Sunday, July 5, 2015

Independence Weekend 2015

Independence Day is actually Independence Weekend most years and 2015 is no exception.  Friday the third of July we had some patients to see and closed at two PM. Before a special weekend like this I ask most patients what they are doing for the holiday. Many of them will have an altered experience due to the affliction that caused them to see a doctor.  Others are "a threat to society" because of the contagious nature of their infection.  Vomiting with abdominal pain is especially important to keep away from other people.  Most will be shedding viruses for a few days after the vomiting stops.  (Don't let them breathe near you).

When people mention their holiday plans, they are often sharing information about their values and dreams.  Who, What, Where, When, Why, Who are often included.  This information helps me to understand them and issues that relate to their health.  It also informs me about what people in general are doing these days.

One of the roles of the Family Physician is to act as a public health agent-- identifying issues that affect the health of the public enables us to contribute to prevention efforts and share trends with other physicians and public health officials.  Our generalist role in health care gives us a perspective about health system trends that may be helpful or harmful to patients.  We have to stay aware of our duty to inform and protect people (you and us - we have a duty to help each other).

Warning to you:  Currently the healthcare system seems out of control and constitutes a threat to the financial survival of individuals, families and communities-  in fact it's a threat to the nation.  More, more, more is what we say about everything.  More tests, more medication, more mandatory prescribing, more "quality" bonuses for health plans and physicians.  There is no realistic plan to do otherwise. There are superficial efforts to reduce certain tests and procedures.  I just saw a letter from one of the area practice networks advising their male patients to have the PSA test, which actually is no longer recognized as a screening test for prostate cancer.  It's only supposed to be used in symptomatic males- which is a diagnostic test--not a screening test (for non-symptomatic persons).  How is a patient to know that?  I was shocked and disappointed.  But I can blog about it and tell the people about it and mention to physicians about how the PSA test is supposed to be used.

I'm looking into programs like Samaritan Ministries and Liberty Healthshare as a consideration for our Direct Family Medicine (Direct Pay)  patients to have hospitalization outside the Affordable Care Act.  They are for Christians, but I assume that each religion has some special waivers relative to the Affordable Care Act, although I haven't researched it.  

Huge changes are coming in the next three years.  Stay tuned.

Independence Day.  I love America.  I love patriotic music.  I love the Boston Pops Independence Day Concert and A Capital Fourth both with the 1812 Overture.  I'm getting ready for the third ever West Point Glee Club Alumni Reunion Concert on July 25th.  I sang in the first two.  I'm looking forward to 3 days of the Hudson River Valley, nostalgia and patriotic music.  God Bless America.

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