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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Category Archives: Medical Professionalism in Practice

“How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted” — Really?

How is it that when the health care system is going through needed and positive changes, people like Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman write an opinion piece in The New York Times in which they profess a longing for the “good old days” before measurement? For a moment, let’s go back to those old days. [...]

Physician Measurement: Good in Theory but Not in Practice

Most issues in health care are replete with nuance rather than absolutes. I was reminded of this recently at the National Physician Alliance’s (NPA) 2014 Annual Conference & Transforming Healthcare Summit. NPA is considered a “progressive” physician leadership organization. It champions transparency in the disclosure of conflicts of interest, health care reform and avoiding waste [...]

When Self-Promotion Crosses into Unprofessionalism

As a physician, is it possible to remain professional and market yourself? While it is understandable that physicians and physician researchers need to promote themselves to get jobs, patients, research grants etc., it should never come at the cost of patient care or trust.

Outrageous: What Is the Physician Community Response?

“Outrageous!” was the reaction of some physician leaders to a recent article in The New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal entitled After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn’t Know. In the piece, Rosenthal tells the story of a patient negotiating charges for his neck surgery to correct herniated disks even as he [...]

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

I recently met with former CEOs of prepaid group practices (PGPs) that were part of the early years (1984-2000) of the HMO Group—now the Alliance of Community Health Plans—a coalition of not-for-profit, pre-paid group practices. (I was the first president and CEO.) One of the most notable accomplishments of this alliance back then was the [...]

Thinking Beyond Financial Rewards and Penalties

This week, I participated in a tweet chat (#BopChat) hosted by the Commonwealth Fund (@commonwealthfnd). The event, “Incentives 2.0: Thinking Beyond Financial Rewards & Penalties,” echoed the theme of the 2013 Foundation Forum and I looked forward to sharing some of the takeaways from that meeting as well as hearing from others on the subject.

Competition at #ABIMF2014 – What Did It Teach Us?

This year’s Forum, Rebooting the System for Service and Satisfaction, addressed elements of the clinical environment that foster or inhibit the quality of patient care and clinicians’ joy in practice. The 150 invitees, all leaders in health care, discussed the unintended consequences of health care technology—particularly electronic health records (EHRs)—on performance measurement and improvement. Based [...]

Reflections on the 2014 ABIM Foundation Forum

A week has passed since the wrap-up of the 2014 ABIM Foundation Forum: Rebooting the System for Service and Satisfaction, and I’m still buzzing from the incredible energy and enthusiasm of the participants in the room. The topic of this year’s meeting centered around the role of technology in medicine and obviously touched a nerve. [...]

2014 ABIM Foundation Forum: Rebooting the System for Service and Satisfaction #ABIMF2014

From August 3-5, over 150 national leaders representing consumer groups, physician organizations, medical students and residents, policymakers, accreditors, certifying boards, journal editors, researchers, health plans and employers will discuss the positive and negative consequences of technological innovations in medicine and associated regulations on patient care and the effect on physician well-being. Individuals with acute or [...]

Hold on to Your Heart

The following is a commencement speech given at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School’s 2014 graduation ceremony. Your institution has ceded to me the last 15 minutes of your medical school instruction – how should I use it? One more time through the complement cascade? Or, as Dr. Seldin might have it, a final [...]