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

Tag Archive for patient engagement

Why This Family Doctor Blogs and Writes – The Thrifty Patient

As a doctor, I am compelled to write because of what I know is occurring with alarming frequency in our country. Americans are skipping needed and recommended care that could save their lives and allow them to live to their fullest. Patients are more distracted, as life is more complicated and busier than ever. Households have both parents working, sometimes two jobs, just to make ends meet. They easily would make the right choice if someone would be willing to explain things in a simple, understandable manner. They would prefer a health care system that was so incredibly simple to use, convenient, and personalized that it would anticipate their needs so they could get the right care and get back to living life. Instead, our health care system offers patients higher co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. It shifts the burden of making the right choices to people who frankly […] Read More »

Book Review – When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests

The premise of the book When Doctors Don’t Listen is that increasingly doctors are adhering to algorithms and protocols, known as “cookbook medicine”. In the process, doctors are not listening to patients. Instead, doctors are hearing what they want to hear, ignoring the patient’s story, which results in medical evaluations and treatments which are erroneous. The consequence can be delay in care, unnecessary tests and worry, and at times the path taken is so far astray that patients need to fend for themselves. In one anecdote, a patient flees the emergency room after being evaluated for a headache after a hangover and discovers that her treatment is on the pathway to be evaluated for a possible life-threatening (and highly improbable) subarachnoid hemorrhage which includes an invasive lumbar puncture. Too far fetched? Do these problems affect a no name hospital? No. What makes the patient stories most interesting is where they […] Read More »

Doctors, Patients, and Social Media

I was thrilled to be on a panel with other experts in social media at the Sacramento Media Social Club. Experts like Liz Salmi, a brain cancer blogger and young adult cancer survivor – @thelizarmy Christian Hollingsworth, Founder/CEO of Smart Boy Designs and Social Media consultant for the Sacramento Valley affiliate of the Susan G Komen for the Cure – @smartboydesigns Katie Kreps, Team in Training Triathalon and Cycle Manager for the Greater Sacramento Area Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – @tntsacramento. There were other people from health care systems like UC Davis and Sutter. Questions and comments revealed that there is a need by patients which is not currently fulfilled. Patients want connections to their doctors and medical information that is easily accessible and available real-time. Already they are engaging with other patients with similar illnesses or problems and finding humanity in virtual encounters because it is […] Read More »