Readings To Consider vs. The Occasional Perspective

Books and Articles worth a Review… 

HeForShe – The United Nations is sponsoring a website where you can meet the visionary leaders taking action for gender equality in their countries, organizations and beyond. HeForShe IMPACT and Pilot Initiatives are intended to engage key decision makers around the world in the public and private sector to deliver parity by 2020, and drive change from the top.  Consider it!  These global leaders are on a journey to reach parity and achieve a  gender equal world for all. 

Vaping Ads on Television ??? – Are we crazy?  I was taken aback the other night in watching the news when an ad came on encouraging me to go out, buy this product and start vaping!  I was appalled.  On the one hand, we are now allowing vaping ads – which are now countered by FDA ads noting the dangers of vaping – when there is an epidemic of the use of these devices among teenagers.  By all accounts, nearly 20% of high school students now vape or, an 86% increase in vaping among that group in just one year from 2017 to 2018!  For all we know, over the coming weeks there will be the equivalent of the Marlboro Man jumping out of our screens – be they television or computer – counting the attributes of vaping.  LET’S STOP THIS INSANITY NOW!

Distortion By Technology – First, this is not a political statement.  It is warning sign on the veracity of information we see streaming across our devices and into our homes.  The wires went crazy a couple of weeks ago when distorted videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were disseminated with edits that made it appear that she was having trouble speaking.  While it was disturbing, the issue is far greater than Nancy Pelosi and politics.  It is about the ability of technology to distort all sorts of information – with the capability growing by leaps and bounds every month!  I’m a big (huge 😊) fan of technology for solving problems.  But, we also need to keep our eye on technology as it “creates” problems as well.  This is not about politics – be they conservative or liberal.  This is about information upon which our society has become totally dependent.  Think about it.  What needs to be done? 

Seize Diastole – Considering the lessons of physiology and how they can be extrapolated to the world we live in is the focus of this excellent article by Colleen Farrell, MD at NYU.  If you need a copy, let me know.  I have it available.

Media to Consider - 4/19/19

Books and Articles worth a Review…

Eric Topol’s new book, Deep Medicine, is an absolute MUST READ for anyone in the health care world.  It will take you on a whirlwind tour of the technology forces which are being unleashed across all of society which will profoundly alter our notion of medicine and health care in the future.  We are the cusp of a major shift in capability that will make the discovery of antibiotics pale in comparison.  In particular, I believe his last chapter is the most profound.  He notes that we have historically recruited into medicine and the helping professions people who were brainy folks and who had the ability to store large quantities of data in their brains.  With the advent of clinically augmented intelligence where the computer becomes part of our armamentarium, he argues that we will need clinicians with must stronger skills in emotional intelligence.  I think he’s right.  Let’s start the debate now.  I hope there are some Deans reading this blog…

Media to Consider

Books and Articles worth a Review…

Detecting the BS in Health Care – In case you missed it, Lawton Burns, Ph.D. and Mark Pauly, Ph.D. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania recently released an important piece - Detecting BS in Health Care 1.0. They highlight some of the claims that too frequently are touted as outcomes without the necessary backing of data.  It’s a phenomenon that seems to be seeping into too many aspects of our societal discussions.  We need to be on the alert to such shifts because the reason health care has moved from opinion to solutions over the last couple of centuries is because of the rigor of the medical profession on insisting that scientific research be upheld with transparency and open scrutiny.  

Readings To Consider - 1/24/19

Books and Articles worth a Review…

If you want to read a book that will stop you in your tracks and get you to thinking about the significance of humankind – let alone who we are as individuals – go out and get a copy of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.  It’s compelling.  It’s thought provoking.  And, while it’s about astrophysics, it’s also about our presence in the multiverse.  Finally, it has nothing to do with health care but it’s still important nonetheless. His metaphors bring into jarring clarity, how small we are when considered on the scale of the multiverse. Read it.  Ponder it.  Get back to me with your thoughts… = This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Readings To Consider - 12/31/18

Books and Articles worth a Review…

Become Disconnected – I was just about to start on my latest Fickenscher Files when yet one more email came flying through the ethernet to capture my attention.  It was from a colleague who was beside themselves because of a relatively minor disconnect.  Such disconnects seem to be happening more and more in the new world of “connectivity”.  It brought to mind an article I had recently read by Atul Gwande, MD – the new head of Amazon’s yet-to-be-described health care initiative.  He recently posted an article in The New Yorker magazine on a related topic – the use of clinical information systems by physicians.  He captured an issue that is all too increasingly common among physicians and others in the health care industry who spend intensive amounts of time in front of computer screens – disconnection and burnout.  The tedious nature of clicks and data requirements while offering value on one side of the equation often result in more labor investments on the other side of the equation.  The burnout rate among physicians is increasing and some of it stems from the intrusion of computers into the process without adequate revision of the process.  Just like the miscommunication with my colleague, the intrusion of the computer screen between the patient and the clinician is becoming an obstacle to conclusion and connection.  We should take note.  While there are no quick answers, the issue of “connectivity” deserves our special attention.  It is what makes for a good clinician…

 The Gender Gap Considered – Women comprise about 80% of the health care workforce in the US according to a recent report by The Advisory Board.  But, they only represent between 3 – 9% of the leadership workforce for the industry.  It’s one of the reasons I became involved in helping to develop the Carol Emmott Fellowship (CEF) Program. The intent of the program is to accelerate leadership capacity for women in health.  Individuals selected for participation in the program complete a 14 month long program which includes experiential, didactic, and cohort experiences along with coaching and mentoring from senior health care executives from across the entire industry.  It’s a program worthy of your organization’s commitment.  If you’re a leader in health care consider contacting the CEF and providing support for an emerging woman leader in your organization.  It will pay off in dividends over the longer term for the greater good of the health care community. 

 

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