The PMD Critical List: NFL Doctors Don't Agree on What Jeopardizes Players' Health

NOVEMBER 20, 2016
Greg Kelly
Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Practice Management, Retirement, InvestingThanksgiving is around the corner and that means the three “Fs” are within arm’s reach – family, football, and food. Speaking of football, the story topping this week’s PMD Critical List addresses how physicians in the NFL differ in opinion on players’ health. Also making the list: Marijuana may help mental health, the CDCP releases the top five causes of death, and nice doctors aren’t necessarily better.
 
Are NFL Doctors Conflicted? (STAT)
“Physicians who work for professional football teams have conflicts of interest that could jeopardize players’ health, according to a report by Harvard researchers.” The NFL “flatly denied the existence of any such conflict of interest, calling the report nothing more than an academic exercise.”

Why Physician Debt Should Matter (Forbes)
“It’s not about the physicians as individuals, but about the field we are striving to protect and further develop. There are long-term consequences to a system where the average amount of debt for a graduating medical student is over $150,000.”

How Surgeons Stay Focused for Hours (Wall Street Journal)
“You get into a zone when you are operating,” explains Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, chief of transplant surgery at the center, part of the Montefiore Health System. “Your mind is so focused on what you are doing, you are not aware of time.” Music, yoga, religion, comfortable foot ware, vegan diet, running, and espresso can also aid surgical skills and focus.

Growing Number of Doctors Are Big-Money Prescribers in Medicare (NPR.org)
“The number of doctors who each prescribe millions of dollars of medications annually in Medicare's drug program has soared, driven by expensive hepatitis C treatments and rising drug prices overall, federal data obtained by ProPublica show.” It’s a “troubling trend that doesn't show any signs of abating," says a top CMS official.

Marijuana May Benefit Mental Health (Time)
According to a new study in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, “researchers have found evidence that cannabis can likely benefit people dealing with depression, social anxiety and PTSD.” After the 2016 elections, 28 states now allow some form of legal marijuana use.

Physicians Still Read Medical Journals (MMM)
“Traditional media sources such as print medical journals remain key ways for physicians to stay abreast of new and rapidly changing clinical information, according to an annual new report by CMI/Compas.” And yet, “when they have only 10 minutes to find answers, physicians across all specialties rely on the internet.”

In Praise of Big Pharma (RealClearHealth)
“Hospital spending represents 32% of American healthcare spending, 20% goes to physician and clinical services, 15% goes to "other health spending," and 10% is for prescription drugs. The headline should be: Pharmaceuticals represent just “a dime on the dollar” of all US healthcare spending, according to the president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

Nationwide Review Finds Patients are Vulnerable to Physician Abusive (Journal-News)
“A 50-state examination by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that only one—Delaware—has anything close to a comprehensive set of laws protecting patients from doctors who commit acts of sexual abuse. Doctors dominate most medical licensing boards and have the authority to decide who is fit to practice.”

Top Five Causes of Death (RealClearHealth)
The CDCP released data naming the five leading causes of death among Americans under age 80. “After heart disease, cancer was the most likely cause of death. Rounding out the list were stroke; chronic lower respiratory diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema; and accidents.”

Nice Doctors Aren’t Necessarily Better Doctors (Honolulu Civil Beat)
“Better health care is endlessly more important than whether or not the doctor is nice or talks well. That’s a bonus, but it’s not a substitute for the use of the right medications and tests to keep patients healthy. In the end, anything less will cost more money, and ultimately, more lives.”

9 Ways to Engage Physicians and Prevent Burnout (Fierce Healthcare)
“A new paper from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings argues that healthcare organizations and physicians must tackle the problem of physician burnout together. The article outlines nine inexpensive strategies that the Mayo Clinic has successfully implemented to improve physician engagement.”


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