Today, we ask: Do you think your doctors are caring?
As part of a research project, Mark E. Quirk, et al., devised the following checklist. How would EACH of your doctors score on the checklist? If a doctor’s score is low, why don’t you switch to another physician?
Today, let’s look at the observations of a Crohn’s disease survivor. As Tessa Miller writes for the NY Times:
“Finding out you have a chronic illness — one that will, by definition, never go away — changes things, both for you and those you love. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know how much my life would change. There’s no conversation about that foggy space between the common cold and terminal cancer, where illness won’t go away but won’t kill you, so none of us know what ‘chronic illness’ means until we’re thrown into being sick forever.”
“Chronic illness patients not only face painful physical symptoms, but also mental ones that linger even when the disease is well controlled. A therapist should be considered a crucial part of your care team, just as important as a gastroenterologist or cardiologist.”
“Your relationship with yourself changes. You grieve a version of yourself that doesn’t exist anymore, and a future version that looks different than you’d planned. You might have to give up career goals, hobbies and family plans, learning a ‘new normal’ in their place.”
“Chronically ill people research their diseases ad nauseam. They try more treatments than they can count. In many cases, great scientific minds can’t crack a cause or cure. So unless someone asks for your advice, don’t offer it.”
“There’s a sense of shame that comes with chronic illness that pressures patients into secrecy, making them feel likethey can’t discuss their diseaseoutside of the doctor’s office. Secrecy bolsters the lack of public conversation and knowledge, which feeds the shame patients feel.”
“Living with chronic illness makes every day a little harder, but it also makes every day a little sweeter. Though I don’t know what my future holds, I’m overwhelmed with a gratitude I didn’t have before my diagnosis — some days I marvel at just being alive.”
“Each year, millions of Americans walk out of a doctor’s officewith a misdiagnosis. Physicians try to be systematic when identifying illness and disease, but bias creeps in. Alternatives are overlooked. Now a group of researchers in the United States and China has tested a potential remedy for all-too-human frailties: artificial intelligence.
“In a paper published in Nature Medicine, the scientists reported that they had built a system thatautomatically diagnoses common childhood conditions— from influenza to meningitis — after processing the patient’s symptoms, history, lab results, and other clinical data.”
“Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.
“Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself. That is, the word vegan can be an adjective used to describe a food item, as in, ‘This curry is vegan,’ or, it can be used as a noun, as in, ‘Vegans like cookies, too.'”
“Although there is some debate as to whether certain foods, such as honey, fit into a vegan diet, if you are cooking for other vegans, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid these foods. Most vegans extend the definition of veganism to go beyond just food and will also avoid the use of all personal and household products tested on animals, and avoid purchasing and using all animal-derived, non-food products, such as leather, fur, and wool.”
“Public health-care groupNYC Health + Hospitals debuted Meatless Monday at its 11 hospitals this month. The group, which is the largest municipal hospital and clinic network in the U.S., was praised by Brooklyn Borough president (and passionate vegan) Eric L. Adams. The vegan meals include pasta and garden bolognese, vegetables, and hummus and black bean soup. Whether your company and staff are decidedly herbivore, carnivore or omnivore, there are lessons to be taken away.
According to theEconomist, which recentlydeclared 2019 the ‘year of the vegan’, a quarter of 25 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. now say they are vegetarian or vegan. So this move sees NYC Health + Hospitals tapping into a shift with real momentum. Are you constantly scanning the horizon for the shifts you should see coming?”
“Many consumers want to reduce their consumption of animal products. But change is hard! Introducing Meatless Monday sees NYC Health + Hospitals become a DEMANDING BRAND: making easier for consumers to make a positive change by giving them no choice. Yes, a bold move. But one that rising numbers of conscious consumers will be grateful for. So what constructive change could you DEMAND of your customers in 2019?”
“In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. It was supposed to regulate how foods are grown, harvested, and processed. Furthermore, it gave the FDA mandatory recall authority, something it had been trying to get for years. Despite passing that law, the U.S. is still experiencing hundreds offood recallsevery year, many of which are extremely serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans contracts a foodborne illness every year.”
“The volume of food recalls can provide an insight into food safety standards in different countries. A recent analysis by U.S. PIRGshows that the total number of recalls in the U.S. fell between 2017 and 2018. Even though that might seem like good news, the long term trends are far less positive. Recalls of meat and poultry rose 66 percent between 2013 and 2018. In an even more troubling development, the most hazardous Class I recalls of meat and poultry are up 83 percent since 2013. Class I refers to food that presentsserious health risks such as containing botulinal toxins or undeclared allergens.”
“Health literacy — the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions — is essential to promote healthy people and communities. Health care institutions and public health systems play a critical role in health literacy, because they can make it easier or more difficult for people to find and use health information and services. For the first time, there are national data that demonstrate currently available health information is too difficult for average Americans to use to make health decisions.”
“Limited health literacy isn’t a disease that makes itself easily visible. In fact, you can’t tell by looking. Health literacy depends on the context. Even people with strong literacy skills can face health literacy challenges, such as when: They are not familiar with medical terms or how their bodies work. People have to interpret numbers or risks to make a health care decision. They are diagnosed with a serious illness and are scared or confused. They have complex conditions that require complicated self-care.”
Key findings and policy implications of the first-ever National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) findings include:
Only 12 percent of U.S. adults had proficient health literacy. “Over a third of U.S. adults — 77 million people — have difficulty with common health tasks, such as following directions on a prescription drug label or adhering to a childhood immunization schedule using a standard chart.”
“Limited health literacy affects adults in all racial and ethnic groups. The proportion of adults with basic or below basic health literacy ranges from 28 percent of white adults to 65 percent of Hispanic adults.”
“Although half of adults without a high school education had below basic health literacy skills,even high school and college graduates can have limited health literacy.“
“Compared to privately insured adults, both publicly insured and uninsured adults had lower health literacy skills.”
“All adults, regardless of their health literacy skills,were more likely to get health information from radio/television, friends/family, and health professionalsthan from print media.”