Category : Medical Rants

I read the NY Times article yesterday and thought about how to blog on the subject. I thought for some time while taking a long drive, and then while working out. Then I was checking in on my favorite blogs and found the Dr. RW had nailed the subject – saving me much work!!! Newspaper hype versus clinical reality

I highly recommend reading his rant and the NY Times article which uses hyperbole to overdramatize this problem.

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Comments (4)

Have you ever read a newspaper article where you personally were involved or knew the situation cold?

It’s virtually never accurate.

Here’s my best example.

I live in Kona on the big island of Hawaii. I live in the coffe-growing area. Believe it or not, coffee trees grow right next to the parking lot of the local McDonald’s.

A few years ago I was reading the commodities column in the Wall Street Journal. Coffee is a commodity traded on the Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange in New York. The article mentioned the cocoa crop in Kona.

Cocoa in mainly grown in the Ivory Coast in Africa. Only a difference of 10-12,000 miles. And that was from the Wall Street Journal!

Also question what you read.

No doubt, the story is not without hype or inaccuracies.

But let’s not miss the forest behind the trees. Fighting the public’s perception that there is room for improvement in health care quality is a losing proposition, both politically and economically.

Here are the details: P4P & Quality: NYT Rages On. AMA Goes Along.

I can’t believe that the NYT could not come up with a better example of “misdiagnosis” than that. The kid DID have chicken pox, complicated by nectorizing fascitis (a bacteria Ms. New York Times reporter, not a virus). This was an example of incomplete diagnosis, not misdiagnosis. Also, necortizing fascitis can move incredibly fast, so who is to say that it was present at a detectable stage when the patient first presented.

And please, let us not forget that DIAGNOSING STUFF IS HARD! It’s not like you can wave a tricorder over people and have it spit out a diagnosis Dr. McCoy style – it takes a lot of training, skills, pattern recognition, etc.

If we start letting the system hold us to the standard of perfection we might as well walk (or run) away now. I know I am.

So are you maintaing that there is NOT room for improvement in the quality of health care? If you maintained that, you’ve never been seen my a physician.

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