Clinical medicine can treat patients when they are sick, but public health provides an opportunity to prevent disease and poor health. But too often, medical students don't get to learn about public health, or how to use it when they become doctors. That means many of today's students aren't learning about health care in a broader context.
We need to combine the science of medicine with its art and to get our doctors and our patients back in sync. Medical schools are finally beginning to recognize this and are revising their entrance test to place more emphasis on the social, not just the biological sciences. It is crucial that we make medicine more humane.
On April 14, history was made. America's physicians commend members of Congress for coming together in a bipartisan, bicameral way to pass long-overdue, monumental Medicare reforms to end the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment policy and create a framework for a more stable and sustainable Medicare program.
Recently, Dr. Peter Kramer published an intriguing, well-written, but poorly reasoned and potentially dangerous "thought piece" in the New York Times. His article, "Why Doctors Need Stories," contains several logical flaws and erroneous arguments, but the overarching concept is a classic "straw man" argument.
In a rational model of health care, the consumer must have the ability to distinguish bad products from good, and must have enough information and emotional distance to make purely rational choices about their or their loved ones' health care. There are a number of reasons this simply is not the case.