Scientific Evidence

8C2B1DB7-D895-41B8-8DC6-3CAE20AB66CBScientific Evidence

Having been in healthcare since 1981, I have witnessed some amazing changes as to what qualifies as scientific evidence. Our media is flooded with claims, supported by various “studies”, about all sorts of things. Often the studies are not statistically significant, but reported with “authority”. Unfortunately even our “best” medical ones are often fraught with bias and deception. I believe healthcare needs reform starting with pre-medical training with a commitment to excellent patient care. It seems to me our broken healthcare system cannot be fixed without starting at the foundation and rebuilding, actually training a new generation of critically astute physicians less biased by money and special interests.

Mindfulness

BD26BEE9-D817-4025-BD1B-7343FEF0B247Mindfulness is a technique developed in 1979 for relaxation and stress reduction. Since that time, the number of articles devoted to mindfulness has grown exponentially such that by 2025, potentially all medical articles will be on mindfulness. It is nearly impossible to get through medical training without multiple lectures/courses on mindfulness. Perhaps if physicians are focused on mindfulness, they will not notice what is happening to healthcare.

Layers

EDA347EC-1A39-4ECE-A549-BCFBA50F0FDFLayers
When I think of layers, I generally think of the peeling off of layers of clothing or layers of skin. But today I read an amazing article (Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’ They’re suffering from moral injury by Drs. Talbot and Dean) on the moral injury of physicians by a broken healthcare system. In my medical mind which has many years of experience, I believe the authors are exactly correct with their assessment. As this kind of honest information about physicians hits the media, I feel the first layers of this massive medical bureaucratic quagmire begin to peel—a glimmer of hope.

Physician Shortage??

88C87311-814C-487F-924F-7A7652E5F908.jpegDo we have a physician shortage? Like so many areas of healthcare, the answer is not straightforward or clear. I personally believe we do NOT have a shortage of physicians; instead, there is a lack of good distribution and efficiency.  The legal and administrative demands on physicians have limited their ability to care for the numbers of patients they should easily manage with a more common sense approach. The responses to a perceived shortage seem dangerous to me. For example, we have increased the number of medical students in school, but their clinical experience and training often suffer. It seems we are generating physicians and not educating them sometimes. I believe we have set sail on a treacherous course in healthcare and the strong winds of  overregulation are blowing us away. We need practicing physicians at the helm. Too often, physician input comes from those hired by the government, hospitals and insurance companies.