The PMD Critical List: 'Exhausted, Drowning and Furious'

This week's must-read stories include a look at growing frustration among physicians in the UK, a potential alternative to colonoscopies, and a debate in California over drug-testing doctors.

This week's must-read stories include a look at growing frustration among physicians in the UK, a potential alternative to colonoscopies, and a debate in California over drug-testing doctors.

  • British Doctors Are “Exhausted, Drowning and Furious” (The Telegraph) Can it be that UK physicians are finally fed up with socialized medicine? The nation’s general practitioners used their annual conference to accuse the government of “continually denigrating” the profession.

  • Physician Survey: Morale Still Low, But Slightly Improving (Forbes) The majority of doctors (56%) remain negative about the profession, but some say things are improving. Those physicians who are young, female, and institutionally employed (all growing in the MD workforce) are more positive.

  • Dr. Morris Collen, 100, Pioneer in Computerized Medicine (NY Times) Medicine and technology today are responsible for incalculable healthcare miracles. But the field of “medical informatics” was really begun by this California physician who just died.

  • Cancer-Detecting Yogurt Could Replace Colonoscopies (MIT Technology Review) We all know the gang at MIT is pretty smart, but one professor is taking brains to a whole new level. He’s working on a project that would make for easy and inexpensive cancer tests—thanks to a spoonful of yogurt.

  • NPs and PAs Play a Key Role in Patient Support (Manhattan Research) Who really engages with the patient? When it comes to health education and working with electronic medical records, a recent survey finds that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are foremost.

  • Physicians Are Touchy About Marijuana (Sarasota Herald-Tribune) While national polls show solid support for medical marijuana (and pot decriminalization in general), many doctors see a big potential for abuse. The MDs’ unease comes from a lack of reliable research on the drug.

  • Patients Tend to Listen More to Female Doctors (Reuters Health) Ok—it’s a French study, but is there any accuracy to it? It might have less to do with a doctor’s gender than it does with his/her personality. But with “consumer service” ascending in healthcare, some docs might need to change.

  • The Drawbacks of Drug-Testing Physicians (FierceHealthcare) Opponents say this ballot initiative, set to be voted on next month in California, would do more harm than good. Drug-testing doctors, who are already lawsuit targets, should identify and rehabilitate rather than punish.

  • Frustrated Physicians Tinker with Their Business Models (Upstart Business Journal) Whether Obamacare is here to stay should not matter, according to some physicians. They’re embracing concierge medicine and with considerable success. About 70% of concierge docs are now making $100,000 to $400,000 per year.

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Bonus “Must See”Fighting Ebola Means Managing Fear (Harvard Business Review Blog) A respected critical care doctor logically outlines the steps that must be taken to properly manage the uncertainty and fear surrounding the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.

A respected critical care doctor logically outlines the steps that must be taken to properly manage the uncertainty and fear surrounding the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.