The best and the brightest simply don’t want to become doctors anymore. Physicians are burning out. They are leaving the profession. They are going bankrupt. They are selling their private practices to big hospitals. They are retiring early. We are facing a growing doctor shortage.
Michigan Physicians Society (MPS) partners with Professional Casualty Association and Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group to Offer Express Medical Malpractice Insurance Checkup and Exclusive Insurance Discounts to MPS Members
The United States healthcare system is often berated for how it treats patients near the end of life. They are purportedly attached to tubes and machines and subjected to unnecessary invasive procedures that cause inordinate pain with no potential benefit, there is underutilization of more compassionate hospice services. This “travesty” is expensive, as the care of dying seniors consumes over 25% of Medicare expenditures. We hear this story so often; it is almost taken as gospel-- but is it actually true? Is it more expensive and invasive to die in America than in other developed countries?
According to the Pew Research Center, there are approximately 32,000 gun-related deaths annually in the United States; 19,000 are suicide, 11,000 are homicide, and the rest are accidents, police shootings or of unknown causation. Moreover, there are more than 78,000 nonfatal gun wounds each year. Given the disproportionate number of victims that are less than 40 years of age, the morbidity and mortality of gun violence is significant. Physicians are involved with many types of public health issues, but few are as controversial or divisive as gun safety. Is it really an issue that falls within the medical domain?
I confess I was a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act. My reasoning was subtler than the hallowed pantheons of its staunch supporters and the apocalyptic predictions of its detractors. Forty years after graduating medical school I concluded, after many stutter steps, the American healthcare delivery system was economically unsustainable and the citizenry was neither living longer, nor better, despite medical expenditures that dwarf any other developed nation. My career also allowed me to personally interact with cardiac surgeons from all continents and see that their clinical results and research efforts were laudatory by any standards.
The December 8, 2015 issue of JAMA had a startling key clinical point; the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among resident physicians in training was 28.8%. The data was generated by meta-analysis of 31 cross-sectional and 23 longitudinal studies published in peer-reviewed journals involving 17,560 trainees. Two-thirds of the trainees were in North America, but the others were from Asia, Europe, South America, and one from Africa. Sensitivity-analysis confirmed that no individual study affected overall prevalence by more than 1% and that the incidence of depression was not influenced by study design, continent of origin, surgical vs nonsurgical program nor level of residency year.
In the current competitive environment, healthcare providers often attempt to separate themselves from their competition by marketing themselves as using the newest technologies for their procedures. This is an age defined by finding the next best thing and the American public responds to this strategy. My personal experience has been in cardiac surgery, but the principles are equally applicable to other specialties, particularly tertiary referral practices.
A nonprofit hospital care system in Oregon with 450 beds has been in an acrimonious negotiation with its staff hospitalists for the past 2 years. The mounting economic pressures on this small, community oriented institution have had the expected consequences of hiring new administrators to implement the latest trends to rein in the budget and effect efficiencies of healthcare delivery-- as if that has been so successful in the rest of the country. The battle has really centered over the physicians losing control of their work time allocation, individual decision-making for diagnostic and treatment plans, as well as bristling at bonuses based on the administration’s definition of quality.
I did my undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The school’s Latin motto is “Vox Clamantis in Deserto”, which translates to “A voice shouting in the wilderness”. Its founding mission in 1769 was to “civilize” the Native American youth and, perhaps in a deconstructionist era, this sounds paternalist and demeaning.
Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of helping to honor the graduating class of 2016 at Experiencia Preparatory Academy. They have 3 graduates this year that have overcome a special set of challenges, including moving from Mexico to the United States and having English as a second language.
We are excited to announce our next MPS Event! We are hosting an exciting evening of learning, networking, and fun at 4-Seasons Golf, a private indoor golf club in the heart of Downtown Birmingham on Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
Entering its third annual open enrollment period, Obamacare is the subject of cacophonous political acrimony, again, championed by its supporters and vilified by its opponents. Each side presents its own “metrics” of success or failure
American healthcare’s mostly fee-for-service reimbursement model encourages doctors to order tests and procedures so as to make a reasonable living from practicing medicine. There is no incentive to have conversations with patients.
The United States has the dubious honor of paying the highest prescription drug costs in the world. Many healthcare economists attribute this to relatively lax cost regulation compared to other wealthy countries; however, a decade of insurers paying only for generic drugs when available and limiting drug choice in specific formularies has had little modulating effect.
The Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) was initiated as part of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act with the goal of controlling Medicare Part B spending for physician services. When Medicare spending under a year’s physician fee schedule exceeded the rate of growth of the covered Medicare population and the rise of GDP,
Several weeks ago I was in Palo Alto, California walking along Camino Real abutting the Stanford University campus. I noticed a newly-constructed high-link fence isolating the commuter train tracks from the pedestrian walkways. Another “shovel-ready” infrastructure project to nurture the economy?
Our auto show event at the Lingenfelter Collection was a huge success! Approximately 100 attendees enjoyed an evening of learning, networking, and fun at the Lingenfelter Collection, one of the most notable car collections in the world! A special thanks to M1 Concourse and the Lingenfelter Collection for sponsoring this event.
We are excited to announce our next MPS event! MPS members will enjoy an exciting evening of learning, networking, and fun at the Lingenfelter Collection, one of the most notable car collections in the world! Learn about car collecting as an alternative investment strategy while enjoying a private tour of the Lingenfelter Collection.
Two new drugs, Repatha and Praluent, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration several months ago amid much ballyhoo. Both are antibodies that specifically target PCSK9, a protein which reduces the number of receptors on the liver that remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. By blocking PCSK9’s ability to work, more receptors are available to clear LDL. This novel mechanism was proven safe and effective in clinical trials, lowering LDL cholesterol levels by 40% or more in patients already taking statin drugs. However, powerful treatment comes with a powerful cost-- over $14,000 per year for each patient.
Maybe it’s because we have entered the silly season with a full cast of presidential aspirants, but I have recently mulling over the perception of behavioral impropriety. To translate from spin doctor to medical doctor, I mean professional behavior that may not be overtly unethical, but exudes self-interest over patient well-being. In the academic world, full disclosure includes financial interest with potential conflict, disclaimer of previous publications, responsibility for informed consent and approval by the appropriate research committee. In our practices, particularly in the clinic or hospital setting, much focus is on constructing a firewall between the pharmaceutical and the medical-device sales force and medical providers.