I chose internal medicine as a career because I love having "the big picture."
One of my great concerns about the changes in modern medicine is this: It is becoming increasingly common for none of the clinicians on a patient's healthcare team to have that big picture so vital to expert and compassionate care.
Don't think for a second I want to go back to the days of doctors visiting patients in their homes, all the tools of their trade carried in their iconic black leather bag. I'm alive today because advances in science and high-tech cancer care saved my life years ago and have kept me going all these years.
But, as Dr.Rob wrote in his blog post yesterday, entitled "The Big Picture," we must find ways to ensure that at least one member of every patient's healthcare team has the insights that come only with an ongoing, long-term relationship.
Please read his post when you have a moment. And whenever you are thinking, discussing, arguing or writing about the changes in healthcare, keep in mind the vital role of continuity of care.