Saturday, October 25, 2008

This morning's news

I'm interrupting my much needed rest to plug two interesting news articles.

The first makes a great case for primary care. Have you ever heard of the cognitive bias created by specializing? That is, when you specialize in psychiatry and a patient comes to you with pain, you are more likely to diagnose a psychological or psychosomatic component to the pt's pain. If you are an orthopedic surgeon, you are less likely to do that, and more likely to diagnose arthritis, joint disease, etc. If you are a neurologist, you are more likely to diagnose it as neuropathic... you get the idea.

Here's a story of a lady in Great Britain who's been seen by multiple specialists and over a thousand visits for what seemed to be an idiopathic (cause unknown)chronic pain. It took her primary care physician to take the time to investigate her case and diagnose her properly... this is TWENTY YEARS of living in pain, people.

There is a serious demand for competent professionals to provide primary care in order for our health care system to work. This isn't a stab at more unique specialists (I'm not actually planning, at the moment, on going into a primary care field), but a recognition of the importance of a "home base" for patients in the form of family medicine or (to a lesser extent) internists.

I'll bring up the idea of universal health care in later blog entries, but one huge change that needs to be made in order for a universal system to work is to provide some incentive for medical students to pursue Primary Care medicine. Personally, I think we can and should provide completely subsidized medical school if you agree to practice family medicine or primary care.

The second article has to do with this picture:

This image isn't fake...
Who wouldn't love a glow cat?
It would probably make it easier to find if it's lost.

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