The PMD Critical List: Dropping the Ball on Big Data

Big data could play a larger role in treating diseases, but the lack of a proper database hampers the effort, according to a new report. That story, plus looks at why doctors make errors and how they can avoid burnout, tops this week's list of must-read news items for physicians.

Big data could play a larger role in treating diseases, but the lack of a proper database hampers the effort, according to a new report. That story, plus looks at why doctors make errors and how they can avoid burnout, tops this week’s list of must-read news items for physicians.

Big Data Can Make Smarter Doctors (The Wall Street Journal)

The medical technical adviser to the popular TV show “House,” says that “99.99% of the experience that physicians gain in treating disease is flushed down the toilet.” And a properly-designed “national query-system” can capture this vital data and make it available to all.

Why Physicians Err in Diagnosis (JAMA)

A fascinating 100-year-old editorial in the unofficial bible of doctoring, The Journal of the American Medical Association, says doctor mistakes can be divided into 2 groups — social and clinical. And some errors can be condoned, others cannot.

American Doctors Are Killing Themselves and No One Is Talking About It (The Daily Beast)

A valuable essay about the high rate of physician suicides in the country. “Male doctors kill themselves at a rate 70% higher than other professionals” and it’s worse for female doctors. Still, discussing the problem remains taboo. And physician’s health programs aren’t the answer.

Physician Burnout Warning Signs and 5 Steps to Avoid It (Healthcare Global)

It’s the wise physician who knows the signs of professional burnout—or perhaps not. Three classic signs are: Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced accomplishment. To beat it: Family time, delegation, walking, outside endeavors, and smart scheduling.

The New Doctor’s Code: 155,000 Choices (Pittsburg Post-Gazette)

The CMS is “set to enforce the implementation of a new medical coding system called ICD-10.” Health insurers hope it will “more precisely determine claim reimbursement.” Doctors see it as “complex and costly.”

Dramatic Photo: Doctor Grieves Over Lost Patient (KARE 11 News)

It’s something that’s rarely seen — the physician as a vulnerable human being. Here’s a compelling shot and short story about an overcome California ER doctor who lost a young patient. Point: “Doctors do not get the praise they deserve.”

Course of Action: Ferry Point in NYC (New York Post)

It’s something doctors have traditionally loved to do — play golf. Here’s a report on an interesting new pubic course overlooking New York City. At $269 million (Trump & Nicklaus teamed up), it’s the most expensive public course in US history.