Archive for June, 2010
Ah, I remember the days. For those of us over 40, the world of medicine was characterized and embedded in our memories by the vision of Marcus Welby, in a kindly, paternalistic way, solving complex medical issues, in 60 minutes—including commercial interruptions. Not to mention that he did that while viewing X-rays upside down on a view box, and interpreting EKG strips while viewing them vertically—but that’s nitpicking. Along with his partners, Ben Casey, and Dr. Kildare, an image and expectation of medicine was embedded in our thinking, which has persisted for generations.
Paro the robot baby harp seal was the final straw. I had vowed to myself not to think about or write about “the internet makes you smarter, the internet makes you dumber” argument. Even when some of my favorite authors (Steven B. Johnson, Clay Shirky, Nicholas Carr, and Jonah Lehrer) weighed in, I thought it best not to participate.
One of my favorite health care consultants is Al Burgener of Iowa City. Al and I worked closely together years ago at the UIHC, and I have used him as a consultant in Grand Rapids, MI, Des Moines, IA, and Bloomington, MN. Nobody thinks and writes more clearly and creatively about health care reform than Al. He and I were talking about what the real leadership challenges are today, and we came up with the following list:
This is a risky post. It’s one that’s not likely to be politically correct, at least at first blush. In fact, it’s likely that some, on reading the title, will immediately assume that this is an attack on the concept of medical home. Believe me, I understand the concept is appealing, and that it has been promoted as the potential savior for health care, primary care, patient-centered care—you can pick your issue of choice, and fit this in.