The PMD Critical List: The No. 1 Reason Patients Choose a Doctor

Topping this week's list of must-see stories for physicians: A look at the real reason patients choose a doctor, plus what role should doctors play in curbing climate change and gun violence?

Topping this week’s list of must-see stories for physicians: A look at the real reason patients choose a doctor, plus what role should doctors play in curbing climate change and gun violence?

#1 Reason Patients Choose Doctor (Physicians News Digest)

It’s not degrees or awards, not a nice office or attentive staff, and not bedside manner. It’s not even the practice location. The “number one determining factor for selecting a doctor (63%) is whether the physician is in-network” for the patient’s insurance plan.

Finding a State of Freedom (John Locke Foundation)

About 45% of US physicians plan to sell their medical practices over the next decade. For those docs considering a move, a new report that “compares and ranks the freedom of all 50 states” may offer guidance. Best: North Carolina; Worst: New York.

What Too Many Hospitals Are Overlooking (Gallup Poll)

It’s all about physician engagement—and the matter “isn't getting the attention it deserves.” Engaged doctors are more productive, bringing in “an additional $460,000 on average in patient revenue per physician per year.”

The Dyslexic Doctor Sees Things (Reuters)

A satisfying report about a young California physician with dyslexia, whose “desire to become a doctor outweighed his fear of failure.” Does “first-hand awareness of personal deficiencies” make for a more “compassionate physician”?

The Compassionate Physician Measured (Medical Express)

Cancer care researchers say that patients give better marks for compassion when they hear a more optimistic message from their doctors. Physicians say a major professional challenge is “to deliver honest prognostic information while still preserving hope.”

A Doctor’s Duty on Climate Change (Business Insider)

The World Health Organization says it is past time for physicians to be more involved on climate change as it pertains to patient health. Meanwhile, a clear majority of American Thoracic Society doctor-members now admit “seeing health effects in patients that they believe are linked to climate change.”

Challenges for Doctors Using Fitness Trackers & Apps (Daily Republic)

With more data from fitness trackers and health apps being used to help form patient care decisions, doctors have new and old concerns. Among these are liability, reliability, privacy, compensation, and compliance issues. Use caution, doc.

Unified Effort on Gun Violence, Physician Free Speech (AAFP.org)

One of the nation’s top doctor groups is seeking more freedom to discuss US gun violence, which claims 32,000+ lives annually. Never “gag physicians ever on any subject, since all we're trying to do is help our patients and those around them,” says a Western doctor-gun owner.

Deadly Bacteria Linked to Doctors’ Offices (Fox News)

The CDC is warning patients nationwide about a dangerous bacteria, C. difficile—typically hospital-borne but potentially now in MD offices. A CDC medical epidemiologist says new study on this matter is “really important.”

5 Things to Know About the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Case (Kaiser Health News)

The Justices will hear arguments this week about the Affordable Care Act and “the validity of tax subsidies helping millions of Americans buy health insurance.” A June decision is expected.