Jones & Bartlett Learning Medicine Blog

    National Autism Awareness Month

    Posted by Jennifer Sharp on Apr 14, 2013 12:44:28 PM

    April marks the annual observance of National Autism Awareness Month.

    Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

    In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 88 births in the United States and almost 1 in 54 boys.  The spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.

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    Topics: Centers for Disease Control, medicine, patient education, primary care, caregiver, Family Medicine, General Medicine, national autism month, spectrum disorder, autism, patient education

    Patterns & Perspectives on Today's Physicians

    Posted by admin on Oct 2, 2012 11:51:25 AM

    The Physicians Foundation has compiled a survey of America’s Physicians to examine professional morale, practice patterns and perspectives on today’s physicians. The results have been aggregated by age, gender, primary care vs. specialist and practice owners vs. employees (or hospital-based practitioners).

    The survey was sent to over 630,000 physicians (over 80% of physicians in active patient care) and 13,575 physicians responded.

    Responses to the survey combined with some 8,000 written comments submitted by physicians reflect a high level of disillusionment among doctors regarding the medical practice environment and the current state of the healthcare system. How physicians will respond to ongoing changes now transforming healthcare delivery varies. Many physicians plan to continue practicing the way they are, but over half of physicians surveyed have reached a tipping point and plan to make changes to their practices. Many intend to take one or more steps likely to reduce patient access to their services, limiting physician availability at a time when doctors already are in short supply.

    Key findings of the survey include:

    • Over 84% of physicians agree that the medical profession is in decline.
    • 57.9% would not recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
    • Over one third of physicians would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over.
    • Physicians are working 5.9% fewer hours than they did in 2008, resulting in a loss of 44,250 FTEs from the physician workforce.
    • Physicians are seeing 16.6% fewer patients per day than they did in 2008, a decline that could lead to tens of millions of fewer patients seen per year.
    • Over 59% of physicians indicate passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. health reform) has made them less positive about the future of healthcare in America.
    • Close to 92% of physicians are unsure where the health system will be or how they will fit into it three to five years from now.

    Physicians are working fewer hours on average and seeing fewer patients than four years ago. If these patterns continue, over 44,250 full-time-equivalent (FTE) physicians could be lost from the workforce in the next four years.

    Survey respondents share some of the characteristics of the population of all practicing physicians but are different in several ways:

    • The physicians sample is disproportionately older than the national population, with the sampled physicians plausibly experiencing profound changes in the medical practice environment during the course of their careers.
    • The sample is also significantly more male and rural than the total physician population, and is more likely than the population to operate a solo practice or be an AMA member.

    The survey clearly shows a pattern of older physicians, practice owners, specialists and male physicians being more pessimistic about the medical profession and in general more negative about the current state the healthcare system than are younger physicians, employed physicians, female physicians and primary care physicians.

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    Topics: physicians, Affordable Care Act, healthcare reform, primary care, FTE, General Medicine, healthcare system, Patient Protection, Survey of America's Physicians, The Physicians Foundation, medical practice, patient relationships, primary care

    14 Ways Social Media May Soon Change Your Doctor’s Visit

    Posted by admin on May 25, 2012 1:36:47 PM

    Re-posted from Medical Billing & Coding

    In 2006, Pew Research Forum discovered that 80% of American adults used the Internet to research medical information. By 2011, data (separately) compiled by Frost and Sullivan and QuantiaMD showed between 87% to 90% of physicians used at least one social media site for personal reasons, with a further 67% to 75% opting for more professional postings. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogging, and the like stand poised to change the face of healthcare in the exact same manner it pretty much did for most other industries. Medical professionals — not just doctors — have discovered some creative (and not-so-creative) ways to apply the technology to many different aspects of their field, meaning savvy, Internet-literate patients should stay on the lookout for what might lay ahead.

    1. Better information & Support
    PatientsLikeMe serves as a social media site for individuals with various conditions to connect and share their experiences and treatment options that work and do not work for them. As the site grows, so too does participants’ knowledge of what’s happening to their bodies, making it easier for them to communicate with their doctors about possible treatments, rare and common symptoms, and more. In addition, banding together with others in their situation offers necessary comfort and understanding patients might not necessarily receive from even the most well-meaning loved one.

    2. Greater Risk of Compromised Confidentiality
    Don’t panic; the vast majority of doctors probably won’t be Alexandra Thran, a Rhode Island physician fined for posting enough information online for readers to recognize her patient. All the same, though, savvy consumers should pay attention to their new and old doctors’ Internet presence for signs of breaking confidentiality. The threat might be minimal, but that doesn’t mean patients should grow complacent when it comes to their health and safety.

    3. More Balanced Drug Information
    In order to counterbalance Big Pharma’s massive social media presence, doctors such as immunologist and allergist Ves Dimov utilize their Facebooks and Twitters to perpetuate more scientific studies proving and disproving the information advertised. Doing so, they feel, will better educate their patients about what drugs they may or may not need when seeking treatment. Be forewarned that many healthcare professionals receive kickbacks, so stay wary of those who seem to eagerly push one specific brand over another. Researching and asking around will dredge up the most trusted professionals speaking on the subject.

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    Topics: education, Facebook, pharma, healthcare, social media, Twitter, U.S. News & World Report, primary care, coding, hospitals, medical billing, patients, PatientsLikeMe, Pew Research Forum, treatment options, Frost and Sullivan, QuantiaMD, Social Media

    Family Medicine Enrollment Grow in 2012 – Still Room for Concern

    Posted by admin on Mar 29, 2012 1:05:32 PM

    According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also known as the Match, family medicine attracted more graduating medical students in 2012, marking an increase in the field for the third year in a row.

    The Match data provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) includes family medicine, family medicine-psychiatry, family medicine-emergency medicine, family medicine-preventive medicine and family medicine-internal medicine programs.

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    Topics: Affordable Care Act, primary care, Dr. Joseph Esherick, Family Medicine, Glen Stream, Healthcare Reform Bill, Authors, National Resident Matching Program, AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, internal medicine, Match, NRMP

    Simulation-Based Procedural Training Improves Job & Patient Satisfaction

    Posted by Joseph Esherick on Feb 29, 2012 5:33:55 PM

    Dr. Joseph Esherick Monthly Blog – February 2012

    Are you a hospitalist who would like to incorporate procedures into your practice but don’t feel competent or confident in your skills?  Are you a hospitalist who does procedures so infrequently that you feel more comfortable referring your patients to a specialist for such procedures?  Are you a hospitalist who believes that you can get better reimbursement seeing more inpatients rather than incorporating hospital procedures into your practice?  Are you a hospitalist who believes that doing procedures will decrease your job satisfaction?  These are a few of many scenarios and myths that prevent hospitalists from performing bedside procedures.

    Hospitalists who perform procedures enjoy their jobs more than those who do not.   In one Canadian study of over 19,000 physicians, the degree of job satisfaction was directly linked to the range of procedures performed by the physician.[1]

    Additionally, patients feel better when the bedside procedures are performed by their primary physician with whom they have developed a rapport.  There are a few reasons for this.  Frequently, procedures performed by a specialist, especially an interventional radiologist, require that the patient has long waits, is taken away from their room, their nurse, and their family.  Furthermore, patients have often developed a relationship and trust with their primary inpatient physician and feel more comfort when they are performing the procedure rather than a complete stranger.

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    Topics: primary care, Physician, American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Joseph Esherick, simulation-based training, American College of Physicians, bedside procedures, Hospital Medicine Blog, hospital medicine, hospitalist, patient, point-of-care, Society of Hospital Medicine, surgical skills

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