The PMD Critical List: Have Doctors Become 'Explainaholics'?

This week's list of must-read stories for physicians includes a number of critical questions. Are doctors "explainaholics"? Are physicians losing the right to practice medicine? And does the placebo effect mean physicians should lie to patients?

This week’s list of must-read stories for physicians includes a number of critical questions. Are doctors “explainaholics”? Are physicians losing the right to practice medicine? And does the placebo effect mean physicians should lie to patients?

An Important Question Doctors Need to Ask (The Washington Post)

A New Jersey family doctor with 30 years of medical practice thinks not enough busy physicians ask: “What are your goals for your care, and how can I help you?”

How to Teach Empathy to Doctors (The Atlantic)

To build patient trust a good doctor must understand people, not just science. “An essential but often overlooked skill is clinical empathy.” Doctors tend to be “explainaholics”—they must remember to “never answer a feeling with a fact.”

New App Helps Doctors Catch Suicide Risk (NBC News)

With nearly 50% of those who kill themselves (teens are particularly vulnerable) seeing a health professional a month before their death, Suicide Safe can aid doctors in helping someone at risk to get immediate help.

Map: Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 27 US Cities (Washington Post)

With more than a few physicians thinking about selling their medical practices and/or retiring in the coming years, a little insight into housing costs might help with relocation. Range: San Francisco ($142,448) to Cleveland ($32,010).

Apple Leverages iPhone to Help Doctors Research (USA Today)

Hundreds of millions of smart phones are in use around the world and a new app Research Kit will empower people to participate in and contribute to medical research. Targets are Parkinson's, breast cancer, diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

Physicians Losing the Right to Practice Medicine (Philly.com)

A compelling essay from an MD/MBA who says “the autonomy of doctors is threatened” and asks: “If physicians are not allowed to make clinical decisions, what is the rationale for their long and costly training?”

Doctors Who Lie Help Patients Recover Faster (BigThink.com)

Here’s an interesting interview with a Duke University behavioral economics professor on truth in health care. Turns out placebos are real—so should doctors lie more? In the end, if it works no one suffers.

Is a Medical “Meltdown” Imminent? (WND.com)

In a new book, the former president of the AAPS addresses “the catastrophic collapse” of US health care due to Obamacare. Shortages will be everywhere and Americans will “clamor for medical attention, medical supplies and hospital care.”