Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts #38: The Perils of Feeling Others’ Pain

Several large hospital systems emphasize how much they value empathy and train their staff accordingly to feel more for their patient. But is this actually a good idea? Yale psychologist Prof. Paul Bloom admonishes about the empathy trap. Her argues that “trying to feel the pain of others is a bad idea” and that “empathy […]

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Thursday Thoughts #37: Pervasive Drug Advertisement

If you believe in negative suggestions making you sick – don’t watch the advertisements on TV. I noticed for a while that ads for drugs and healthcare products are pretty prevalent on primetime TV – not that I watch a lot. One evening I did a semi-scientific experiment and took notes. I wrote down all […]

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Thursday Thoughts #36: Salt in the Restaurant Business

Going out the other day to one of our neighborhood restaurants I asked for fries without salt. This is what I got. This place is not the only one who seems to believe more salt is better. One can commonly see the “finisher” in restaurants spreading the white sparkles massively over whatever dish he or […]

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Thursday Thoughts #35: Transparency in Healthcare Cost

Healthcare is the only market where, at the time of purchase, you don’t know how much it will cost you– whether you have insurance or not. Comparison shopping for tests and treatments is surprisingly difficult or nearly impossible. How come your hospital can surprise you with a $25-charge for an Aspirin that costs pennies [1]? […]

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Thursday Thoughts #34: What is the message of ripped jeans?

Ripped jeans are forbidden when one books a trip in South Korea to the demilitarized zone. The dress code is strict. Also no flip flops. These rules are strictly enforced as North Korean soldiers take photos and produce propaganda and signal to their people that other countries are too poor to afford proper clothing. This made me think […]

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Thursday Thoughts #33: MACRA

Meet MACRA is the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act which was passed quietly with overwhelming bipartisan majority (yes this is still possible). MACRA is Medicare’s new reimbursement system, which will very likely also affect the policies of other payers such as insurance companies. MACRA replaces the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and a patchwork […]

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Thursday Thoughts #32: The Age of the Consumer

I had the opportunity to listen to a fascinating panel discussion by Forrester Research CEO George Colony and Chief People Officer Lucia Quinn at the Harvard Business School. Forrester Research is one of the most influential advisory firms in the world on the technology research front. They analyze surveys of more than 500,000 consumers and […]

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Thursday Thoughts #31: Positive Affect

  As the old saying goes “No situation can’t be made worse by guilt.” Guilt occasionally gets piled on patients – by others or by themselves – for having gotten cancer or some other evil because they didn’t have the right (positive) mind set. Last week in Thursday Thoughts #30 I examined the effects of […]

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Thursday Thoughts #30: Negative Affect

At one of the recent meetings of the Radiological Society of North America we presented a study that looked at how patients’ mood affects the likelihood of adverse events during invasive medical procedures. You all may have had the experience of interacting with a person who is giving off negative vibes. In daily life such […]

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Thursday Thoughts #29: Drug Usage During Medical Procedures

I was just renewing my license requirements and reading up for some continued education credits. During my research, I came across an article that compared two different ways of placing a gastrostomy tube e.g. a feeding tube that exits the stomach through the skin [1]. One approach took longer than the other and patients received […]

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