The PMD Critical List: Concierge Conundrum

A multimillion-dollar judgment against a Florida concierge practice is raising questions about liability and marketing in the growing industry of so-called "concierge medicine." Meanwhile, the Sunshine State finds itself with a dearth of specialists to treat its population. Those stories and more in this week's Critical List.

A multimillion-dollar judgment against a Florida concierge practice is raising questions about liability and marketing in the growing industry of so-called “concierge medicine.” Meanwhile, the Sunshine State finds itself with a dearth of specialists to treat its population. Those stories are among this week’s list of must-read stories for physicians.

Concierge Physicians Rattled by $8.5 Million Jury Award (Modern Healthcare)

The patient got “marketing deception and valueless illusory promises” from a Florida concierge practice, her lawyer says. The verdict “certainly muddies the picture of who's responsible for a medical mistake,” says the American Academy of Private Physicians president.

Should Doctors Write About Patients? (The Atlantic)

A Yale Medical School professor who also teaches a writing workshop to medical residents says that while real patient stories can have value, fiction may be the kinder and safer approach for writing doctors.

What Physicians Can Learn From Engineers (University of Texas Communications)

An aerospace engineering professor says doctors must embrace engineering principles and methods to improve care. “The development and clinical implementation of predictive computational medicine may represent a milestone in the history of engineering and medicine,” he says.

Doctors & Divorce: The Good News (Boston Business Journal)

A new study finds that physicians are less likely than other healthcare professionals (and lawyers) to be divorced. Just 23% of their marriages fail vs. 35% of non-healthcare occupation unions. However, female physicians do have a higher divorce rate.

Google Gets an Update, Doctors Get a Market (ChicagoInno)

Working with the venerable Mayo Clinic, Google has created a new format for health-related search content. For physicians, “it’s an ideal opportunity to tap into localized digital marketing to connect with a larger audience of potential patients.”

New MCAT Poses Hurdles for Pre-Meds (Duke Chronicle)

The new medical college admission test (the first changes in nearly 25 years) is 2.5 hours longer, has new sections on psychology, sociology, and biochemistry, eliminates the writing section, and employs a new 528-point scoring system.

Hospital Discharges Rise at Lucrative Times (The Wall Street Journal)

At some healthcare facilities, a patient’s discharge timing has less to do with their condition and more with how much Medicare money the hospital receives. Some doctors, under pressure by hospital administrators to go along, call the practice “troubling and disturbing.”

Florida Faces Critical Shortage of Doctors (Tallahassee Democrat)

It has fine weather, no state income tax, affordable living costs, lots of potential senior patients, and oh yes, a looming dearth of physicians—mostly specialists. Sunshine state health officials are seeking to end the “medical brain drain.”

Should Doctors Ever Help You Die? Yes (New York Daily News)

An oncologist suffering with brain cancer in Oregon (which has a “Death with Dignity” law) lays out a persuasive case not for “physician-assisted suicide” (which he calls an inaccurate term) but for “physician aid in dying.”

Physicians & Executives: Different Species Must Work Together (Hospitals & Health Networks)

“Even with an allegedly more pliant generation of physicians, the job of running healthcare organizations is no easier.” Doctors remain “a different species” and healthcare executives must “help them grow, clear barriers to success, earn trust, and be modest about what they don't know.”