I listen to too much NPR. Interesting people stop me in my tracks. I listen to my local station, Sirius, On-line… I especially like the TED Radio Hour. TRH appeals to both my innate curiosity and my “short little attention span,” as Paul would say. I like some of the TED talks and TRH allows me to sort those without having to spend days watching YouTube. I find little satisfaction in short made-for-cable news stories these days and NPR, TED and others seem to do the trick.
Leana Wen seems to on to something in which I believe you might be interested.
Doctor Wen was enchanted with an idea a few years ago that also enchanted the good folks over at TED. With all the hubbub over being able to select your doctor, why not enhance the experience? In a nutshell, ole Doc Wen feels the patient would better served if the doctor they selected was something a little better than a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
A strange idea; before you get naked and discuss your sex life with someone, you might have some idea who that person might be. You know, what makes the person tick.
The ticking person in question is your doctor. Knowing if your doctor made twenty percent of her income from a particular drug company might have some bearing on your care, don’t you think? I have some experience with this last one. Once, I was changed from a blood pressure medicine which was working well without explanation. My friend who worked as a bookkeeper put the change in perfect focus later. She told me she hadn’t bought lunch in years. Turns out, the drug company which made my new drug bought extravagant lunches EVERY DAY for the whole office. I wonder to what largess my doctor was treated.
I wonder how my new drug compared to the old one in cost…nevermind, I have a pretty good idea.
Doctor Wen’s idea met with quick and universal condemnation from her peers. Her life was actually threatened. I will let you watch and weigh her assertions for yourself. Her assertions however, may speak volumes. In my experience, the louder the yell, the truer the arrow. The doctors and politicians who seem to hold the doctor-patient relationship in highest regard should welcome and celebrate her ideas. Sadly, many doctors seem to feel personally invaded as Doctor Wen tells the world the emperor has no clothes. Maybe they like a naked emperor and patients as long as they can hide behind their lab coats. I just wonder who else is in the coat with them.