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 To screen or not to screen
That is the question women are asking (well,
I’m asking). But there is no clear answer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aka
Pinktober. The news and social media are already broadcasting the message “Mammograms save lives.”
That simplistic platitude isn’t enough. Do screening mammograms really save lives? What do the numbers tell us?
Cancer screening has become a huge business in our …
read on Talk to your doctor first!
New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study last week that shows the risks of a daily baby aspirin may outweigh the benefits, at least in patients older than 65.
I’ve known a lot of people, however, who started taking a daily baby aspirin on their own, without checking with their health care providers first.
Over the last few years there have been …
read on Are we living, or just not dying?
I just finished reading
by Barbara Ehrenreich. Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
She’s also the author of
, a book about welfare reform and the quest for fair wages. So I was surprised to learn that she has a PhD in cellular biology! Nickel and Dimed
Ehrenreich brings her scientific chops to …
read on And that makes me sad 😪 about antidepressants came out in a medical journal last week. It concluded that antidepressants were “modestly” effective compared to placebo, and listed which drugs seem to offer the most help with the fewest side effects. A big, new study
But the media seem to have taken the study a step further; they’ve been reporting that based on this information, more people should …
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 The difference between cold and flu symptoms
In general, a cold is a virus that settles in your sinuses, and flu is a virus that affects your lungs, which is why it can be more serious.
Colds can develop rather slowly, perhaps taking two to three days of mild symptoms before you feel really lousy. Flu symptoms hit hard and fast; you may think to yourself,
“Where is the truck … 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 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 …