Home > Medical/Health Commentary > Health Wonk Review, and other matters

Health Wonk Review, and other matters

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Julie Ferguson at WorkersCompInsider hosts the latest edition of Health Wonk Review, which is chock-full of insightful, thought-provoking pieces from across the health wonk spectrum (and occasionally from a clueless amateur like myself).

Avik Roy, now blogging at Forbes, has a quick summary of each published submission at his site. About my piece, he writes

The anonymous Canadian first-year medical student at The Notwithstanding Blog is concerned that bioethics programs at academic centers tend to “usually [lean] left-liberal.” We could, he argues, use more of Leon Kass.

That wasn’t quite what I was trying to say; I guess that wasn’t one of my better-written posts. I’ll use this space to clarify.

My concern is not the political leanings of bioethicists per se, so much as it is their seemingly widespread disdain for the ideal of patient autonomy. I offered political leanings as one possible explanation, but I really don’t think that Leon Kass is any better on this score than his liberal counterparts.


On a completely different note, I’ve written before about the intersection (or lack thereof) between medical education and business education, but Ted Bacharach at Placebo Journal Blog sums it up far more eloquently and concisely than I ever could hope to.

I believe the intent of the medical school to introduce humanities to improve the physician patient relationship is well intentioned but is totally misdirected. To allow the patient to relate more closely to his patient the courses that need to be added are not the humanities but rather financial and office management.

The wedge that has developed between the patient and his physician has been caused, to a great extent, by financial considerations. There was a time when the physician’s goal was to have a satisfied patient, the patient being the one paying the bill and hopefully helping in referring more patients to the doctor’s office. Today the entity employing the physician is concerned with getting more subscribers, cutting costs and generating income.

Read the whole thing (not much longer) here.

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