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

Tag Archive for patient education

A Healthy Life Is More than an Annual Physical Examination

Having a healthy life is more than getting an annual physical examination. It is about having healthy habits. Some of these healthy habits make common sense. Others seen unnatural, but yet are vitally important. A healthy life is more than feeling well. It is about living life to the fullest and ensuring you are doing your part to improve both your quality of life and longevity. Which ones are you missing? How do you measure up? Five or more – servings of fruits and vegetables. Those that live longer seem to have this simple habit. Common traits included not smoking, drinking in moderation and…. Physical activity Although many recommendations advocate 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, consider some other options. 10,000 steps per day – measure with a pedometer or an app for your smartphone. Surprise yourself and see how much you. If you don’t […] Read More »

Make the Most Out of Your Doctor Office Visit – You Just D.A.T.E.D. Your Doctor!

Book excerpt from The Thrifty Patient -Vital Insider Tips for Saving Money and Staying Healthy   You Just D.A.T.E.D. Your Doctor You’ve told your story. Your doctor gets it. He has completed the physical exam. He formulates a plan to get you better. The next skill you should master may be as important as being a great storyteller. Your doctor has told you the treatment plan. Do you remember what you need to do? A 1996 study at the Mayo Clinic showed that patients remember less than half of what physicians tell them during office visits. Of nearly six hundred patients who were asked to recall what diagnoses physicians had discussed with them, 54 percent could not remember the major problems. Of patients whose doctors had discussed with them the risk factors for heart disease, 68 percent did not recall any discussion about tobacco use, 62 percent did not remember […] Read More »

Willpower Instinct – the Book Every Primary Care Doctor and Patient Should Read

In the spring of 2013, I heard Professor Kelly McGonigal speak at the Stanford Health Innovation summit and learned about her book, The Willpower Instinct – How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. Fascinating, practical, and evidence-based, it is a book highly recommended for every primary care doctor and patient to read. McGonigal wants all of us to embrace our human nature, specifically that we have two minds in one brain. This setup often seems to thwart us from doing the necessary things to be and stay healthy. We have an emotional irrational mind. We have an analytic rational mind. By understanding these differences allows us the opportunity to be successful in what endeavors we pursue, like a New Year’s Resolution. After all, who doesn’t need more willpower? Over the past year, I’ve used many of the stories and strategies in […] Read More »

Why Health Care Reform Won’t Happen Without Physician Leadership

This past week has been filled with great articles that show the stunning gap between what we know and what we need to do in health care to make it more affordable, accessible, and higher quality. In a recent piece by NPR, research shows that when it comes to treatment of low back pain, doctors are prescribing more powerful pain medications (narcotics) and ordering more imaging tests like MRI and CT scans when there is no evidence these are better than anti-inflammatories, time, and rest. Reasons for gap? Solutions to make the care provided for low back pain more evidence and scientifically based, we first needed guidelines. In the past, we didn’t have guidelines. Now we have had guidelines for quite sometime. However, we also know it takes 17 years for an idea to spread to be commonly practiced and become the norm. So to help make change happen more […] Read More »

Getting the Best Hospital Care – Beyond the Hype Over Hospital Rankings

The New York Times recently published an article titled, “The Hype Over Hospital Rankings”. It is that time of year when hospitals tout their US News and World report rankings and crank out their marketing programs. Perhaps this is even important with health care reform, decreasing reimbursement, and a push towards a more consumer driven market. Hospitals are jockeying for position. “Nearly every hospital has a banner out front saying they’re a ‘top hospital’ for something in some rating system,” said Dr. Nicholas Osborne, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan. “Those ratings have become more important for hospital marketing than for actually helping patients find the best care.”” So, how do you find the best care? Especially in health care when there is information asymmetry? Here is an excerpt from my book – The Thrifty Patient – Vital Insider Tips For Saving Money and Staying […] Read More »