Ever wondered what it would be like to have autism? Watch this video!
A pretty interesting study conducted by the University of Geneva looked at just how much bacteria can remain on a physician’s stethoscope after seeing patients. Turns out it’s even more than most parts of a physician’s hands.
An important factor to consider in all of this that was mentioned is how there are guidelines everyone regarding healthcare professionals washing their hands. However, there are no guidelines for washing stethoscopes. Looks like there might be in the near future.
Check it out!
Usually I hate advertisements, quickly clicking the close button without giving them the time of day. However, I actually found my new favorite iPhone app through an advertisement on Facebook.
I highly recommend anyone interested in healthcare to download the app “Figure 1”. It’s essentially a social network to share healthcare related images amongst healthcare professionals. You can even create an account on the Figure 1 website if you don’t want to add the app to your phone.
Be sure to check it out!
There’s an email chain letter going around that I found interesting with a nice dose of humor. Basically, the email asks you to guess what the following image is:
A hint is that it was used by physicians!
The instrument in question is a tobacco smoke enema device used to well… blow smoke up people’s butts! It was thought that doing so could treat gastrointestinal discomfort and was even used in attempts to resuscitate victims of near drowning. Fortunately, people eventually realized that the nicotine actually poisoned patients. For more information, visit this link!
How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America by Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., with Paul Goldberg
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it illustrates some sinister complications with the US healthcare system. The author provides some fascinating statistical information regarding a variety of medical subject matter. His illustration of life-altering treatments evokes thought-provoking skepticism from the reader. Simultaneously, physicians who read this book should be encouraged to develop honest relationships with their patients. To be a good doctor, you must put the patient first, before prosperity and/or prestige.
There are few things that detract from my giving it a 5/5 rating, however. Unfortunately, the author expresses a fixation on racial stereotyping throughout the book. Being an African-American, the author probably has had numerous racially provoked experiences, but incessantly discussing racial profiling seems beyond the scope of this book.
Although I do agree there is unnecessary spending in medicine, frivolous expenditures occur in low, middle and high income classes. The author expresses obvious bias when he repeatedly states abuse of the system by private insurance patients, but gives little acknowledgement to the other end of the spectrum.
The author’s ultimate goal is to illustrate a broken healthcare system in the United States, and I must say that he does so successfully. I highly recommend this book to any premed or medical student, as well as to all physicians. There is a lot of information that can undoubtedly lead to better physicians throughout the country. Overall, this was a fantastic read.
Description in one word: Eye-opening
“Americans don’t understand death. We cannot accept that death will come, and thus we cannot make a plan, talk reasonably about it, work our way to understanding, to the basic part of our humanity. This attitude – a combination of perpetual optimism, refusing the dark, and not living in reality – is unfair to patients, doctors, and insurance companies.”
– From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America by Otis Webb Brawley, MD, with Paul Goldberg
A staggering statistic presented in this book just before the above quote states that 24% of Medicare spending & 15% of all health spending occurs during a patient’s last year of life. Unfortunately, much of this spending is done with little hope of benefiting the patient.
Here are some facts of the day:
- Life expectancy for Americans is 78.37 years, ranking 50th among nations worldwide.
- The US ranks only 45th in infant mortality rates, worse than many nations that are actually much poorer.
- The US ranks #1 in healthcare expenses, spending 50% more than even the 2nd highest nation worldwide.
- American citizens spend 2.5 times more money on healthcare than on food.
- At current rates, healthcare costs will exceed 4.5 trillion by 2019 and if the trend continues further, account for almost 1/5 of our gross domestic product by 2025.
From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America by Otis Webb Brawley, MD, with Paul Goldberg
I like to stay well informed about debate-worthy issues, so I’ve been reading up on health policy lately. One statistic that has always struck a cord with me and did so within the first few pages of Health Policy Issues: An Economic Perspective by Paul J. Feldstein is the United States gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare. A quick Google search led me to this article stating that the U.S. spends $8,233 per person each year. For most people, that doesn’t seem like a big deal right? Well, that’s actually more than 2.5 times the expenses of most other developed nations globally.
The U.S. currently spends 17.6% of GDP on healthcare costs. That’s over 17 cents per dollar spent going towards health costs. In comparison, medical services consisted of only 6% of our GDP in 1965. Even more recently, it was only 16% in 2005. Obviously, if this increasing trend continues we could be in trouble.
Although the U.S. is recognized for healthcare excellence, the Organiztion for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has presented some statistics that make the U.S. system seem a little less profound. For example, in comparison to many other nations that are members of the OECD, the United States has less physicians per person, less hospital beds per person, and lower life expediencies than many other nations.
I’m not bashing the United States system and it has obvious benefits as well. As stated in the article, it leads the world in research, as well as cancer treatment. There are many more details discussed within the article so feel free to take a look. I simply wanted to spend a moment to bring to light the rising costs of healthcare in the United States. A quick glance at the chart shown pretty much says it all.