The PMD Critical List: Rand Paul the Renegade

This week's list of must-read news stories for physicians includes a tale from Rand Paul, MD's past, a look at the costly doctor shortage in the UK, and a call for doctors to learn meditation.

This week's list of must-read news stories for physicians includes a tale from Rand Paul, MD’s past, a look at the costly doctor shortage in the UK, and a call for doctors to learn meditation.

How Rand Paul Tried to Lead an Eye Doctors’ Rebellion (The Washington Post)

He’s a physician (now a Republican US Senator) who is probably running for president in 2016. As a Kentucky ophthalmologist he took on the board-certification “establishment” in his state—with mixed results.

Doctors Can Protect Elderly from Financial Trauma (Medical News Today)

An interesting report out of Australia (USA has similar concerns) telling how doctors can play a “vital role” in helping elderly patients to access and assist their "financial capacity." Physicians heal thyself, too.

Before Medicaid, How Did Doctors Treat the Poor? (NJ.com)

A little bit of medical history on caring for the needy. From barter to “sliding scales” and charging the rich more and the poor less, it seems “only the doctor is expected to provide free or discounted services.”

British Doctors Get Big Bucks to Cover Chronic Staff Shortages (The Guardian)

Think America has a doctor shortage? Due to “difficulty in recruiting and retaining enough doctors,” some locum doctors in the UK are getting nearly $2,700 per day to fill in the gaps. It’s “what the market is dictating.”

When Hospitals Buy Doctors’ Offices, and Patient Fees Soar (The New York Times)

It’s a growth trend in American medicine—physicians once in private practice now work for hospitals. The pay is much better. Now President Obama wants to end “the migration of wildebeests” (ie, doctors).

To Prevent Thousands of Deaths Doctors Should Meditate (The Washington Post)

For doctors “pulled in a million directions” the best way to “foster concentration and focus and minimize error is “mindfulness meditation.” The author-doctor says is helps healthcare workers “slow down and pay attention.”

How Doctors Can Win Back Parents on Measles Vaccine (CNN)

Here’s a compelling report from a wise physician-journalist on how to better educate parents about vaccinations—and improve the patient-doctor bond in general. Win back trust with time and attention.

Young Doctors Go to Business School for a Day (Buffalo News)

Physicians “begin their careers with little exposure to the financial, regulatory, and customer-service challenges they will confront.” And with the doctor calling in decline, “getting physicians comfortable with their practices needs to be a center of concern for the country.”

Lab-in-a-Box: When the Doctor Stops Listening (New Scientist)

While technology has revolutionized healthcare, it can also create more distractions for the doctor. A new healthcare analytical tool may “shed light on what sidetracks doctors during consultations with patients.” A wake-up call for screen-addicted docs?