Dr. Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, cancer survivor, and award-winning and best-selling author of books about cancer: Healthy Survivorship, recovery and late effects, and raising children when a parent has cancer. She is also a public speaker, patient advocate, and mother of three.
In yesterday's post I explained why combining college and med school into six years is not a good antidote to the primary care shortage (in my opinion). Here are other ideas that might help encourage medical students to go into primary care:
The author of a recent post on YJHM (the companion blog for the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine) suggested that combining college and med school into six years is a good idea as an antidote to the primary care shortage.
I, too, am concerned about the growing shortage of primary care clinicians. But this idea worries me.
On January 26th I blogged about the risk of patients being accidentally injured by overdoses of therapeutic radiation therapy. I brought it up for many reasons, one of which was to lead into a post of mantras for dealing with bad news. Another was to point out that "bad" news can lead to good news.
Yesterday I addressed the issue of availability of antibiotics (without a prescription) on the Internet contributing to the problem of antibiotic-resistant germs. Kairol Rosenthal commented that some patients may be ordering from these Internet sites because they are financially strapped (and not because they are stupidly preferring to self-prescribe instead of follow a doctor's orders).
If Healthy Survivors can't afford their prescriptions, they seek out resources that might be able to help.
Last evening I was interviewed by Betsy de Parry on Lymphomation Live, a weekly webcast sponsored by Patients Against Lymphoma. In this show entitled "The Art of Survivorship," we discuss how knowledge, hope and action help people become Healthy Survivors. The information and advice are addressed to patients dealing with any medical challenge (not just cancer) who want to get good care and live as fully as possible.
The hour-long interview is available online by clicking here. I hope it helps. With hope, Wendy
We have doctors of the heart (cardiologists), lungs (pulmonologists), nervous system (neurologists), and even the rectum (proctologists). But we don't have doctors of the breast (i.e., mammologists). Is this a problem?
What should intelligent, well-motivated patients do when their physicians refuse to prescribe what these patients believe is the best treatment? When I hear patients complaining, I urge them to find out why.