Too many specialists
Our healthcare system is like an inverted pyramid.
Rather than having a strong base of primary care doctors—family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics—and a decreasing number of specialists, we have more and more specialists and
a dwindling number of primary care docs.
Roughly two thirds of our doctors are specialists. And subspecialists. And sub-subspecialists.
Why is that a problem?
One, because specialists cost more money, which adds …
read on Overdiagnosis of melanoma
I learned two things from a recent journey into the healthcare system:
Melanomas are overdiagnosed; and Always discuss cost with your physician.
Earlier this summer
I shared that I had a small mole removed from my leg. I didn’t like the look of it, so I thought it prudent to have it checked out.
I had to wait almost a month for an answer, because …
read on Have you had unnecessary medical procedures?
If you see a physician on a regular basis and always follow his or her advice regarding routine screening tests or common diagnostic tests for minor illnesses, the answer is probably
I just finished reading
of these unnecessary medical procedures. a new report published in my state (Washington) about the extent and cost
This is a problem I’ve posted about before. Many …
read on Target BPs are much lower
Last week the
American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiologists (ACC) published new guidelines in the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.
What are the new numbers and what do they mean?
Many people will be surprised to find out they now have “elevated” high blood pressure, which could be a reading as low as 120/70, or Stage 1 hypertension at …
read on October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
October has become the month to pressure women to
and schedule their annual mammograms. Buy Pink!
But I’d rather see more women informed about the effectiveness of annual mammograms (not as much as you might think).
And I’d like to see more care providers drop the paternal attitudes and really have a conversation with women about the pros and cons of screening mammograms, and …
read on More exercise, more soluble fiber
I’ve been posting about my husband’s high cholesterol
. Last December his total cholesterol was 297, with an LDL (low-density lipoprotein) of 219 and an HDL (high-density lipoprotein) of 65. since it became quite high about a year ago
Now I’m happy to report that after 9 months of pretty simple lifestyle changes his total cholesterol is down to 240. His LDL (the …
read on Update: As of 12/17, the iTriage app is no longer supported and available to the public 😪 Choosing Wisely to prevent overtreatment
I’ve been a fan of the healthcare consumer group,
, for several years. Choosing Wisely
Collaborating with Consumer Reports, Choosing Wisely brings evidence-based healthcare information to patients. Their goal is to educate patients
and physicians, and support informed decision making. Shared decision making not only prevents patient harm … read on Rethinking LDLs (low-density lipoproteins)
I’ve posted a couple of times about
my husband’s high LDL level and his attempts to lower it through diet and exercise.
I’ve also said that because he doesn’t have any other risk factors for heart disease, we aren’t too worried about it. But the engineer in him likes the challenge of seeing how low he can get his LDL.
When I saw
this recent YouTube … read on Unnecessary tests = unnecessary expense
This is a follow up to
my last post about the dangers of too much medical care.
One of the biggest doors leading to an overabundance of healthcare and healthcare costs is the annual exam and all the “routine” lab work that is ordered almost without thought.
Doctors’ offices strive to be efficient. They have a lot of patients to see every day, after …
read on Too much testing = too much medicine
I just ran across an old doctor joke:
What is a well person? Someone who hasn’t yet been thoroughly examined.
It’s not funny, of course, if you’re the patient and have suffered the harms—and the expense—of too much medical care.
In 2010, my husband was the victim of too much medical care. Because of complications and a string of medical errors he almost …