The PMD Critical List: The World's Richest Doctors

Riches and power top this week’s PMD Critical List. Our top story looks at the richest doctors in the world. Another story looks at a group of physicians who hold incredible power over the US healthcare system, even though they’re not household names.

Riches and power top this week’s PMD Critical List. Our top story looks at the richest doctors in the world. Another story looks at a group of physicians who hold incredible power over the US healthcare system, even though they’re not household names.

The World’s Richest Doctors (Gazette Review)

A medical career is usually a ticket to a good lifetime of income—“but the guys on this list dwarf even the highest income for your local GP.” At the top is Dr. Patrick Soon Shiong at $13 billion. This California surgeon “is not only the wealthiest doctor in the world, but the wealthiest man in the medical industry.”

The Most Powerful Doctors You’ve Never Heard Of (The Washington Post)

No one know them—16 physicians who decide which checkups and tests Americans need to stay healthy. But increasingly, their work is more controversial than obscure. Read about “the US Preventive Services Task Force” which has such an unusually powerful role in the nation’s healthcare.

Puerto Rico Is Losing Doctors (NPR.org)

Territory health officials “estimate that at least one doctor leaves Puerto Rico every day.” It’s all due to a decade-long recession—more than 50,000 residents are leaving the Caribbean island each year. One young doctor in training says “there's a huge economic incentive to stay away, which is a sad, sad truth.”

Physicians Hopeful About New Pay Models (Business Wire)

A new Fidelity Investments and National Business Group on Health study finds that physicians are cautiously optimistic that new payment models may contribute to a higher quality of care and improved patient outcomes. For pay-for-performance, patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organization compensation models, physician buy-in is crucial.

Doctors Urged to Tackle Poverty (Healthline.com)

The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with a new set of recommendations that asks their members to screen their patients for poverty—“the ultimate in preventative medicine.” Encouraging doctors “to be thought leaders and social change leaders.”

An Urgent Call for Diversity in Medicine (STAT)

“Remaking the physician workforce so it accommodates the increasingly diverse US population is a path towards better health and lower health care costs. Diversity in medicine should matter to everyone,” explains this physician education leader. “Conversations about discrimination, diversity, and inclusion should be taking place at every medical school across the country.”

The Where’s of Doctor Quality Ratings (Fox News)

“Patients give the same doctors different ratings depending on where their visit took place, according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Researchers compared patient satisfaction surveys at three different locations staffed by the same doctors—the emergency department at a hospital and two other settings at urgent care sites in more suburban areas nearby.

Doctors Often Treat Depression Improperly (NPR.org)

“More often than not, primary care doctors fail to teach depression patients how to manage their care and don't follow up to see how they're doing, according to a new Health Affairs study. “The approach to depression should be like that of other chronic diseases,” explains Dr. Harold Pincus of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Bring Back the Autopsy (The New York Times)

Thought-provoking essay from a leading physician-author about the lost medial art of “the non-forensic medical autopsy. Despite technological improvements in medicine, diagnostic errors remain rampant. Reviving the autopsy would be a good thing, giving doctors a sorely needed tool to improve diagnosis.”