The PMD Critical List: Should Physicians Bring Up Religious Arrangements for Dying Patients?

While the majority of dying patients would like their spiritual needs addressed, many physicians feel uncomfortable doing so. Is there a right way or time to bring up religion in a hospital setting? That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also on the list: the number of doctors leaving independent practices for hospital employment is increasing and a look at the important contributions made by the late Richard S. Ross, former dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

While the majority of dying patients would like their spiritual needs addressed, many physicians feel uncomfortable doing so. Is there a right way or time to bring up religion in a hospital setting? That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also on the list: the number of doctors leaving independent practices for hospital employment is increasing and a look at the important contributions made by the late Richard S. Ross, former dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Doctors Fail to Address Patients’ Spiritual Needs (New York Times)

Research finds that “70% of dying patients want their doctor to ask them about their religious beliefs.” Still, most are uncomfortable broaching the topic with their doctors. According to a prominent New York physician, more doctors must recognize this important issue.

More Physicians Leaving Independent Practices (Healthcare Dive)

A new Accenture survey, Clinical care: The independent doctor will NOT see you now, finds that that only 1 in 3 physicians will be independent by the end of 2016. “It’s a new world where people who never hired doctors before are now seeking them.”

Dr. Richard S. Ross — RIP (Washington Post)

The former Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine dies at age 91. Also a president of the American Heart Association in the early 1970s, Dr. Ross made important contributions to coronary research. And he examined President Nixon during Watergate.

Many Physicians Dissatisfied with EHR Systems (Healio.com)

Satisfaction with electronic health record systems is in sharp decline among physicians, according to a recent survey. The AmericanEHR Partners/AMA poll found growing doctor unhappiness regarding EHR's poor performance on costs, productivity, and workload.

When Patients Manage Doctors (Wall Street Journal)

More often now people with multiple chronic illnesses (25% of Americans) must take charge of managing their own care. “Conflicts between medications, and doctors that don’t talk to one another, is a big and common problem,” explains the director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease.

Could Doctors Prescribe Video Games For Mental Health? (Huffington Post)

A California neurologist has developed NeuroRacer, a video game that targets multitasking skills through a series of challenges. He's “cautiously optimistic” that it can “help older adults improve mental function—in the comfort of their own homes.”

Doctors Want to Die Differently Than Most People (CNN)

Statistics show that physicians are more likely to die at home and with less aggressive care than most people get at the end of their lives. “But knowing how much medical intervention at the end of life might be most appropriate for a particular person requires wide-ranging conversations about death.”

Smart People Live Longer—Here's Why (Live Science)

It’s all in the genes, according to a recent International Journal of Epidemiology study. “About 95% of the relationship between intelligence and longevity is explained by genetic influences on both traits,” researchers found.

Male Doctors Are More Likely To Be Sued (Science 2.0)

“Male doctors have a 250% greater chance of having medico-legal action taken against them than their female counterparts,” according to a British study. Researchers said “the causes are likely to be complex and multi-factorial” but it may just be that male doctors work more hours.

Hospitals Seeking an Edge Turn to Unlikely Adviser: A Car Maker (Kaiser Health News)

Trying to cut costs and make patients happier, hospitals have turned to an unlikely ally: Toyota. “They are adapting the car maker’s production system to healthcare, changing longstanding practices such as how to store equipment, schedule surgeries and discharge patients.”