Monday, June 16, 2014

The best recent posts you may have missed

Every other month or so, I post a list of my top 5 favorite posts since the preceding "best of" list on this blog, for those of you who have only recently started reading Common Sense Family Doctor or don't read it regularly. Here are my favorites from March, April, and May:

1) Family physicians are natural health system leaders (5/26/14)

Compared to all others, students entering family medicine were statistically more likely to recommend generic over brand-name medications and favor initial lifestyle change counseling to starting medication for a mild chronic condition.

2) Why conflicting guidelines can be good for patients (3/19/14)

Sure, it's easier for everyone when guidelines agree on what to recommend for a particular patient in a particular situation. But when “reaching alignment" is simply a euphemism for one guideline group exerting political pressure on others to fall into line, that isn't good for medicine or for patients.

3) "Free" health screenings have hidden costs (4/3/14)

With the goal of improving access to preventive services and medical screening, the Affordable Care Act offers free screening mammography to women. However, women often pay for the consequences of screening, even if the screening examination is free. 

4) Health insurance is not health care (4/9/14)

I believe that health insurance should be a mandatory financial mechanism for paying for unexpected, catastrophic health expenses, just as fire insurance will pay if my house burns down or flood insurance will pay if a hospital in a low-lying area is devastated by a hurricane. On the other hand, health insurance is a grossly inefficient mechanism for paying for expected care - that is, primary and preventive care.

5) Perspectives on preventable causes of death (5/20/14)

Routine social work visits and public policies that spur economic growth, reduce unemployment, and increase access to decent, affordable housing make a much bigger difference in health outcomes than do medical preventive services.

If you have a personal favorite that isn't on this list, please let me know. Thanks for reading!