an article that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, “Primary Care – Will It Survive?” Dr. Bodenheimer spoke with great concern about patients’ growing unhappiness with their primary care phys…

Redefining quality through a patient-centered approach

Ask any physician what quality is, and you’ll get many different answers. You will hear answers such as “finding a cause for their pain,” “ruling out a life-threatening condition,” “partnering with patients to improve their health” or “offering the mos…

Medical clinicians are being stress fractured

An excerpt from Leadership Lessons from History: A Study Guide Written for Physicians & Other Healthcare Leaders. In June 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia along with an army of 600,000 men; fewer than 100,000 made it back. During their ignoble militar…

The blood of patients is not a rhetorical device

Recently, social media and news organizations have been awash in the physician-led backlash to the NRA’s now infamous “stay in your lane” tweet, and consequently, awash in images of the literal blood of seriously wounded or now deceased patients. Gun c…

Hospitals are no longer an important part of the social safety net. That’s a problem.

“Admission diagnosis: causa socialis” In my training in Sweden, it was not unusual to admit patients to the hospital for social reasons: an elderly person who could no longer manage at home, a person whose social network fell apart, and so on. “Social …

6 ways to smooth the journey to value-based care

I have had the fortune — both good and bad — of being at the forefront of reforming physician reimbursement as an advocate for physicians. I’ve worked on models spanning private practice, group employment, faculty practice plans, and independent physic…

This isn’t just my lane, it’s my highway

On Wednesday, I did a gunshot-wound autopsy. On Friday, I was going into the morgue to perform another when I checked Twitter and saw this. Doctors across the U.S. and across medical specialties were already responding and sharing photos: their face sh…

Should doctors stay in their lane? A physician says yes.

The National Rifle Association ruffled a lot of feathers recently when it published a tweet that said that doctors should “stay in their lane” on the subject of gun control. As a practicing physician, you might be surprised to hear that I side with the…

The insanity of American health care prices played out in this one, real oncology appointment

The oncologist had prescribed Xgeva hoping it would strengthen her bones while also delaying the progression of Angela Kahn’s breast cancer. But Kahn (a pseudonym) couldn’t get over the price of the drug. Before the oncologist had a chance …

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