Monday, August 27, 2012
Pain is a fundamental part of life, and often a very lonely part. Doctors want to understand their patients' pain, and we all want to understand the suffering of our friends, relatives, or spouses. But pinning down another person's hurt is a slippery business.
Friday, June 29, 2012
We’ve discussed the ins and outs of politics and policy as they pertain to the Affordable Care Act. But how does the ruling translate into change in the doctor’s office? And what will doctors be watching for in the months ahead?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
All this week, we're talking about Department of Health and Human Services vs. Florida, the health care case at the Supreme Court. Today the Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to purchase health insurance. Failure to purchase health insurance could result in a fine. We've heard from constitutional scholars and economists for their take on health care reform and the individual mandate, and today we turn to three doctors this morning who have very different perspectives on the individual mandate.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
This Sunday marks three months since the last U.S. military convoy left Iraq. Few places were better witnesses of the effects of the war on citizens than Ibn Sina Hospital in Baghdad’s Green Zone, which is perhaps most familiar to Americans for its emergency room, known as Baghdad ER. Each day, the American-run Baghdad ER treated anyone who came to its door with life-threatening battle injuries. On October 1, 2009, the U.S. government returned management of the hospital to Iraq.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
A new report ranks America's 405 best hospitals based on their quality of treatment for heart attacks, pneumonia, and other critical ailments. Some of the nation's leading health care providers are not on the list. Dr. Mark Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, the hospital certification organization that conducted the study, said, "We recognize that improvement has been happening across the country on these measures, but there are some hospitals that have achieved extraordinary levels of performance."
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Until recently, few medical schools taught what most of us call "bedside manner," the ability to empathize and compassionately care for patients. Even fewer schools considered prospective candidates on their ability to communicate with patients. But now a growing number of medical schools are evaluating students through the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) in addition to M-CAT scores and grade point average. The MMI tests for ethical reasoning and communication ability.
Monday, August 16, 2010
In our world where BlackBerries, cell phones, laptop computers and other digital devices rarely provide an escape from constant communication, it's often more difficult to disconnect than stay connected. But, as Matt Richtel writes in today's New York Times, one group of five neuroscientists successfully separated themselves from technology to enter the wilderness and study how the heavy and consistent use of digital devices affect the brain.
Friday, August 13, 2010
In an effort to help fight childhood obesity, doctors at several Massachusetts health centers have begun distributing prescriptions for farmers' market produce to their patients.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
For more than 50 years, students who want to be doctors have dreaded two things above all else: organic chemistry and the Medical College Admissions Test – better known as the MCAT.
But there is one program out there that allows students to skip both of these prerequisites, though it’s been a pretty well-kept secret. The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City admits a quarter of its class without the traditional pre-med background.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In our DIY Checkup series we've been talking about simple strategies to help take control of our health. Last week we spoke about setting long term health priorities with Dr. Andrea Price, who said that it is important to get to the doctor for your regular checkups. But for many, just making an appointment can be challenging.
Takeaway listener Hugh Appet responded on our website:
"One of the doctors mentioned as an example, someone who has not been to a doctor in five years. How about 20? Why don't insurance companies make it mandatory? The big thing, for me, is phobia. I tried making an appointment with my forcibly chosen primary care doctor under my health plan. The phone receptionist was so brusk that I couldn't get out what I needed to. So no appointment.
This week, we talk with Newsweek health reporter Kate Dailey and Dr. Pauline Chen about how to navigate the chaotic health system to find the right doctor and how to build a trusting relationship with your doctor once you make it to the office.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Scenes of fear, pain, and trust between doctors and patients give viewers an intimate look at what happens at the hospital in "Boston Med," a new documentary series on ABC. The show is neither "reality TV" nor the fictionalized medical fantasy land that we see on "Grey's Anatomy" and "House." In fact, it's a very real documentary that provides an unflinching look at the relationships between doctors and patients. We talk to the show's executive producer and one of the featured doctors about gaining access and building trust, and why they made this documentary.
Monday, June 21, 2010
In just six months, millions of baby boomers are expected to to enroll in Medicare at a time when the number of doctors refusing to take new Medicare patients is at an all-time high. In New York State alone, about 1,100 doctors have left the system. The American Medical Association blames low government payment rates for the sudden change. A 21 percent automatic cut in payments to doctors went into effect on Friday after Congress failed to pass a bill giving doctors a temporary reprieve.
With some areas of the United States already suffering from a deficit of primary care physicians, the AARP worries the trend away from Medicare will only make the problem worse. Some doctors, on the other hand, feel that the government has backed them into a corner. "Physicians are saying, 'I can't afford to keep losing money.'" says Lori Helm, president of the family doctors' group.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The nation is facing a shortage of primary care doctors, and to fill that gap many states are proposing to expand the role of nurse practitioners to allow them to prescribe medication, practice without a doctor's supervision, and even be called doctors if they have a doctorate.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Dr. Steven Landau, a family physician from Smithfield, N.C. rushed to Haiti after the earthquake to do his part in the relief effort. He was not prepared for the emotional toll of the experience. He tells us what he saw and how he coped.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Since the earthquake devastated much of the Haitian capital nearly two weeks ago, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming, including from the medical community. Doctors from around the world have signed up to volunteer in the relief effort and now, there may actually be too many doctors in the country, with not enough nurses to provide the essential follow-up care.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Teaching hospitals are pushing hard for an amendment in the health care legislation that would increase the number of medical residencies by 15,000 from the already 100,000 that already exist, financed by the federal government. More doctors sounds like a great idea to cure those long waits to make an appointment... would they work out in practice? Shannon Brownlee, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer," says in her latest column in The New York Times, that simply adding more doctors might actually do more harm than good. Dr. Moitri Savard is a family physician with a private practice in Long Island City, N.Y.; she believes the biggest problem are young doctors choosing higher paying specialist jobs instead of going into primary care.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The average doctor visit lasts just 17 minutes, according to online medical journal Medscape. Plans for health care reform aim to allow doctors to spend more time with patients, but until then, doctors recommend getting the most out of even short visits. They say it doesn't make sense to leave anything out. Dr. Charles Mouton is professor of community health and family practice at Howard University, and he gives us some advice on how to break the silence and talk to your doctor most effectively.