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Showing posts from October, 2010

The Physical Exam

The New York Times has taken note of Abraham Verghese's efforts at Stanford University School of Medicine to revive the art of examining patients. One gets the idea in this article that most medical schools have let the entire subject slide, which is not true. Nevertheless, enthusiasm for the hands on aspect of data gathering has declined somewhat. When I was in training about 25 years ago, my clinical teachers took the subject of teaching us how to identify pathology in a patient seriously. Johns Hopkins medical school was at that time held up as a model of a clinical teaching institution, so training medical students and residents in the arts of examining hearts, blood vessels, livers, spleens, bones and joints was clearly going to be part of the curriculum. Many patients who moved through the clinics and hospitals associated with Johns Hopkins donated important pieces of their time and dignity in the service of teaching what would be generations of physicians how best to do thi…

What now? What must we Champions of Medicine do, other than not spend $5000 to attend Newt Gingrich's party?

Quite a number of perfectly adequate and hard working doctors have been invited to go to Washington to dine with Newt Gingrich. Most of us have decided not to go, though the tenderloin did sound tempting. But now that we aren't going, and health care reform is most likely a done deal, what is left for us to do? We are the Champions of Medicine, so are we just supposed to throw our capes over our shoulders and ride off on our white horses? "My job here is done..." I will say, as the music starts and the credits begin to roll.

Despite our hard work over the last harrowing year, there are still some problems with the American Health Care System, as it is sometimes called. It is too expensive, costs are rising and people are suffering because they can't get the care they need.

What have we gotten with the Affordable Care Act? We have funding for various projects aimed at making medicine more cost efficient and we have payment methods, public and private, that will make i…

Newt Gingrich invited me to a party!

Today I received an invitation to an election day party from Newt Gingrich himself! Apparently I have “made the cut” as one of the 2010 Champions of Medicine and will receive a handsome certificate at an election day party at the historic Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. Newt has confided to me that he has worked tirelessly of the course of his career for health care reform. He understands that I have faced challenges during the Obama administration's first two years and that this year has been especially difficult for me with the “Democrat held Congress essentially dismantling the world’s greatest healthcare system and replacing it with the failed model of socialized medicine.”

Newt wants me at the party mainly because he wants to be surrounded by the best and brightest this country has to offer on the “night we set the wheels in motion to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real, meaningful reform.”

Wow.

I would love to go! I would have absolutely no hes…