Monday, August 31, 2015

Can't Find a Physician Who Speaks Your Language? Translators, Websites Can Help!

The article below reveals the importance of foreign language translation in the medical field.  For patients who don't speak English well, clear communication is necessary to solve complex problems.  Foreign patients are enticed to nod their head after the doctor speaks, indicating that they understand the doctor, when they actually understand very little.  If they cannot repeat what the doctor says with accuracy, then a translation professional is contacted.  I'm proud to announce that I'm trying to alleviate this problem with my new website, www.mylanguagedoc.com.  The website has a directory (the making of which is still in progress) where patients can search for doctors who speak their own language.  Doctors can submit their contact information to the directory if they wish.  While I'm sure translators are very useful, some hospitals may not hire them.  Also, patients may want more direct communication with their physicians, or prefer a doctor who understands their cultural background.  I hope patients and doctors alike will find this directory of good use!  Feel free to leave tips, comments, and spread the word!

From: http://www.bendbulletin.com/business/3459206-151/more-multilingual-workers-are-needed#

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Is Overdiagnosis Harming Patients?

The article below mainly focuses on the detection of miniscule cancers by advanced technology.  Though there's no doubt that this may prevent many deaths, some cancers might not evolve into dangerous ones.  The patient would then need treatment for this cancer, and as many people are well aware, cancer treatments are no fun.  Patients and doctors need to be aware that not all health issues, like some cancers, are particularly problematic.  This would prevent the patient from becoming too anxious when there really is little need to be afraid.  Also, I think overdiagnosis remains an issue when trying to identify a mysterious disease.  Sometimes, I've heard, imagery reveals problems that have nothing to do with the patient's actual disease, therefore misleading doctors from arriving at the correct diagnosis.  In these cases, I think it's important to listen to the patient's symptoms and his or her story about how the illness progressed. This, in combination with certain tests, might better help physicians to pinpoint the exact cause, without having to do every test in the world to figure it out.  Perhaps physicians have discovered how to make diagnoses.  For the future, however, they need to know how to interpret these results, leading to the best treatment options for patients.  Any thoughts?  Feel free to comment.

From: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/08/20/tmi-in-medicine-the-problem-of-overdiagnosis

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Rise of Retail Medical Clinics

My opinion:  I think it's great that clinics are becoming more convenient for patients.  Retail clinics usually appear in busy places, like shopping areas.  The article focuses on CVS adding these clinics to their stores.  These are useful for patients who have urgent issues that are not emergencies, for example, sore throats and cuts.  Now, regular doctors are trying to compete, expanding their hours and creating apps that help patients set appointments.  But retail clinics, according to the article, seem to have mid-level healthcare providers like nurse practitioners instead of doctors.  I think that another kind of retail clinic with physicians would attract a different crowd of people, ones who are more willing to trust doctors rather than nurses or PAs.  But would doctors even want to work in such a setting?  I think that is unlikely, although some primary care doctors might be fine with it.  Ultimately, I can see hospitals and regular outpatient clinics dealing with harder or emergency cases, with more specialists on board, whereas retail clinics will treat less severe issues with mid-level providers.  Could this be the beginning of a separation between primary care and specialties?  And are there any other implications of this?  Feel free to comment. 

From: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/08/07/walk-clinics-are-forcing-big-medicine-rethink-retail-health-care/DUdP4usrTuVA2AIiJJfUHJ/story.html