Medicine

For content related to the science and practice of medicine

The knee injury

The computer generated routing slip on the exam room door said he was there because of a knee injury. That turned out to be only partly true.

 

When I entered the room, he was sitting comfortably on the exam table. I introduced myself, we shook hands, and as I sat down at the computer to open the EHR to his chart, I started with my usual fairly open-ended question:

Me: So, what brings you in today and how can I help?

Him: I hurt my knee this past weekend. (Note: this was a Wednesday.)

Me: Tell me about it.

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Physician burnout

I see and hear about more and more unhappy physicians, some of whom become happy former-physicians. It makes me reflect on my own circumstances.

Research suggests that the four major underlying contributors to physician dissatisfaction and burnout are

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Screening doesn't save lives.

I received a memo recently from an institution, extolling the virtues of its screening programs. It was entitled:

Screening Saves Lives. 

It was in large block capitals. I call bullshit on this.  Screening does not save lives. FULL. STOP.

This simplistic and self-serving public relations material is a typical example of common screening fallacy, that screening is an action that saves lives. This is worth deconstructing.

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