Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

Author Archives: sitentry

The Truth About Ovarian Cancer Screening – book excerpt

The New York Times editorial “False Promises on Ovarian Cancer” says it all. What is most concerning is that a third of doctors recommend what medical science shows not to be true: screening for ovarian cancer does NOT work. Enjoy the excerpt from my book – The Thrifty Patient – Vital Insider Tips to Staying Healthy and Saving Money – and be smarter than 1/3 of doctors! Simple to read and incredibly informative. Enjoy! Ovarian Cancer Screening One of the most feared cancers for many women is ovarian cancer, which occurs in one out of sixty-eight women. Unfortunately, like many cancers (lung, pancreatic), there is no screening test that has been helpful to detect the illness early and reliably proven to save lives. Until organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend certain tests or examinations, everything you may hear on the news or from friends about breakthroughs in screenings […] Read More »

Rock Health, Enterpreneurs, Doctors and Witchcraft?

I recently viewed health care through the lenses of a technology entrepreneur by attending the Health Innovation Summit hosted by Rock Health in San Francisco. As a practicing primary care doctor, I was inspired to hear from Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, listen to Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired magazine, and Dr. Tom Lee, founder of One Medical Group as well as ePocrates. Not surprising, the most fascinating person, was the keynote speaker, Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems as well as a partner in a couple venture capital firms.  “Health care is like witchcraft and just based on tradition.” Entrepreneurs need to develop technology that would stop doctors from practicing like “voodoo doctors” and be more like scientists. Health care must be more data driven and about wellness, not sick care. Eighty percent of doctors could be replaced by machines. Khosla assured the audience that being part […] Read More »

Healthcare Reform

It is clear that the United States healthcare system is in crisis. More Americans are without health insurance.  The quality of care delivered to the public is the worst of other industrialized countries even though we spend more on healthcare per capita than other nations. Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, healthcare is the most common or second most common concern among the American public.  What should we do as a nation? How to Reform the System What is clear is that at least four areas need to be addressed.  First is the quality of healthcare delivered in the country.  There are some exceptional health insurance plans, doctors, and hospitals that do better in keeping people well and healthy.  Rather than simply expanding a dysfunctional and fragmented healthcare system, healthcare reform must include learning and adopting practices from these high performers to ensure we get the most value out of our […] Read More »

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Body Scans

You’ve heard or seen the pitch.  You’re encouraged to get a full body scan or an ultrasound of different parts of your body to make sure that you are healthy.  The pain free procedure is touted as your way of taking charge of your health and finding problems before they start.  It seems simple enough.  So what’s the problem? The Problem With Full Body Scans Part of the problem is that our bodies are quite complex and there can be areas of abnormalities seen with these scanners.  The vast majority of the time these abnormalities are benign and nothing to worry about. They won’t cause a person any harm if left alone and had the individual not done a full body scan, he would have lived a normal life and died none the bit wiser. Unfortunately, once an abnormality is found and identified many people are disturbed and insist on […] Read More »

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Healthcare Crisis

The fundamental challenge facing all countries to delivering healthcare is balancing these three aspects: cost of care, access to care, and the quality of care provided. This is known as the iron triangle of healthcare. Unfortunately, the truth is that only two of these three areas can be optimized. For example, if a nation chose to provide high quality care to all, then the costs must be high as well. If instead a healthcare system was designed to be low cost but give high quality care, access to care would need to be limited. Finally if a country wanted to have a low cost healthcare system with universal access, the quality delivered would not be high quality. The US Healthcare Crisis The healthcare crisis in America is particularly startling when you realize that the United States does the worst on all three aspects. We have the highest cost per capita, […] Read More »

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