A NYT op-ed the other day,”How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted” (by Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman, physicians on the faculty of Harvard Medical School), gives a good sum-up of what I fear is becoming the new normal, even under so-called “personalized medicine”.
“It is obsolete for the doctor to approach each patient strictly as an individual; medical decisions should be made on the basis of what is best for the population as a whole.”
Remember that when they tell you you’re getting your very own, individualized, custom-tailored, personalized medicine!
I see a future role for independent experts in medicine and medical statistics to whom individuals and consumer groups could turn to get the real scoop, as well as to critically assess the statistics of any clinical trials that bear upon their treatment decisions.(Remember the Potti case.) No wonder I hear of so many doctors getting out of the field. Perhaps some of them,along with interested medical statisticians, can put out their shingle for a company of advisors. I don’t see this as far-fetched [i]
Here’s the main article
WHEN we are patients, we want our doctors to make recommendations that are in our best interests as individuals. As physicians, we strive to do the same for our patients.
But financial forces largely hidden from the public are beginning to corrupt care and undermine the bond of trust between doctors and patients. Insurers, hospital networks and regulatory groups have put in place both rewards and punishments that can powerfully influence your doctor’s decisions.