The U.S. underfunds medical residency programs, so local efforts are trying to fill the doctor gap

Hundreds of medical residents train in their specialties in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, but since the closure of the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, the spigot of fresh physicians who knew that area’s patients well stopped. The county-run … Continue reading The U.S. underfunds medical residency programs, so local efforts are trying to fill the doctor gap

Can Google save doctors and patients from the misery of electronic medical records?

Google is a company that likes to simplify tasks that used to be much bigger hassles, like reading maps, sharing documents, and finding old emails. Now, recognizing that health systems have not exactly jumped to help doctors with soul-crushing levels of daily data entry, Google wants to use speech recognition to help doctors get patient histories and plans into the electronic health record, or EHR. Continue reading Can Google save doctors and patients from the misery of electronic medical records?

Could a freshly designed patient experience revolutionize the doctor’s visit?

The future of the doctor’s visit is the topic of innumerable conference lectures, policy forecasts, and venture capital meetings. Will we all go to community clinics under single-payer health care? Will doctors’ offices shut down as on-demand house calls prosper? Will IBM Watson figure out what that pink mole is? Continue reading Could a freshly designed patient experience revolutionize the doctor’s visit?

Why aren’t we talking more about physician suicides?

I had just finished telling a physician colleague that I was volunteering on the team of a documentary about physician suicide. I told her that at least 400 U.S. doctors die every year in this way, that many of them are shockingly young, and the epidemic knows no international boundaries. Continue reading Why aren’t we talking more about physician suicides?

Here’s why geriatrics really shouldn’t be a medical specialty

In medical training, there were very few students or residents who intended to go into geriatrics, a subspecialty of medicine involving the care of older patients and an extra one-year fellowship after an internal medicine or family medicine residency. Future geriatricians got significant side-eye from their peers and superiors. Continue reading Here’s why geriatrics really shouldn’t be a medical specialty

Until we fix electronic medical records, we’ll keep losing good physicians

Could we lose hundreds, perhaps thousands, of physicians to bad software? I’ve written about doctors’ frustrations with software before, but recent studies have now linked electronic health records (EHR) to physician burnout. That means the software that runs billing and medical records and occupies doctors’ hands and eyes for much of the work day is a direct contributor to feelings of apathy toward patients and medicine, depressed or angry mood, cynicism and lack of feelings of accomplishment. Continue reading Until we fix electronic medical records, we’ll keep losing good physicians