Health Education

Yes, It Might Be Smart to Schmooze With Your Doctor!

Yes, It Might Be Smart to Schmooze With Your Doctor!

You may read the headline of this post and be disenchanted. Until a short time ago, I would have reacted the same way. But after careful thought, I came to several realizations: Doctors are human. First impressions are powerful. Doctors are stressed. This is an uncertain time for the medical profession and health care...

Read more »

2011 Health Care Quality Report Card Released Today!

2011 Health Care Quality Report Card Released Today!

Is your doctor rated highly by this year’s report card? What about your treating facility? Your health insurer? Here is information to help you evaluate the services you receive — released today by the Office of the Patient Advocate for the State of California, this comprehensive report provides ratings on health insurers, medical providers,...

Read more »

High-Tech Medicine Often Misses the Obvious.

It’s easy to lose perspective of the role of technology in our lives. A recent article in The New York Times, “Treat the Patient, Not the CT Scan,” makes this painfully clear. Describing the admission of a young woman to the E.R. presenting with seizures and breathing difficulty, a routine CT scan revealed what...

Read more »

Listen To My Heart…

Listen To My Heart…

Volunteering to observe interaction between doctor and patient, a journalist reported her experience of 18 second-year Harvard Medical School students encountering their first “live” cardiology case. All of them passed the difficult art of auscultation (the stethoscope has not yet become obsolete, low-tech though it is), but most flunked the bedside-manner experiment. Indeed, can you...

Read more »

Making Decisions About Medical Care – Before You Get Sick.

We don’t like to think about it much, but in fact 25% of us are already battling multiple chronic conditions.  Medical schools train for treating a single diagnosis.  So 75% of doctors aren’t evaluating patients’ maladies comprehensively and are probably making errors, some of which are critical. Ideally, your PCP is the conduit of the...

Read more »

Doctors Debate Charging Patients for Telephone Conversations

From a Sermo blog, an enlightening discussion among physicians as to whether, and how, to charge health care consumers for follow-up communications. Your patient advocate, when accompanying you to your doctors’ appointments, will ask about post-procedure discussions before the procedure is performed.  I always insist that follow-up conversations — whether by phone, email or office...

Read more »

Patients’ Expectations of Their Physicians

Patients’ Expectations of Their Physicians

Yes, this would seem to be a no-brainer.  You want your doctor to be patient-oriented. You want your doctor to be free from any conflict of interest that could compromise your care. Most doctors strive to do this. Some don’t. If you are treated by more than one physician, you may discover to your...

Read more »

What Doctors Want from Patients

“What Doctors Wish Their Patients Knew,” courtesy of today’s Consumer Reports Health website, emphasizes the need to develop a long-term relationship with one’s primary care physician (if that is, in fact, possible, given the large number of uninsured persons and the constant changes to one’s health care coverage).  Also needed from you, the health...

Read more »

When a Doctor Becomes a Patient

“A Mantra: No Crying In the CAT Scanner” is an excellent rendition of the shock and humility a physician experiences when he is the patient.  I daresay this doctor improved her bedside manner when she returned to work!

Read more »

Quality of Medical Information on the Internet

Read with a gimlet eye – especially when it concerns health care.  There is a huge disparity of quality of content between various websites.  Certainly your suspicions should be aroused if the narrative is sensationalized or contains lots of exclamation points.  Generally, those urls ending with .edu are best since they signify an educational...

Read more »