The PMD Critical List: Doctors 'Unprepared' to Discuss Healthcare Costs

A new report says physicians fall short when patients ask questions about the costs of treatment. That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also on the list: Doctors continue to be held in high esteem in American society, and critiques of Harvard Medical School and WebMD.

A new report says physicians fall short when patients ask questions about the costs of treatment. That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also on the list: A survey finds doctors continue to be held in high esteem in American society, and organizations critique Harvard Medical School and WebMD.

Doctors Unprepared to Discuss Healthcare Costs (RealClearHealth.com)

Researchers at Duke “noted two ways doctors dismissed patients’ financial woes. They either did not acknowledge the concerns or only half-addressed them.” Still, “navigating a patient’s financial circumstances and medical needs in the course of a 15-minute visit is tricky.”

Doctor Tops List of Prestigious Occupations (Voice of America)

“The vast majority of American parents—9 in10—would happily encourage their children to become a doctor, an occupation 90% of Americans see as prestigious, according to an annual Harris Poll. Other professions that are held in high esteem include scientists, firefighters, and military officers.

The Truth About WebMD (Vox)

An on-target critique of WebMD—the nation’s most popular source of health information. “I was bombarded with a dizzying number of ads for pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and sponsored content” … it seems “designed to turn users into patients.” Trustworthy? It depends on which page you land on and what you're looking for.

Harvard Medical School Ignores Family Medicine (Stat)

“The world’s most famous medical school is teeming with experts on cutting-edge procedures, but students say it’s missing something fundamental: a department that trains doctors to care for the whole family.” The new AAFP president calls the school “deficient.”

The Most Shopped-For Healthcare Services (UPI)

“Colonoscopies, mammograms, and childbirth services top the list of most shopped-for healthcare services, according to a recent study in Health Affairs.” Millennials put the most time into getting the best prices.

Report Predicts Larger National Physician Shortage (BizTimes)

In less than a decade, the nation could be facing a physician shortage larger than originally anticipated according to a new Association of American Medical Colleges report. “Because it can take up to 10 years to train a doctor, our nation needs to act now,” says the AAMC president.

Final 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Health Affairs)

While nutrition is a relatively young science, doctors can play a key role in preventing eating disorders. These guidelines are extremely influential and heavily lobbied—forming the basis for all federal nutrition policies. Lots of worthwhile info here.

Racial Bias Makes for Bad Doctors (The Verge)

New research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “found that many white medical students and residents hold false assumptions about how black people feel pain.” This rampant unconscious bias in medicine can lead to death. “Race is a fiction.”

How the Big Apple is Killing You (New York Post)

A fascinating report: “How New York City residents die depends on where they live.” The leading killers are in Manhattan: suicide, Queens: stroke, Brooklyn: pneumonia, Bronx: AIDS, and Staten Island: heart disease.