Monday, May 19, 2014

Website Posts Public Opinions to Solve Medical Mysteries

My opinion:  While I certainly think this website can do wonders for some people, the founders need to be careful of liability issues.  For example, say someone takes the medical advice of just anyone who posts online, and then suffers serious consequences because of it.  The company could find itself in numerous lawsuits.  I think it may be a good idea to take some of the ideas on the website and discuss them with the doctor to verify their potential credibility.  Also, if some of the information seems insecure, then perhaps users should all be anonymous.  Then again, this would also make it impossible to know who is evaluating the patient.  What's more, unless the company insists that its users who provide answers undergo a background check, people with no credentials at all may be posting answers.  Any other ways to improve the site, or is it just too difficult to carry out?  Feel free to comment.

From: http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_25695944/san-francisco-company-aims-become-wikipedia-medicine

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Doctors Fail to Know if Patients can Afford Medication

My opinion: Again, this is a very important piece of information that doctors should be aware of, but there are only so many things that go into conversation during a meeting with the patient.  I think, in addition to asking this in the end, doctors should also ask if the patient may have trouble taking their medication, as this is often a problem in our society.  Then, the doctor should ask the patient if there are any other problems at all that the doctor needs to know.  This will help cover all potential issues, as the doctor cannot ask dozens of specific questions about the patient in one meeting, not to mention the fact that it may appear obnoxious.  Finally, in the cases in which the patient doesn't reveal a problem when there actually is one, the doctor will need to rely on social cues to figure out what is going on.  For example, the doctor in the article could see that the patient seemed nervous when he received his prescription.  These are the skills that are developed over by interacting with people and patients for a long time.  So what should doctors do if their patients can't pay?  Should they pay themselves?  Feel free to comment.
 

Article found at:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/doctors-not-asking-about-money/