Active Learning: Go chat with your local drug rep
So I was chatting with a new friend who works for a pharmaceutical company. He takes a medication that his employer makes. Recently, his company created a new version of the medicine he's taking. This new version of the medicine causes less side effects and less kidney damage, hooray! Here's the part of the story where it gets weird. I didn't record the conversation but I'll paraphrase it as best as possible: Me: "So they have a new medicine that causes less issues? That
Q: "But what about people who still can't afford healthcare?"
This question has been posted time and again by different people; they all seem worried about people who can't afford healthcare in our present system somehow not being able to afford care in the PSYCH system. First thing, more people will be able to afford healthcare because the cost of healthcare will be lower. Period. (Read previous posts to see how.) And since everyone gets their one yearly comprehensive visit (via their General Health Fee) if they don't get sick for t
Review: "Supreme Court Strikes At States' Efforts On Health Care Transparency" - NPR
This was a "wtf" article published by Charles Ornstein for ProPublica and distributed via NPR. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/02/468756393/supreme-court-strikes-at-states-efforts-on-health-care-transparency Take a few minutes to read this article and let it sink in. Now say it with me: what. the. f*ck? The general gist is that the Supreme Court upheld that "a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents b
Q: "Did you hear what Martin Shkreli said?"
This question was posed to me by a friend. My answer: "of course I did." His response: "that guy's an asshole." My response: "maybe, but he's doing what he was hired to do." Let me be clear. I don't care for folks who are so blinded by money that they trample over anyone and everyone to get more. But he was hired by a business to do what businesses do. Make money. As much of it as possible. The fact that it may have negative repercussions on people's lives is secondar
Review: "Debate Sharpens Over Single-Payer Health Care, But What Is It Exactly?" - NPR
This was a post by Julie Rovner on 1/22/2016 in collaboration with Kaiser Health News. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/22/463976098/debate-sharpens-over-single-payer-health-care-but-what-is-it-exactly This short article should be required reading for every American because it clarifies the different types of healthcare paradigms we're currently using. "A single-payer system is not the same thing as socialized medicine. In a truly socialized medicine system, t
Q: "Do you have your confirmation number?"
This was the question I was asked by the front desk staff of a hotel nestled amongst the goliaths of the Texas Medical Center. Last weekend, after working a full 8 hour shift at the community hospital doing psychiatric consults, I drove 4 hours to Houston to see my Mom who had suffered a massive stroke. I arrived around 9:30pm. The hospital in question was a testament to old excess, suffering from entropy and bad management. Anywhoo, while I was in the ICU with my sister an
Review: "Would Paying Your Doctor Cash Up Front Get You Better Care?" - NPR
This article, posted on NPR by Shefali Luthra on Jan 13, 2016 discusses "direct primary care." My main concern about this article is its tagline; the article does a really good job of showing alternative models to accessing care. Hooray! But unfortunately, it doesn't dispel the dangerous assumption that "money" equals "better care." There are good providers who take insurances just like there are good providers that don't. I'm hoping that the editor was simply hoping to s
Q: Why can't doctors just leave?
This is a follow-up post to my review of The New York Times article today. In a nutshell, we can leave. But it's a painstaking process that most of the public doesn't know about. Let's break it into two parts: quitting and on-boarding. Quitting: for most states there is, at a minimum, a period of time required by the medical licensing board for us to give notice to our patients before we close our doors. That may take 30 days for those of us working in the outpatient (clinic)
Review: "Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine" – The New York Times
This was a story written by Noam Scheiber and published by the New York Times today. The author describes a common situation: physicians who want to be thorough run up against administrators who want to make money. The physicians feel trapped because they don't have individual influence enough to make their desired change. In this case, the remaining doctors formed a union. Please read the article and then ask yourself the following questions: Why do doctors feel trapped in a
Review: "Medicaid May Soon Pay for Some Inpatient Addiction Treatment" – NPR
This story was written by Ben Allen for NPR yesterday. Substance abuse treatment is sometimes a difficult subject to discuss because it is strongly influenced by both biology and psychology. People often wonder why they don't "just stop." That question has implications across the board and treatment is often a mix of biological and psychological approaches that oftentimes are misunderstood by those holding the opposite philosophy. With that said, the best way to make the sit