Ensuring Appropriate Care When Views of Physician, Patient Collide
Patients often forget that physicians are people with their own beliefs, and ethical dilemmas can arise when these beliefs conflict with a patient's medical needs and wishes. Kimberly Becher, M.D., considers how to preserve both the dignity of physicians as well as appropriate care for patients when that occurs.[Read More]
Doing My Part to Help Physician Workforce Reflect Diverse Population
When minority physicians treat patients of the same minority group, patient satisfaction often improves and care is more culturally proficient. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of minority doctors in our health care system.[Read More]
Community Finds Right Prescription to Fight Hunger
More than 15 percent of Oregonians live below the federal poverty level -- more than the national average. And a recent poll found that 28 percent of those who visit food pantries worry about where their next meal will come from. Now, a simple screening tool, a healthy teaching kitchen and a "food pharmacy" are giving physicians the ability to address their patients' food insecurity.[Read More]
Girl Power: Moving Toward Balance in Physician Workforce
Women make up more than half of the U.S. population but only about one-third of the physician workforce. However, among the younger generation of physicians, more women are entering the pipeline. In fact, this year marked the largest increase in a decade in the number of women enrolling in medical schools.
Treating Elderly as Treasures Improves Empathy, Care Quality
Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. By the time the last baby boomers reach that age in 2030, 18 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. Unfortunately, some people have difficulties when it comes to providing care for the elderly, whether it is because of the complexity of patients' illnesses and physical frailty, the sensory overload of the nursing home environment, or communication difficulties due to generation gaps, hearing loss or dementia. Kurt Bravata, M.D., writes that working in nursing homes before med school and growing up with a large extended family showed him the rewards and importance of caring for the elderly.[Read More]
Team-based Care Aids Response to Pain Crisis
Thousands of patients with chronic pain needed help after several pain clinics in Washington closed this summer. Helen Gray, M.D., writes that a team-based approached, including working with clinical pharmacists and registered nurses who serve as care managers, allowed her practice to help fill the void.[Read More]
Will You be Prepared When Disaster Strikes?
Whether you live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes or other natural disasters, there are steps family physicians can take to help patients and families, as well as their own practices and communities, prepare for the worst.[Read More]
Community Response to Disaster Shows Beauty of Rural Practice
An epic flood ravaged her town, but what Kimberly Becher, M.D., remembers most are the selfless acts of kindness that helped her patients put their lives back together.[Read More]
Family Physicians Can Cut Unnecessary Surgeries
Robust clinical trials demonstrate relevant outcomes of various surgeries. Does a surgery extend a patient's life? Does the surgery decrease a patient's pain? Does it improve the patient's quality of life? Answering these questions, along with weighing risks and other treatment options, should help guide decisions regarding whether to pursue surgery. But even with better data, unnecessary surgeries are still common.
Family physicians are able to take a holistic, unbiased and evidence-based view that can play a vital role in counseling patients on appropriate treatment options.[Read More]
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