Thursday, August 1, 2013

Medical students' challenges in the 21ST Century

A significant article about medical students' challenges and survival tactics:

There are fundamental changes since my generation (and several others, more recent) went to med school. I don't know whether I ought to feel relieved or disappointed. Maybe some of both.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Radical Thinking by MDs and others

Have spent many hours finding email addresses of physicians, RNs and others in the listing of "Ideal" (patient centered) practices I can appreciate the enthusiasm of these practitioners.
This post by a physician mirrors the thinking in the site I had found:

I'll  publish the address of the website for the listing of ideal practices I had previously found when I can find it again. Meanwhile, here's another list of ideal practitioners I just ran across:

Monday, July 1, 2013

The "Thirteen Arrow Syndrome" -- an analysis of stress on health professionals

This diagram maps some of the more significant stresses on a health professional. I'm grateful to Billie T. Alban for this concept and most of the content. I used the diagram in Intravenous Hope, Stat! As you can see, there are many arrows already, and some professionals will add arrows between elements. For example, patients may harass office staff, so an arrow could go from the former to the latter. Some of the terms in the diagram may not apply to you.
If you and a peer each did a diagram, some of your common items might have connecting arrows stretching from your diagram over to theirs. If you are an administrator, you might have arrows joining staff members' diagrams to items in yours.
Different professions may emphasize different items, and the connections between, say, a nurse's diagram and a physician's could prove consciousness-raising. They might list some items in common, and others unique to their professions. The common items could be a source of support or conflict.

I'll include a quote from the book below the diagram.
    Quote from Intravenous Hope, Sat! 

Key Points About the Role Expectations Diagram Above

In a personal communication, Billie Alban, (her book site) lists some key questions that help clarify the binds affecting members of an organization. For each of the persons or groups listed on your diagram, ask yourself:
1. What do they want from me? That is, are staff looking for support for their decisions? Are patients looking for a cure? Is that expectation unrealistic or not? Are hospital administrators looking for more opportunities to bill?
2. How am I responding? Are you putting off unpleasant discussions? Avoiding deadlines? Taking too much of the responsibility on your shoulders instead of delegating? Becoming overloaded with too many duties?
3. Recognize when you can't fulfill an expectation and say why. This boils down to "I can't do that because _____________."
4. Ask yourself: "Do I feel this is a big deal? What makes it big?" This can help clarify priorities and set aside minor issues if other concerns take priority.
5. Recognize when a person needs just a sounding board versus when they need concrete advice. In the first instance, you listen and ask questions to help the person clarify their thinking, their confusion, or their conflict. In the second, you also listen and question but you go on to tell them what you might do, or what you think they ought to do.
End of excerpt from Intravenous Hope, Stat!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

When Doctors Don't Know What's Wrong

There's a stimulating article that includes a description by a neurologist of his approach when the workup doesn't point to a specific disease.
See What Doctors Do When They Don't Know What to Do in the blog by Allen Frances, M.D.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Finally got the book up on Kindle and sent announcements. Here's the copy:

To health professionals, their programs, and their families:
I'm a retired psychiatrist in the US.
I hope my Kindle e-book on stress and suicide within the health professions can reach all levels, from student to retiree. The title is
Intravenous Hope, Stat!
We Need to Help Stressed or Suicidal Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Therapists and Their Relatives. 

In this book I emphasize support and prevention, while recognizing the despair of those reaching the end of their coping abilities. The "We" in the above subtitle implies that all of us share a responsibility for health professionals' wellbeing.
This responsibility needs to be borne not only by us as professionals, but also by our patients, our family members, and the general public.
Many thanks for distributing this note to those concerned about stress levels in your profession.

Intravenous Hope, Stat! is on this Kindle page.
William R. Taylor, M.D.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fascinating look inside a doctor's mind!

This link is to a fascinating post that shows how docs and other health professionals ought to think.
A whole lot of steps you wouldn't be aware of unless you could read your doctor's mind next time you visit. Dr. Rob Lambert's mind map has a huge number of lines of reasoning, for the care of just one patient.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Intravenous Hope, Stat! now available

Intravenous Hope, Stat!
We Need to Help Stressed or Suicidal Doctors,
Nurses, Psychologists, Therapists And Their Relatives

You can read excerpts on that site, or on earlier posts here, 
I will be sending email announcements of the book in the next few days.