Monthly ArchiveJune 2007



Med Bloggers 23 Jun 2007 09:58 pm

What Do You Think of Socialized Medicine?

There is little question that medicine in America has its problems. Pick up any newspaper or turn on any television newscast and there’s sure to be a story focused on the healthcare industry.

The purpose of this post is not to rehash those problems. The purpose of this post is to point you to an article by Panda Bear, MD that I believe you’ll find interesting. He titled his post, Socialized Medicine: Survival of the Fittest. Here are a few select passages:

(My mother, who is an avid reader of my blog, is a native of Greece and while a fierce partisan of that country is never-the-less perplexed at the love so many of my readers have for socialized medicine of the kind which is the rule of life over there. I offer this brief description of a typical socialized system in a modern European country.-PB)

[snip]

The public hospitals are so understaffed that you need to pay extra to secure the services of a trained nurse who will watch over you or your relative while the low-paid government nurses do whatever it is they do for their small salary, a salary which is just enough to convince them to come to work but not enough to actually get them to do anything.

[snip]

In Greece on the other hand, enjoying as it does the bounty of socialized medicine, there is a three tiered system. In the first tier are the private hospitals which are the equal of anything we have in the United States. Unlike our hospitals however, they are in no way charity institutions and only cater to the wealthy. In the second tier is the public hospital system where those who can afford it bribe doctors and nurses and even hire maids to clean their relative’s otherwise filthy rooms. In the third and bottom tier are the poor who lay in cots in the hallways of the crowded public hospitals relying on their relatives for the basics of life and nursing care.

Following a firestorm of comments both pro and con to his initial posting Panda offered the following equally controversial second post:

See, you folks don’t get it. If all you expect the government to provide is crappy and relatively inexpensive primary care and would be content to eschew the expensive, admittedly low-yield technological and labor intensive medical care that we currently waste on the elderly, the terminally ill, and those with extremely complicated health problems like they do in most of the Socialist Freeloader Kingdoms… if this is what you want then why do you need the government to provide medical care? After all, in the big scheme of things a visit to your family doctor two or three times a year is not going to bankrupt the large majority of Americans. Surely even most of my poor patients could but give up their cell phones and instantly have the wherewithal to afford to take their children to a pediatrician now and then.

Needless to say, Panda’s articles have stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy and debate.

But what do you think?

Do you feel that the answer lies in a national healthcare system? Should we scrap the present system and switch to socialized medicine? Or should we work to improve the system already in place?

Head on over to Panda’s blog and let us know your opinion.

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Med Bloggers 22 Jun 2007 03:19 pm

The Voice of Reason

So okay, it’s time to tell you about another great medical blog.

(Oh, goody.)
(What?)
(Nothing.)
(No, I wanna know. What’s your problem?)
(It’s nothing. Really. I’m thrilled.)
*
*
(Just sit there.)
(Fine.)

This one is called Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason. And yes, you’ve heard me mention her before. Dr. Val graciously hosted “Grand Rounds” last week, which is how I found her.

(That her picture?)
(Yes.)
(She’s cute.)
(This is really not the…)
(Kinda looks like Courtney Thorne Smith.)
(Yes.)
(I like Courtney Thorne Smith.)
(Everyone likes…)
(They could be sister’s.)
(I wouldn’t know about that.)
(I’m just saying.)
(Do you mind?)
(Sorry.)

It’s also one of the reasons it took me a while to get through last weeks’ submissions. I got distracted reading her blog.

(Not to mention, you’re a slow reader.)
(Yes, there’s that.)
(So, what’s so great about this one.)
(If you’ll shut-up, I’ll tell everyone.)
(Fine… proceed.)

What’s great about Dr. Val’s blog is that her posts cover a broad range of good general health topics. She’s smart, engaging and knows how to communicate to a diverse audience. In other words, most of her posts are written with the average consumer in mind. She doesn’t use a lot of technical jargon or talk over your head. And hey… she even draws her own cartoons.

(Is that one of hers.)
(Yes.)
(That’s funny.)
(Yes, it is.)
(The mouse is playing dead.)
(Yeah, I get it.)
*
*
(Is there more?)
(Yes.)
(Well… we’re listening.)
*
(You promise to just sit there?)
(Fine.)
*
*

Dr. Val is a licensed practitioner of Rehabilitation Medicine (a topic near and dear to my heart) and Senior Medical Director of the brand new Revolution Health web site… and that’s only the beginning of her long and eclectic resume.

(Do tell.)
(I will.)

Turns out she’s been a protestant minister, NYC bartender, bank spy, food critic,

(Wait a minute… did you say “Bank spy?”)
(Yes?)
(What’s a bank spy?)
(I have no idea.)
(Did she spy on banks, or…)
(I don’t know, it doesn’t say.)
(Okay… Sorry.)
*
*
(Can I continue?)
(Sure.)
*
*

… doctor, cartoonist, computer sales associate, yogurt mogul, nanny,

(Wait a minute… did you say, “Yogurt mogul?”)
(Yes.)
(What’s a…)
(Can we just get through this?)
(Sure. Sure.)
*
*

… motivational speaker, biophysics researcher,

(Was she the white spy or the black spy?)
*
*
*
(I’m just asking?)
*
*
*

… graphic designer and revolutionary medical director.

(Revolutionary?)
(That’s what it says.)
(What’s a…)
(I don’t know.)
*
*
*
(You could’ve asked.)
(Well, I didn’t.)
*
*
*
(I’m just saying.)
(Shut-up.)
*
*
*
*
*
(She is cute.)
(Yeah, we got that.)

***

Med Bloggers 18 Jun 2007 07:31 pm

How To Get More Attention From Your Doctor

I ran across an interesting item today entitled, Alarm Bells on the med blog, Reflections by Dr. Bruce Campbell. The original intent of the article was to encourage physicians to be fair in how they allocate their time between patients.

However, there are lessons to be learned for patients as well. After all, I hear from people all the time complaining that they don’t feel like they get enough attention from their doctor.

Maybe the answer is… if you want more attention from your doctor… try being a better patient.

Instead of complaining, insulting, demanding or fussing… try being warm and friendly. Instead of venting about all the things that are wrong with the medical profession (real or imagined)… try treating your doctor with friendship and respect.

You may be surprised at the result.

For example, Dr. Campbell references a quote from a recent article in New York Magazine:

In response to a question on how patients can get doctors to pay attention to them, a gynecologist responds, “The truth is, we’ll spend more time with patients we like. We’ll joke with them, we’ll laugh with them. You have fun with patients you like.” He implies that being charming pays benefits.

Doctors and Nurses are only human. They don’t try to play favorites or consciously ignore their patients. But let’s face it. Who would you rather spend time with? Who would you give the most attention to? The person with the negative attitude and a sour disposition? Or the person who is happy to see you and wants to know how your day is going?

Quick wrap-up:

Don’t use the precious little time your doctor has to spend with you discussing negative or irrelevant topics. Go in with a positive attitude and a friendly demeanor. Your doctor is going to see a lot of unhappy, unpleasant people that day. Be the one person who brightens his day and makes him (or her) glad they decided to go into medicine.

More often than not, you’ll be the person who gets a little extra time with the doc.

- Dean

*****

And btw, if you want to discuss what you don’t like about the medical profession or vent about healthcare issues, do what I do. Start reading (and commenting) on medical blogs. The healthcare professionals who create these blogs do so because they really CARE about making things better. They love blogging — it’s meant to be a social experience — and it’s a perfect chance to get some one-on-one time with the doctors and nurses who are shaping the future of modern medicine.

(And sometimes they talk about real icky stuff and it’s totally cool.) :)

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