I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and it’s made you think a bit about health care, health policy, and how difficult it is to come up with solutions to our health care problems. I appreciate the civil discussion and debate, and continue to welcome any other feedback!
A few topics I wanted to cover but didn’t have time to:
- Science education – If we want our patients to understand medicine and the science behind it, they need to understand (and accept) the basic tenets of science — randomized studies, for example — and perhaps that’s where we’re failing. People seem to have a miraculous ability to accept the science they have chosen to believe (antibiotics for bacterial infections, germ theory) while ignoring rigorous science that doesn’t fit with their world view (thiomersal is not responsible for autism).
- Patient Autonomy – Has it gone too far? By asking patients or their decision-makers to decide, “Do you want to keep trying failing treatments or terminate care,” perhaps we’re putting too much decision-making in the hands of a person who clearly doesn’t want to feel responsible for “pulling the plug” on their mother (who would?)? While no one wants to die or wants a loved one to die, is it fair to other people who have a better chance of hope of recovery to take up a hospital bed to treat a demented 95 year-old man who won’t get any better?
- And many more!
On that note, it’s been a pleasure writing about my journey through medical school, and I appreciate everyone who’s joined me and supported me along the way.
I’m heading to Xela, Guatemala (aka Quetzaltenango) tonight for two months with Asociación Pop-Wuj to do some intensive Spanish and medical Spanish training (as well as seeing their cigar-smoking saint, Maximón, and hiking and exploring) before heading back to be in a friend’s wedding. I likely won’t be blogging much, but hey, who knows. Since I now have an official job as a doctor (scary), I’ll be wrapping Over My Med Body up in time for Graduation in June. Stay safe and healthy and I’ll see you on the flip side!
Me on Match Day, blogging away: