Being aware of what's happening in the room -- paying attention to the process -- requires an intention, a willingness to be present, to show up and engage with our patients in a way that is mutually respectful.
Proper health care is not one-size-fits all. Even if the 80-year-old Spanish-speaking man in the chemo recliner beside me has my same disease, his needs are different. Keep that individualization in care and kindness at the head of everything, and the rest will fall into place.
When you go to the doctor, you want to find out what's wrong and how you can get better. In modern-day America, though, what you will get are tests to "rule out" problems rather than figure out what you actually have.
Does race or gender influence decision-making among members of the most respected professions? Several recent, high-profile studies conclude that, yes, even scientists, doctors, and judges are vulnerable to such unconscious bias.
In directing ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare, Susan Froemke and I explore how our system is broken and why it doesn't want to change. But we also highlight pioneering leaders and courageous patients across the country who are implementing solutions.
I spent a number of years in the medical field. I even ran medical practices. But even I was unaware until recently about one really good option for people struggling to find more affordable medical care -- the federally funded community health center program.
If these assumptions about electronic medical records were true, medical quality could be improved while costs would decrease. Unfortunately, a simple review of the reality of EMRs shows a much less optimistic view.
The Affordable Care Act is the start of a "prevention revolution" in America. The focus will begin to shift from treating the sick to also keeping the healthy well and detecting disease early when there's the best chance of cost-effective interventions and cures.
Ten years before she died, my mother was hospitalized for what turned out to be anemia. My mother looked at her X-rays and saw a shadow in her abdominal area (the same place where she had a massive tumor a decade later). When she told the doctor about this, he ignored her.