The PMD Critical List: Medicare Reimburses Female Physicians Much Less Than Men

A new study supports previous research showing financial differences between men and women in healthcare. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List.

A new study supports previous research showing financial differences between men and women in healthcare. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: The 27th annual “Best Hospitals” list comes out, a young doctor recaps his first year of residency, and what it’s like to be a minority in medicine.

Medicare Pays Female Doctors Less (Time)

Medicare reimbursed female physicians almost $19,000 less than male doctors in nearly all specialties last year, according to a new study published in Postgraduate Medical Journal. One factor that may be playing a role is geography.

Are Physicians and Medical Device Reps Too Buddy-Buddy? (Becker’s Hospital Review)

A new study in Plos One “raises ethical questions about the reliance of surgeons on device reps and device companies for education and surgical assistance and practical concerns regarding existing levels of competence among OR personnel.”

Training Good Doctors Starts With the Liberal Arts (The New Republic)

“To succeed at their trade, doctors not only need to have a sophisticated knowledge of biology, they also must master the complex clinical micro- and macro-systems in which their patients live and they work. Thus, today’s medical curriculum teaches new doctors about culture and communication.”

America’s Best Hospitals 2016-17 (US News & World Report)

US News & World Report is out with its 27th annual “Best Hospitals” rankings. The national media outlet compared nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. #1: Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Reading Books Brings Longer Life (Quartz)

All the book reading you did in medical school — it’s a good thing. A new study published in Social Science & Health shows that reading books has a significant relationship to increased lifespan (sorry, magazines or newspapers didn’t have the same effect).

Doctors Aren't Selling Out For Sandwiches (The Hill)

A reassuring essay by a smart doctor. “There's no proof that industry-sponsored meals drive prescribing behavior. In fact, the relationships between pharmaceutical sales representatives and physicians may actually benefit patients.”

What is the Health of Clinton and Trump? (STAT)

“The rhetoric around the health of 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) keeps ratcheting up. Here’s what we actually know about the medical condition of the presidential candidates.”

Depression Is Rampant Among Doctors in Training (CommonHealth)

A compelling essay by a young doctor: “By the end of my first year of residency, I knew I was in trouble. I was overwhelmed by the 15-hour days, the unbearable sadness of the tragedies I witnessed, my feelings of impotence and my fears of making a mistake. My life was my work and everything else seemed to be falling apart.”

Doctors Want Face Time with Patients, Not Screen Time with CMS (RealClearHealth.com)

“We would much rather look into our patients’ eyes, talk with them, examine them, and understand not only what’s wrong and where it hurts but also what their hopes and dreams and fears and expectations are,” a doctor explains. “Unfortunately, the way federal regulations are structured, if we don’t stare at the computer screen, we will take a financial hit that could knock us right out of practice.”

Doctor's Take: Being a Minority in Medicine (ABC News)

Dr. Amber Robins, “a young female black woman” talks about being an underrepresented minority in medicine. “As I finish my residency in family medicine, I’m still frustrated to not see more fellow underrepresented minorities in the hospital. By 2050, the percentage of minorities in the US is expected to surpass 50%, but I fear their representation in medicine will continue to lag far behind the overall population.”