Patient Manifesto

Patient Centered Care: A Pledge to Do Better

To all those who work in healthcare: we have gone astray. There was a time when each and every one of us dreamed of our profession as a way to help others, a way to cure and save lives and bring some sense of order back to the chaos inherent in a world of disease and illness. Even the most benign form of medicine should still exist as a service to fully better the patient. But […]

Worst Mistake Pre-Medical Student

The Three Worst Mistakes Pre-Medical Students Make

Being a pre-med student can be just about the worst time in the life of a young doctor. You spend four years filled with the anxiety and uncertainty of ever getting into medical school. While the rest of your friends are indulging in the freedom and wild times of college, you are tucked away in the library studying for your organic chemistry exam. When others are planning all-out senior year spring breaks, you’re busy with a prep course for the MCAT. […]

Successful Healthcare Provider

Qualities of a Successful Healthcare Provider

The other day I was asked what I thought it took to be a successful healthcare provider. The question was not directed specifically from the point of view of a physician, or any specific branch of medicine, but all providers in every field. It was about discovering what it takes to practice good medicine that not only treats the patient, but leaves them feeling satisfied. Three important qualities come to mind, independent of  position or the type of […]

Quality of healthcare

Changing Healthcare: Should Doctors be Paid by Quality of Care?

Last month the Obama administration announced that they want to restructure physician compensation in America: The Obama administration on Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity. Rather than pay more money to Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, among other measures. The goal is for […]

Insurance

Changing Healthcare: Will Insurance Companies Dictate Quality of Care?

The first time I encountered an issue with an insurance company dictating the type of care their customer could receive I was pre-oping a patient for cataract surgery. I asked the man if he had decided whether to use a laser procedure called LenSx as a component to the surgery. LenSx is used to create the small incisions that would then allow the surgeon to remove the cataract and replace it with an intraocular lens. […]

Kathy Magliato M.D.

Dr. Kathy Magliato: Lessons from a Female Heart Surgeon

I stumbled across Dr. Kathy Magliato’s book Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon unexpectedly in a dusty corner of my local library. The cover was worn and wrinkled. There was a faded image of the sacred heart symbol, the author’s name and little more. But it would come to be one of the most insightful stories of the life and making of a surgeon that I’ve ever read. (I’ve since discovered that her […]

Atul Gawande Being Mortal

Dr. Atul Gawande on Medicine and Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End  by Atul Gawande I first heard about Dr. Atul Gawande while watching a collection of TEDTalks focused on improving the future of healthcare. While many of the other speakers had interesting views on the direction of medicine, Gawande was one of the few interested in tackling the simple aspects often overlooked. In particular was his introduction of a checklist for all surgical procedures, which has become famous since his […]

Changing Healthcare: Is Technology Ruining Patient Centered Care?

You’ve had a sore throat for weeks. Your nose has been stuffy, your eyes water, and your ears are so clogged with wax that you can barely hear. You’ve noticed some discharge on your pillow in the mornings. You go to your general practitioner. You sit in the waiting room for half an hour and then it takes another thirty minutes once you’ve been called back to see the doctor. He looks at you for five minutes, types […]

Changing Healthcare in America: The Whitehall Studies

With all the talk recently of the Affordable Care Act and the changing state of healthcare in America it’s important that we observe the large number of studies that already exist on different systems of healthcare. While I believe that everyone should have equal access to healthcare, and that it should be affordable, universal coverage will not be the end all be all. Too many people seem to have the misconception that the lack of access […]

Premed Success: The Key Mindset for Getting into Medical School

When I was a student at the University of North Carolina I attended a seminar for pre-medical undergraduates. It was hosted by one of the Organic Chemistry professors, who also doubled as the leading academic advisor for premeds. The idea of the lecture was teaching students how to excel in their more difficult courses and create a well rounded application for medical school. But it was also to prepare the students for failure. “There are over […]