Tag Archives: healthcare

Piecing Together American Healthcare, ft. Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz (Part 1)


We have GOT to get it together

What’s the best way to navigate a fragmented healthcare system? How are patients both the victims and unwitting custodians of their own medical stories? And can primary care address gaps in long-term cancer treatment? We had a fun conversation with Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz, the author of ‘Fragmented, A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Healthcare.’ Jeff, Fallon, AJ, and Alex walked away not only enlightened about the gaps in the contemporary healthcare system but also the importance of primary care and specialists working together to build patient relationships and keep clinical information flowing.

The Primary Care Revelation

Dr. Yurkiewicz took an unconventional career path. Why would a trained medical oncologist with board certifications in hematology and oncology choose to open a primary care practice for cancer patients and survivors, you might wonder? The answer delves deep into the very core of our healthcare system’s inefficiencies.

Cancer treatment doesn’t end at remission. The aftermath brings a basket full of new health issues that often go overlooked. During these critical times, patients need primary care doctors who are also knowledgeable about oncology — enter the innovative primary care practice Dr. Yurkiewicz established.

Fixing Fragmentation in Healthcare

Unfortunately, the tools physicians use to track their patients’ progress aren’t great at sharing. The shortcomings of electronic medical records (EMR) are a source of frustration that healthcare providers commonly face due to their disjointed nature. Keeping the patient in the loop when it comes to their reports and critical information was highlighted as a key responsibility of healthcare providers in a fragmented system–the current state of affairs is that the patient is the one with the most incentive to keep track of their data! This only highlights the urgent need for an interconnected EMR system, that patients are often the only source of continuity in their healthcare narrative.

A Glimpse Into the Future of Healthcare

There are countries that do this better, but modifying the existing system rather than attempting to building a new one from scratch based on them may be tough. Though countries like the Netherlands boast more streamlined healthcare systems, it’s crucial to devise a model that accommodates the unique challenges and strengths of American healthcare and culture.

More about our guest:

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The Business of Medicine


Should medical students learn more about the business of medicine?

Medical school definitely hasn’t made a priority of teaching about how medicine works as a business.  MDs who get involved in that side of healthcare typically learn on the job. But recent caller Ryan is interested in that topic, and wanted to hear from us about what CCOM students are learning about it.

A couple years ago, M4 Joe Nellis and some other students founded the Healthcare Management and Delivery Science Distinction Track.  One reason was that their families had questions they couldn’t answer about the topic.  They also knew that decisions about healthcare delivery and outcomes evaluation were being made without MDs having a clear idea (or even input on) how and why.  Joe and M2s Philip Huang and Amanda Manarot got together with Dave to talk about what they’ve learning on issues like teamwork, e-health, data and decision-making. And while the healthcare leaders of tomorrow still have to learn much of the biz after they leave medical school, having a fuller grasp of the forces that affect how medicine is practiced is key, especially as the private practice of medicine gives way to employment in hospitals and other organizations.

This Week in Medical News

Dave took issue with this article which posits that doctors’ salaries are a problem for healthcare costs, despite the fact that according to the author’s own figures, that amount makes up about 1/32 of the cost of healthcare per US household.

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