Since the introduction of antibiotics in World War II, doctors have prescribed courses of treatment that typically ran longer than necessary. Bacterial resistance is forcing a reevaluation, shortening courses sometimes to just a few days and even prompting doctors to advise not using all pills if patients feel better.
Doctors have often been advised to avoid emotions regarding patients in order to keep their decisions objective. However, this has led many patients to believe doctors don’t care about them. A new movement in medicine seeks to reverse the trend and put compassion back in medicine, led by a “Healer’s Art” class in many medical schools. Experts who teach the class explain.
Many patients want certainty in diagnoses, especially when they’ve had expensive diagnostic tests. However, those tests are often less certain in their results than people think, making patients sometimes doubt doctors’ competence.
When doctors can take advantage of massive amounts of data on patient outcomes, lives will be saved. We look at one of the first efforts, an attempt to associate dangerous drug interactions, and the difficulty in convincing other doctors that “crunching numbers” can provide adequate proof. A researcher and reporter involved in the case explain.
Synopsis: Patients often keep lifestyle secrets from their physicians even though it may be harmful to their health. Experts discuss the most common reasons for secret-keeping and the consequences that may result.
Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Dr. Daphne Miller, family physician, San Francisco; Karen Giblin, President, Red Hot Mamas menopause management program
Synopsis: Studies estimate that about five percent of diagnoses are wrong, leading treatment down the wrong road. Experts discuss why misdiagnoses occur, and a new Institute of Medicine report on how they might be prevented.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Mark L. Graber, President, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and Senior Fellow, RTI International; Dr. Lewis Levy, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Quality Officer, Best Doctors; Helen Haskell, President, Mothers Against Medical Error
Synopsis: Many doctors believe emotion is detrimental to medical practice, and many patients think doctors are cold and emotionless. But one influential physician explains why emotion is important to doctors.
Host: Lynn Holley. Guest: Dr. Danielle Ofri, Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and author, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine