Hamster Wheel Medicine – Getting off the treadmill

10 Dec Hamster Wheel Medicine – Getting off the treadmill

Treadmill  (trĕd’mĭl) n.

  1. An exercise device consisting of a continuous moving belt on which a person can walk or jog while remaining in one place.
  2. A similar device operated by an animal treading a continuous sloping belt.

Today, Dr. Jordan Shlain and I opened the morning session of the 2009 WHIT Conference by introducing the notion of Direct Practice as a model for enhancing access, reducing costs, and improving quality. For this particular audience and presentation, I set the stage by introducing three themes:

  1. Health Care in Crisis
  2. Patients as Consumers
  3. Direct Practice as a Response

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This then set the table for Dr. Shlain to share his 10 year experience as a pioneer in this field. He described very intimate stories of the deep relationships, the personalized service, and the exceptional outcomes achieved. It was a truly powerful way to introduce what we believe will be the next wave of innovation in health care delivery. He closed by publicly unveiling for the first time Current Health (which I profiled yesterday) as the first branded primary care experience coming to a west coast location near you.

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Given the time constraints, we were not able to take all the audience questions. I will post responses to these on shortly:

  1. What application are you using to send data to your iPhone?
  2. How do we get Americans to take care of themselves?
  3. You are speaking about General Practitioner from 80 years ago?
  4. You seem to be talking about non-universal healthcare?
  5. If more primary care docs see fewer patients with your model, how will we meet the burgeoning primary care needs of America?
  6. How many patients do you see at any one time?
  7. How does your model handle emergencies?
  • Janie
    Posted at 02:15h, 13 December Reply

    Scott, I’m still in the process of reading what this is all about and because of that, probably posting too early. But..I do want to heartily praise your comment in another post “it is about a new social contract between the provider and the patient as partners.”

    I am a thyroid patient activist, owner of Stop the Thyroid Madness website, and author of the 2008 book of the same name: Stop the Thyroid Madness: a Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment. And it’s the LACK of “partnership” between thyroid patient and doctor over the past 50 years which has resulted in hundreds of millions being told they were “normal” in spite of continuing hypothyroid symptoms, and believing it. i.e. doctor=God. Patient =passive worm.

    We are strongly recommending that patients STOP approaching their doctors as if they are demi-gods, and instead, become educated (as the Stop the Thyroid Madness site is attempting to do) and bring that education into the powwow of the doctor’s office and demand change.

    Patients have to stop allowing doctors to ignore classic hypothyroid symptoms simply because the TSH lab test (ink spot on a piece of paper–no more) says there shouldn’t be any, or simply because doctors think thyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, etc) is from God Almighty simply because their medical school, medical board, or pharmaceutical rep says so. Ain’t so and never has been.

    The global Stop the Thyroid Madness movement also encourages patients to order their own labs, especially saliva for cortisol levels, which gives far better results and information than a one-time serum test. We also promote participation in several patient-to-patient groups, where patients can learn from each other, then take that to the doctor’s office for much better thyroid treatment.

    And…we don’t hesitate to tell a suffering patient to FIRE their current doc if they refuse to listen to obvious symptoms, or if their heads are stuck in the sand about Synthroid and Levoxyl…and do what it takes to find a new doctor. http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc

    I have a feeling by what I’ve read that you are on the right track. I’ll keep reading so that next time I post, I’ll know more. lol.

    Thyroid Patient Activist

  • “An Unnecessary Effort”: Wuesthoff Health Pays for EOB’s « Crossover Healthcare
    Posted at 20:32h, 10 February Reply

    […] volume” seduced many physicians, but those same physicians are now rejecting the “hamster wheel” medicine that it created. Instead of competing on the prices they can coerce in the […]

  • male extra
    Posted at 12:28h, 25 February Reply

    I love having a great read in the morning. Another great article. thanks, I’ll link it on my site.

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