Do You Think Your Doctors Are Caring?

A checklist that you could use to rate your doctors.

A few months ago, we featured a YouTube video on doctors and compassion. In that video, it was reported that a doctor could show compassion in less than a minute.

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?

Do You Think Your Doctor Is Caring?
 

Knowing Yourself Is Helpful

Insights on chronic illnesses.

We have regularly written about the value of health care knowledge. For example, see: Insights on Health LiteracyHealth Rankings in America Cancer Health.

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 like they can’t discuss their disease outside 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.”

Click the image to read more.

Credit: Mark Pernice

 

Leading Jobs in The Health Care Field

Hot health care jobs

Job Site Glassdoor recently published its annual 50 Best Jobs in America for 2019.

As we might expect, a number of these jobs are in the health care field. Here are these jobs with their job title, median base salary, and level of job satisfaction (out of 5):

#2 — Nursing Manager; $83,000; 4/5

#4 — Occupational Therapist; $74,000; 4/5

#12 — Physician Assistant; $105,000; 3.7/5

#19 — Speech Language Pathologist; $72,000; 3.7/5

#30 — Dental Hygienist; $67,250; 4.5/5

#32 — Nurse Practitioner; $102,000; 3.5/5

#37 — Physical Therapist; $70,000; 3.6/5

#41 — Radiologic Technologist;  $48,000; 4/5

Click the image to learn more. And to see numerous current job listings by job title.

Leading Jobs in The Health Care Field
CREDIT: Getty Images

 

AI and Medical Diagnosis

Improving the accuracy of medical diagnosis

As we reported late last year, artificial intelligence (AI) is aiding drug operations. Today, we take a look at medical diagnosis.

AI and Medical Diagnosis

As Cade Metz reports for the NY Times:

“Each year, millions of Americans walk out of a doctor’s office with 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 that automatically diagnoses common childhood conditions — from influenza to meningitis — after processing the patient’s symptoms, history, lab results, and other clinical data.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

AI and Medical Diagnosis
Doctors competed against A.I. computers to recognize illnesses on magnetic resonance images of a human brain during a competition in Beijing last year. The human doctors lost. Credit: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

 

Veganism Coming to Hospitals

Better understanding veganism

For those with major illnesses, healthy eating is a must. And many of us watch our diets very carefully with regard to carbs, sodium, and other food ingredients.

A small — but growing — number of people are vegans. What is this lifestyle? And how is vegan food coming to hospitals?

What Is Veganism?

According to Jolinda Hackett for the Spruce Eats:

“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.”

Click the image to read more.

Veganism Defined
yulkapopkova / Getty Images

Veganism Coming to Hospitals

As TrendWatching reports, veganism is now coming to more hospitals. Here is one example:

“Public health-care group NYC 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 the Economist,  which recently declared 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?”

Click the image to read more.

Veganism Coming to Hospitals

 

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Be sure to visit FoodSafety.gov

Over the years, there have been many food recalls in the United States. Click the image to see recent U.S. food recalls and to access the links on the Web site. Then, read below.

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Consider the infographic below. And read the comments from Niall McCarthy, writing for Statista:

“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 of food recalls every 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. PIRG shows 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 presents serious health risks such as containing botulinal toxins or undeclared allergens.” 

Is U.S. Food Safe?
 

Insights on Health Literacy

It’s essential to become more health literate.

In the United States, how much do people know and understand about various health issues? For many, the answer is unfortunately not much.

Consider a few of the highlights from the report “America’s Health Literacy: Why We Need Accessible Health Information.” Click the image to access the full report.

Insights on Health Literacy

In general:

“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 professionals than from print media.”