“Trying to make medicine great again”
I’ve been a fan of Zubin Damania, MD—aka ZDoggMD—for several years. A hospitalist physician based in Las Vegas, he began by making entertaining parody videos on a variety of healthcare topics: end-of-life, the opioid epidemic, electronic health records (EHR), sepsis, sleep apnea, and more.
Now he has expanded his social media footprint in an attempt to rally healthcare professionals behind Healthcare 3.0.
As he explains in the video, Healthcare 1.0 was the old doctor-patient relationship—”Doctor knows best” and all that (I still know doctors and nurses who think like this!). Patients were expected to do as they were told, and not try to educate themselves about their illness or options for treatment.
Healthcare 2.0 is our current bureaucratic model, the corporate think of assembly line medicine, quality metrics, incentives and EHR (or, as ZDogg describes electronic health records—“A glorified cash register with a little patient stuff tacked on.”)
Healthcare 2.0 sucks. A lot of special interest groups and humongous healthcare corporations are happy (Big Pharma, for example), but costs are skyrocketing. To maintain or improve profits, cuts are made to patient care and public health programs. We are getting sicker. Patients are unhappy and financially stressed. Doctors and nurses are burnt-out.
We must do better.
Healthcare 3.0 is, as ZDogg says, an attempt to transcend the other two. He envisions a system in which the doctor-patient relationship is again a sacred space, and all parties—including administration—work together towards a common goal of quality care at an affordable price.
Patients are part of Healthcare 3.0, too
Although ZDogg’s ideas on Healthcare 3.0 are mostly directed at other healthcare professionals, I think patients have an opportunity and a responsibility to be part of it, as well.
In Healthcare 3.0 the patient is not a passive participant, as in 1.0, or a cash cow, as in 2.0.
Not only do we need to take better care of our bodies, we need to understand the limits of medicine. We need to ask questions of our caregivers and then use that information to make informed decisions on what treatment (or not) is best for us personally.
Healthcare 3.0 is not assembly line, one-size-fits-all medicine.
We need to watch all those endless direct-to-consumer drug ads with a more critical eye and realize that “new” is not always best or even better.
We need to have a conversation with our lawmakers about how high healthcare costs are impacting our families and communities.
We need, as ZDogg points out in the video, to use our voices and take back our power. Because if patients work together, and physicians, nurses, PAs, CNAs and others work together, maybe we can change the system so that it will benefit us rather than the bureaucrats, corporations and politicians who are currently calling the shots.
I’ve long been an advocate of patients taking more responsibility and having more power in their healthcare. Here are some of my previous posts about that:
- Be informed—Shared decision-making
- Healthcare’s perverse financial incentives
- Choosing Wisely—Use less healthcare
- Tips to cut back on medications
- Healthism, medicalization and overdiagnosis
Our healthcare system is in turmoil right now, but I believe it’s ready for a change. For the better? I sure hope so.