The why and how of public distrust of vaccines…Surely, questions worth asking

One of the biggest changes in healthcare in recent times is the emphasis on decision-making. Patients and doctors now work with big menus. It’s mostly a good thing, but a certainty with increased choice is increased conflict. As a doctor who works in a field–electrophysiology–that is almost exclusively preference-sensitive, I’ve grown increasingly interested in why […]

Disruption in medical education — Teaching the teachers via social media?

Everyone agrees that doctors should be informed and up-to-date. Perpetual medical education has always been a vital component of doctoring. But now, as the rapid pace of healthcare innovation pushes against the limits of biology, and really, our humanity, medical education gains even more importance. Doctors (and patients) must know what can and cannot be […]

A clear-eyed look at treating the elderly with medicine

A recent case taught me a lot about how people perceive their medicines. I was trying to help a 92-year-old man get off some of his medicine. I can’t go into the details, but suffice to say, there was much opportunity to trim a long list of drugs, many of which were threatening his existence […]

The problem with testing students and doctors is what gets truncated

For me, maybe you too, the best part about science is how it disrupts the status quo. A belief, a way of doing something, a paradigm if you will, becomes entrenched. Humans love patterns. We get attached. I call this the way-it’s-always-been-done philosophy. It’s endemic in medicine, and, from what I can see, in education […]

When professors make less than janitors…

…one could be pessimistic. PBS NewsHour did this story last night. Adjunct professors, many of them with doctorates, are struggling to make a living. A French literature professor uses food stamps. An English professor just up and quit. This video got me thinking about the word “value.” The MacBook delivered this as the first definition: […]

Dear Senator/Representative — US healthcare needs more knowledge

If you had to write a one page memo to a Senator/Representative detailing the one thing they could do to improve US healthcare, what would it be? For me, it’s improving the wastefulness of our system. Here is my attempt at a memo: Comparative Effectiveness Research is a win-win: Knowledge always is. US healthcare is […]

Clicked back in…Holiday reading and thoughts on medical writing

Hey everyone… Welcome to 2014. I’m back from holiday. I like to say ‘holiday’ rather than ‘vacation.’ It sounds more Euro. Plus, if one truly seeks word precision, saying holiday when describing time in Key West works. Everything about that place is celebratory and festive. Let’s talk about reading and writing. First, I’m not going […]

Are doctors being duped through medical education? Could social media help?

I made a discovery this week about the novel anticoagulant medications, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis) and edoxaban (Lixiana). I was looking into the often-asked question of how these new drugs compare to the old standard, warfarin. The discovery felt like a Eureka moment. I ran it by my stats guy–my son–and a couple […]